Verse > Anthologies > Ralph Waldo Emerson, ed. > Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry
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Ralph Waldo Emerson, comp. (1803–1882).  Parnassus: An Anthology of Poetry.  1880.
 
To Live Merrily, and to Trust to Good Verses
By Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
 
NOW is the time for mirth,
  Nor cheek or tongue be dumb;
For the flowry earth,
  The golden pomp is come.
 
The golden pomp is come;        5
  For now each tree does wear,
Made of her pap and gum,
  Rich beads of amber here.
 
Now reigns the Rose, and now
  The Arabian dew besmears        10
My uncontrollèd brow,
  And my retorted hairs.
 
Homer! this health to thee,
  In sack of such a kind,
That it would make thee see,        15
  Though thou wert ne’er so blind.
 
Next, Virgil I’ll call forth,
  To pledge this second health
In wine, whose each cup’s worth
  An Indian commonwealth.        20
 
A goblet next I’ll drink
  To Ovid; and suppose
Made he the pledge, he’d think
  The world had all one nose.
 
Then this immensive cup        25
  Of aromatic wine,
Catullus, I quaff up
  To that terse muse of thine.
 
Wild I am now with heat,
  O Bacchus! cool thy rays;        30
Or frantic I shall eat
  Thy Thyrse, and bite the Bays.
 
Round, round, the roof does run;
  And being ravisht thus,
Come, I will drink a tun        35
  To my Propertius.
 
Now, to Tibullus next,
  This flood I drink to thee;
But stay, I see a text,
  That this presents to me.        40
 
Behold! Tibullus lies
  Here burnt, whose small return
Of ashes scarce suffice
  To fill a little urn.
 
Trust to good verses then;        45
  They only will aspire,
When pyramids, as men,
  Are lost in the funeral fire.
 
And when all bodies meet
  In Lethe, to be drowned;        50
Then only numbers sweet,
  With endless life are crowned.
 
 
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