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



The voice that haunts thy peace, within thy brain
A hundred times a day sings this refrain:-
"Thou livest but a moment, and art not
Like herbs which, gathered once, spring up again."


The Slaves of Intellect in talk persist;
Die, arguing does this or that exist;
Fools eat dry raisins 'til their souls become
Sour grapes; but wise men on New Wine insist.


The Universe gained nothing from my birth,
Nor will my going cause it any dearth
Of dignity or beauty. None can say
Why I should come to, or why leave, the Earth.


To Love's effacement this our life we trust,
And into Fate's strong talons we are thrust;
Then rouse thyself, O sweet-faced Cupbearer,
Bring me a draught, for long shall I be dust!


Our happiness is but an empty sign:
One old and faithful friend we have - New Wine;
Stretch out the merry hand unto the cup,
'Tis all the Good within thy reach or mine!


Whate'er the Pen hath written stands for aye:
Afflictions's sword the grieving heart will slay;
Though all thy life with anguish thou art wrung,
The forward march of Fate thou canst not stay.


O Heart! Seek not the frail ones for awhile,
And cease with Love existence to beguile!
Frequent the house of them that beg and pray,
Perchance on thee such holy ones may smile.


The stars that yon great firmament adorn
Have birth and death, and yet again are born
And in the skirt of Heaven, the womb of Earth,
Are they whom God will yet bring to the morn.


The hypocrites who make Belief a law,
'Twixt Soul and Body nice distinctions draw;
But I would still maintain my faith in Wine,
Though in the goblet Death himself I saw.


The circling planets, that in space abound,
The brains of our most learnèd ones confound;
Hold fast the Cord, for they that make thee spin,
Themselves with giddiness will turn around!

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