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

Away, away, ye men of rules
Language: English  after the Greek (Ελληνικά) 
Away, away, ye men of rules,
What have I do with schools?
They'd make me learn, they'd make me think,
But would they make me love and drink?
Teach me this, and let me swim
My soul upon the goblet's brim;
Teach me this, and let me twine
Some fond, responsive heart to mine,
For, age begins to blanch my brow,
I've time for naught but pleasure now.

Fly, and cool, my goblet's glow
At yonder fountain's gelid flow;
I'll quaff, my boy, and calmly sink
This soul to slumber as I drink.
Soon, too soon, my jocund slave,
You'll deck your master's grassy grave;
And there's an end--for ah, you know
They drink but little wine below!

About the headline (FAQ)

Moore's note: "This is doubtless the work of a more modern poet than Anacreon; for at the period when he lived rhetoricians were not known."--DEGEN.

Though this ode is found in the Vatican manuscript, I am much inclined to agree in this argument against its authenticity: for though the dawnings of the art of rhetoric might already have appeared, the first who gave it any celebrity was. Corax of Syracuse, and he flourished in the century after Anacreon.


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)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

Text added to the website: 2010-04-20 00:00:00
Last modified: 2014-06-16 10:03:39
Line count: 18
Word count: 118