by Anacreon (c582BCE - c485BCE)
Translation by Thomas Moore (1779 - 1852)

Language: English  after the Greek (Ελληνικά) 
Let us drain the nectared bowl,
Let us raise the song of soul
To him, the god who loves so well
The nectared bowl, the choral swell;
The god who taught the sons of earth
To thread the tangled dance of mirth;
Him, who was nurst with infant Love,
And cradled in the Paphian grove;
Him, that the Snowy Queen of Charms
So oft has fondled in her arms.
Oh 'tis from him the transport flows,
Which sweet intoxication knows;
With him, the brow forgets its gloom,
And brilliant graces learn to bloom.

Behold!--my boys a goblet bear,
Whose sparkling foam lights up the air.
Where are now the tear, the sigh?
To the winds they fly, they fly!
Grasp the bowl; in nectar sinking,
Man of sorrow, drown thy thinking!
Say, can the tears we lend to thought
In life's account avail us aught?
Can we discern with all our lore,
The path we've yet to journey o'er?
Alas, alas, in ways so dark,
'Tis only wine can strike a spark!

Then let me quaff the foamy tide,
And through the dance meandering glide;
Let me imbibe the spicy breath
Of odors chafed to fragrant death;
Or from the lips of love inhale
A more ambrosial, richer gale!
To hearts that court the phantom Care,
Let him retire and shroud him there;
While we exhaust the nectared bowl,
And swell the choral song of soul
To him, the god who loves so well
The nectared bowl, the choral swell!


Based on:

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2007-11-22
Line count: 38
Word count: 250