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



With wine my bodily defects make good:
Tincture my amber visage with its blood;
With rosy wine my last ablutions make,
And build my coffin of the Vine's sweet wood.


O Shah! thy brows were crown'd by Destiny,
That saddl'd thine imperial steed for thee;
And where thy charger plants his golden hoof
Thine abject slaves a gilded footprint see.


Imaginary Love, a vain conceit,
Like to a fire half-dead, gives little heat.
A lover true with constant fervour burns,
To him nor peace, nor food, nor sleep, is sweet.


The tangled secrets of Eternity
Remain unsolv'd; and Time and Space are free
From Man's control; both ignorant and wise
Stand impotent before Infinity.


Restrain thy worldly tastes, and live content,
Careless alike of Good and Evil sent;
Take wine and kisses, ere it be too late,
For few such days remain to thee unspent.


The Heavens rain down their benefits divine,
Their blossom-gifts in every garden shine;
I pour red wine into this lily-cup,
As purple clouds pour down sweet jessamine.


For wine, good men athirst will always pant
But to such trifles God no thought will grant;
He knew, before He made me, I should drink:
And, if I drink not, was He ignorant?


Let not the Veil of Sorrow shroud thy face,
Nor in thy life let idle grief find place;
But feast on books, and love, and Nature's joys,
Ere Earth enfold thee in her last embrace.


Drink Wine, that heals all woes, and thou shalt yet
The seventy-two contentious sects forget;
Shun not that Alchemist, who in the Cup
A draught to cure a thousand ills hath set.


Is wine an evil? Tell me first who drinks,
How much he thirsts, with whom his glass he clinks?
If these conditions three be meetly fill'd,
No son of Wisdom from the grape-juice shrinks.

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