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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 Poet’s Choice
By Anacreon (582–485 B.C.)
 
Translation of Thomas Moore

IF hoarded gold possessed a power
To lengthen life’s too fleeting hour,
And purchase from the hand of death
A little span, a moment’s breath,
How I would love the precious ore!        5
And every day should swell my store;
That when the fates would send their minion,
To waft me off on shadowy pinion,
I might some hours of life obtain,
And bribe him back to hell again.        10
But since we ne’er can charm away
The mandate of that awful day,
Why do we vainly weep at fate,
And sigh for life’s uncertain date?
The light of gold can ne’er illume        15
The dreary midnight of the tomb!
And why should I then pant for treasures?
Mine be the brilliant round of pleasures;
The goblet rich, the hoard of friends,
Whose flowing souls the goblet blends!        20
 
 
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