Sunday, November 30, 2014


Bumpers in Honor of the Poets

Robert Herrick (1591-1674), "To live merrily, and to trust to Good Verses," lines 13-52, in The Complete Poetry of Robert Herrick, edd. Tom Cain and Ruth Connolly, Vol. I (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 76-77:
Homer, this Health to thee,
    In Sack of such a kind,
That it wo'd make thee see,                15
    Though thou wert ne'r so blind.

Next, Virgil, Ile call forth,
    To pledge this second Health
In Wine, whose each cup's worth
    An Indian Common-wealth.                20

A Goblet next Ile drink
    To Ovid; and suppose,
Made he the pledge, he'd think
    The world had all one Nose.

Then this immensive cup                25
    Of Aromatike wine,
Catullus, I quaff up
    To that Terce Muse of thine.

Wild I am now with heat;
    O Bacchus! cool thy Raies!                30
Or frantick I shall eate
    Thy Thyrse, and bite the Bayes.

Round, round, the roof do's run;
    And being ravisht thus,
Come, I will drink a Tun                35
    To my Propertius.

Now, to Tibullus, next,
    This flood I drink to thee:
But stay; I see a Text,
    That this presents to me.                40

Behold, Tibullus lies
    Here burnt, whose smal return
Of ashes, scarce suffice
    To fill a little Urne.

Trust to good Verses then;                45
    They onely will aspire,
When Pyramids, as men,
    Are lost i' th' funerall fire.

And when all Bodies meet
    In Lethe to be drown'd;                50
Then onely Numbers sweet,
    With endless life are crown'd.
Hat tip: Ian Jackson.

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