From a Literal Prose Translation by Edward Heron-Allen
Done into verse
Arthur B Talbot
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Index 1 - 8 9 - 18 19 - 28 29 - 38 39 - 48
49 - 58 59 - 68 69 - 78 79 - 88 89 - 98 99 - 108
109 - 118 119 - 128 129 - 138 139 - 148 149 - 158 Home



Wine is a melted ruby, and the cup
The mine from which we mortals dig it up;
The cup the body, and the wine the soul:
How many tears lie hidden where we sup?


Whether my destin'd fate shall be to dwell
Midst Heaven's joys or in the fires of Hell
I know not; here with Spring, and bread, and wine,
And thee, my love, my heart says "All is well."


The joy of pain that Fate's decrees allow,
The good or ill inscribed upon Man's brow;
Impute them not unto the Heavens above,
For heaven is ruled by Fate as much as thou.


If in thy heart the seed of Love is plac'd,
No day of all thy life can run to waste;
Whether for God's approval thou dost strive,
Or on the joys of Earth hast set thy taste.


Where'er the Rose or Tulip scents the air,
The life-blood of a King has ebb'd forth there;
And every Violet that decks the Earth
Was once a mole upon a cheek so fair.


Be wise: thou canst not see what Fate portends;
Be arm'd against the sharpened sword she sends;
Feast not upon the sweets she offers thee,
For poison with the sugar oft she blends.


My empty purse on wine must cast the blame:
My kisses, love, have robbed thee of thy fame;
Some pledge themselves to faith in Heav'n or Hell:
But who hath been to Hell? From Heav'n who came?


O thou, whose cheek is modell'd like the Rose,
No brighter eye far Cathay's idol shows;
Thy glance hath taught the Shah of Babylon
Each move that Life's eventful chessboard knows.


Who cares for Balkh or Baghdad? Life is fleet;
And what though bitter be the cup, or sweet,
So it be full? This moon, when we are gone,
The circling months will day by day repeat.


For, those who from the date its vintage take,
And they who all night long devotions make,
All are submerg'd, not one remains on Earth,
All are asleep: One only is awake.

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