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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Epicure
By Anacreon (582–485 B.C.)
 
Translation of Abraham Cowley

I
FILL the bowl with rosy wine!
Around our temples roses twine!
And let us cheerfully awhile,
Like the wine and roses, smile.
Crowned with roses, we contemn        5
Gyges’ wealthy diadem.
To-day is ours, what do we fear?
To-day is ours; we have it here:
Let’s treat it kindly, that it may
Wish, at least, with us to stay.        10
Let’s banish business, banish sorrow;
To the gods belongs to-morrow.
 
II
UNDERNEATH this myrtle shade,
On flowery beds supinely laid,
With odorous oils my head o’erflowing,        15
And around it roses growing,
What should I do but drink away
The heat and troubles of the day?
In this more than kingly state
Love himself shall on me wait.        20
Fill to me, Love, nay fill it up;
And, mingled, cast into the cup
Wit, and mirth, and noble fires,
Vigorous health, and gay desires.
The wheel of life no less will stay        25
In a smooth than rugged way:
Since it equally doth flee,
Let the motion pleasant be.
Why do we precious ointments show’r?
Noble wines why do we pour?        30
Beauteous flowers why do we spread,
Upon the monuments of the dead?
Nothing they but dust can show,
Or bones that hasten to be so.
Crown me with roses while I live,        35
Now your wines and ointments give
After death I nothing crave;
Let me alive my pleasures have,
All are Stoics in the grave.
 
 
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