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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 II

By Anacreon (582–485 B.C.)

Translation of Thomas Moore

I CARE not for the idle state

Of Persia’s king, the rich, the great!

I envy not the monarch’s throne,

Nor wish the treasured gold my own.

But oh! be mine the rosy braid,

The fervor of my brows to shade;

Be mine the odors, richly sighing,

Amid my hoary tresses flying.

To-day I’ll haste to quaff my wine,

As if to-morrow ne’er should shine;

But if to-morrow comes, why then—

I’ll haste to quaff my wine again.

And thus while all our days are bright,

Nor time has dimmed their bloomy light,

Let us the festal hours beguile

With mantling cup and cordial smile;

And shed from every bowl of wine

The richest drop on Bacchus’s shrine!

For Death may come, with brow unpleasant,

May come when least we wish him present,

And beckon to the sable shore,

And grimly bid us—drink no more!