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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Drinking I

By Anacreon (582–485 B.C.)

Translation of Abraham Cowley

THE THIRSTY earth soaks up the rain,

And drinks, and gapes for drink again,

The plants suck in the earth, and are

With constant drinking fresh and fair;

The sea itself (which one would think

Should have but little need of drink)

Drinks twice ten thousand rivers up,

So filled that they o’erflow the cup.

The busy Sun (and one would guess

By ’s drunken fiery face no less)

Drinks up the sea, and, when he’s done,

The Moon and Stars drink up the Sun:

They drink and dance by their own light;

They drink and revel all the night.

Nothing in nature’s sober found,

But an eternal health goes round.

Fill up the bowl then, fill it high,

Fill all the glasses there; for why

Should every creature drink but I?

Why, man of morals, tell me why?