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The Complete Poems of Sir Thomas Moore by Thomas Moore et al

Part 2 out of 33

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[1] Dryden has parodied this thought in the following extravagant lines:--
----I'm all o'er Love;
Nay, I am Love, Love shot, and shot so fast,
He shot himself into my breast at last.


Count me, on the summer trees,
Every leaf that courts the breeze;
Count me, on the foamy deep,
Every wave that sinks to sleep;
Then, when you have numbered these
Billowy tides and leafy trees,
Count me all the flames I prove,
All the gentle nymphs I love.
First, of pure Athenian maids
Sporting in their olive shades,
You may reckon just a score,
Nay, I'll grant you fifteen more.
In the famed Corinthian grove,
Where such countless wantons rove,[2]
Chains of beauties may be found,
Chains, by which my heart is bound;
There, indeed, are nymphs divine,
Dangerous to a soul like mine.
Many bloom in Lesbos' isle;
Many in Ionia smile;
Rhodes a pretty swarm can boast;
Caria too contains a host.
Sum them all--of brown and fair
You may count two thousand there.
What, you stare? I pray you peace!
More I'll find before I cease.
Have I told you all my flames,
'Mong the amorous Syrian dames?
Have I numbered every one,
Glowing under Egypt's sun?
Or the nymphs, who blushing sweet
Deck the shrine of Love in Crete;
Where the God, with festal play,
Holds eternal holiday?
Still in clusters, still remain
Gades' warm, desiring train:[3]
Still there lies a myriad more
On the sable India's shore;
These, and many far removed,
All are loving--all are loved!

[1] The poet, in this catalogue of his mistresses, means nothing more,
than, by a lively hyperbole, to inform us, that his heart, unfettered by
any one object, was warm with devotion towards the sex in general. Cowley
is indebted to this ode for the hint of his ballad, called "The

[2] Corinth was very famous for the beauty and number of its courtesans.
Venus was the deity principally worshipped by the people, and their
constant prayer was, that the gods should increase the number of her

[3] The music of the Gaditanian females had all the voluptuous character
of their dancing, as appears from Martial.

ODE XV.[1]

Tell me, why, my sweetest dove,
Thus your humid pinions move,
Shedding through the air in showers
Essence of the balmiest flowers?
Tell me whither, whence you rove,
Tell me all, my sweetest dove.

Curious stranger, I belong
To the bard of Teian song;
With his mandate now I fly
To the nymph of azure eye;--
She, whose eye has maddened many,
But the poet more than any,
Venus, for a hymn of love,
Warbled in her votive grove,[2]
('Twas, in sooth a gentle lay,)
Gave me to the bard away.
See me now his faithful minion,--
Thus with softly-gliding pinion,
To his lovely girl I bear
Songs of passion through the air.
Oft he blandly whispers me,
"Soon, my bird, I'll set you free."
But in vain he'll bid me fly,
I shall serve him till I die.
Never could my plumes sustain
Ruffling winds and chilling rain,
O'er the plains, or in the dell,
On the mountain's savage swell,
Seeking in the desert wood
Gloomy shelter, rustic food.
Now I lead a life of ease,
Far from rugged haunts like these.
From Anacreon's hand I eat
Food delicious, viands sweet;
Flutter o'er his goblet's brim,
Sip the foamy wine with him.
Then, when I have wantoned round
To his lyre's beguiling sound;
Or with gently moving-wings
Fanned the minstrel while he sings;
On his harp I sink in slumbers,
Dreaming still of dulcet numbers!

This is all--away--away--
You have made me waste the day.
How I've chattered! prating crow
Never yet did chatter so.

[1] The dove of Anacreon, bearing a letter from the poet to his mistress,
is met by a stranger, with whom this dialogue, is imagined.

[2] "This passage is invaluable, and I do not think that anything so
beautiful or so delicate has ever been said. What an idea does it give of
the poetry of the man, from whom Venus herself, the mother of the Graces
and the Pleasures, purchases a little hymn with one of her favorite


Thou, whose soft and rosy hues
Mimic form and soul infuse,
Best of painters, come portray
The lovely maid that's far away.
Far away, my soul! thou art,
But I've thy beauties all by heart.
Paint her jetty ringlets playing,
Silky locks, like tendrils straying;[2]
And, if painting hath the skill
To make the spicy balm distil,
Let every little lock exhale
A sigh of perfume on the gale.
Where her tresses' curly flow
Darkles o'er the brow of snow,
Let her forehead beam to light,
Burnished as the ivory bright.
Let her eyebrows smoothly rise
In jetty arches o'er her eyes,
Each, a crescent gently gliding,
Just commingling, just dividing.

But, hast thou any sparkles warm,
The lightning of her eyes to form?
Let them effuse the azure rays,
That in Minerva's glances blaze,
Mixt with the liquid light that lies
In Cytherea's languid eyes.
O'er her nose and cheek be shed
Flushing white and softened red;
Mingling tints, as when there glows
In snowy milk the bashful rose.
Then her lip, so rich in blisses,
Sweet petitioner for kisses,
Rosy nest, where lurks Persuasion,
Mutely courting Love's invasion.
Next, beneath the velvet chin,
Whose dimple hides a Love within,
Mould her neck with grace descending,
In a heaven of beauty ending;
While countless charms, above, below,
Sport and flutter round its snow.
Now let a floating, lucid veil,
Shadow her form, but not conceal;[3]
A charm may peep, a hue may beam
And leave the rest to Fancy's dream.
Enough--'tis she! 'tis all I seek;
It glows, it lives, it soon will speak!

[1] This ode and the next may be called companion-pictures; they are
highly finished, and give us an excellent idea of the taste of the
ancients in beauty.

[2] The ancients have been very enthusiastic in their praises of the
beauty of hair. Apuleius, in the second book of his Milesiacs, says that
Venus herself, if she were bald, though surrounded by the Graces and the
Loves, could not be pleasing even to her husband Vulcan.

[3] This delicate art of description, which leaves imagination to complete
the picture, has been seldom adopted in the imitations of this beautiful
poem. Ronsard is exceptionally minute; and Politianus, in his charming
portrait of a girl, full of rich and exquisite diction, has lifted the
veil rather too much. The "_questa che tu m'intendi_" should be always
left to fancy.


And now with all thy pencil's truth,
Portray Bathyllus, lovely youth!
Let his hair, in masses bright,
Fall like floating rays of light;
And there the raven's die confuse
With the golden sunbeam's hues.
Let no wreath, with artful twine.
The flowing of his locks confine;
But leave them loose to every breeze,
To take what shape and course they please.
Beneath the forehead, fair as snow,
But flushed with manhood's early glow,
And guileless as the dews of dawn,
Let the majestic brows be drawn,
Of ebon hue, enriched by gold,
Such as dark, shining snakes unfold.
Mix in his eyes the power alike,
With love to win, with awe to strike;
Borrow from Mars his look of ire,
From Venus her soft glance of fire;
Blend them in such expression here,
That we by turns may hope and fear!

Now from the sunny apple seek
The velvet down that spreads his cheek;
And there, if art so far can go,
The ingenuous blush of boyhood show.
While, for his mouth--but no,--in vain
Would words its witching charm explain.
Make it the very seat, the throne,
That Eloquence would claim her own;
And let the lips, though silent, wear
A life-look, as if words were there.

Next thou his ivory neck must trace,
Moulded with soft but manly grace;
Fair as the neck of Paphia's boy,
Where Paphia's arms have hung in joy.
Give him the winged Hermes' hand,
With which he waves his snaky wand;
Let Bacchus the broad chest supply,
And Leda's son the sinewy thigh;
While, through his whole transparent frame,
Thou show'st the stirrings of that flame,
Which kindles, when the first love-sigh
Steals from the heart, unconscious why.

But sure thy pencil, though so bright,
Is envious of the eye's delight,
Or its enamoured touch would show
The shoulder, fair as sunless snow,
Which now in veiling shadow lies,
Removed from all but Fancy's eyes.
Now, for his feet--but hold--forbear--
I see the sun-god's portrait there:[1]
Why paint Bathyllus? when in truth,
There, in that god, thou'st sketched the youth.
Enough--let this bright form be mine,
And send the boy to Samos' shrine;
Phoebus shall then Bathyllus be,
Bathyllus then, the deity!

[1] The abrupt turn here is spirited, but requires some explanation. While
the artist is pursuing the portrait of Bathyllus, Anacreon, we must
suppose, turns around and sees a picture of Apollo, which was intended for
an altar at Samos. He then instantly tells the painter to cease his work;
that this picture will serve for Bathyllus; and that, when he goes to
Samos, he may make an Apollo of the portrait of the boy which he had


Now the star of day is high,
Fly, my girls, in pity fly.
Bring me wine in brimming urns
Cool my lip, it burns, it burns!
Sunned by the meridian fire,
Panting, languid I expire,
Give me all those humid flowers,
Drop them o'er my brow in showers.
Scarce a breathing chaplet now
Lives upon my feverish brow;
Every dewy rose I wear
Sheds its tears, and withers there.[1]
But to you, my burning heart,
What can now relief impart?
Can brimming bowl, or floweret's dew,
Cool the flame that scorches you?

[1] In the poem of Mr. Sheridan's, "Uncouth is this moss-covered grotto of
stone," there is an idea very singularly coincident with this of

And thou, stony grot, in thy arch may'st preserve
Some lingering drops of the night-fallen dew:
Let them fall on her bosom of snow, and they'll serve
As tears of my sorrow entrusted to you.


Here recline you, gentle maid,
Sweet is this embowering shade;
Sweet the young, the modest trees,
Ruffled by the kissing breeze;
Sweet the little founts that weep,
Lulling soft the mind to sleep;
Hark! they whisper as they roll,
Calm persuasion to the soul;
Tell me, tell me, is not this
All a stilly scene of bliss?
"Who, my girl, would pass it by?
Surely neither you nor I."

[1] The description of this bower is so natural and animated, that we
almost feel a degree of coolness and freshness while we peruse it.

ODE XX.[1]

One day the Muses twined the hands
Of infant Love with flowery bands;
And to celestial Beauty gave
The captive infant for her slave.
His mother comes, with many a toy,
To ransom her beloved boy;[2]
His mother sues, but all in vain,--
He ne'er will leave his chains again.
Even should they take his chains away,
The little captive still would stay.
"If this," he cries, "a bondage be,
Oh, who could wish for liberty?"

[1] The poet appears, in this graceful allegory, to describe the softening
influence which poetry holds over the mind, in making it peculiarly
susceptible to the impressions of beauty.

[2] In the first idyl of Moschus, Venus there proclaims the reward for her
fugitive child:--

On him, who the haunts of my Cupid can show,
A kiss of the tenderest stamp I'll bestow;
But he, who can bring back the urchin in chains,
Shall receive even something more sweet for his pains.


Observe when mother earth is dry,
She drinks the droppings of the sky;
And then the dewy cordial gives
To every thirsty plant that lives.
The vapors, which at evening weep,
Are beverage to the swelling deep;
And when the rosy sun appears,
He drinks the ocean's misty tears.
The moon too quaffs her paly stream
Of lustre, from the solar beam.
Then, hence with all your sober thinking!
Since Nature's holy law is drinking;
I'll make the laws of nature mine,
And pledge the universe in wine.

[1] Those critics who have endeavored to throw the chains of precision
over the spirit of this beautiful trifle, require too much from
Anacreontic philosophy. Among others, Gail very sapiently thinks that the
poet uses the epithet [Greek: melainae], because black earth absorbs
moisture more quickly than any other; and accordingly he indulges us with
an experimental disquisition on the subject.--See Gail's Notes.


The Phrygian rock, that braves the storm,
Was once a weeping matron's form;[1]
And Progne, hapless, frantic maid,
Is now a swallow in the shade.
Oh! that a mirror's form were mine,
That I might catch that smile divine;
And like my own fond fancy be,
Reflecting thee, and only thee;
Or could I be the robe which holds
That graceful form within its folds;
Or, turned into a fountain, lave
Thy beauties in my circling wave.
Would I were perfume for thy hair,
To breathe my soul in fragrance there;
Or, better still, the zone, that lies
Close to thy breast, and feels its sighs![2]
Or even those envious pearls that show
So faintly round that neck of snow--
Yes, I would be a happy gem,
Like them to hang, to fade like them.
What more would thy Anacreon be?
Oh, any thing that touches thee;
Nay, sandals for those airy feet--
Even to be trod by them were sweet!

[1] The compliment of this ode is exquisitely delicate, and so singular
for the period in which Anacreon lived, when the scale of love had not yet
been graduated Into all its little progressive refinements, that if we
were inclined to question the authenticity of the poem, we should find a
much more plausible argument in the features of modern gallantry which it
bears, than in any of those fastidious conjectures upon which some
commentators have presumed so far.

[2] The women of Greece not only wore this zone, but condemned themselves
to fasting, and made use of certain drugs and powders for the same
purpose. To these expedients they were compelled, in consequence of their
inelegant fashion of compressing the waist into a very narrow compass,
which necessarily caused an excessive tumidity in the bosom. See
"Dioscorides," lib. v.


I often wish this languid lyre,
This warbler of my soul's desire,
Could raise the breath of song sublime,
To men of fame, in former time.
But when the soaring theme I try,
Along the chords my numbers die,
And whisper, with dissolving tone,
"Our sighs are given to love alone!"
Indignant at the feeble lay,
I tore the panting chords away,
Attuned them to a nobler swell,
And struck again the breathing shell;
In all the glow of epic fire,
To Hercules I wake the lyre,
But still its fainting sighs repeat,
"The tale of love alone is sweet!"
Then fare thee well, seductive dream,
That madest me follow Glory's theme;
For thou my lyre, and thou my heart,
Shall never more in spirit part;
And all that one has felt so well
The other shall as sweetly tell!


To all that breathe the air of heaven,
Some boon of strength has Nature given.
In forming the majestic bull,
She fenced with wreathed horns his skull;
A hoof of strength she lent the steed,
And winged the timorous hare with speed.
She gave the lion fangs of terror,
And, o'er the ocean's crystal mirror,
Taught the unnumbered scaly throng
To trace their liquid path along;
While for the umbrage of the grove,
She plumed the warbling world of love.

To man she gave, in that proud hour,
The boon of intellectual power.
Then, what, oh woman, what, for thee,
Was left in Nature's treasury?
She gave thee beauty--mightier far
Than all the pomp and power of war.
Nor steel, nor fire itself hath power
Like woman, in her conquering hour.
Be thou but fair, mankind adore thee,
Smile, and a world is weak before thee![1]

[1] Longepierre's remark here is ingenious; "The Romans," says he, "were
so convinced of the power of beauty, that they used a word implying
strength in the place of the epithet beautiful".


Once in each revolving year,
Gentle bird! we find thee here.
When Nature wears her summer-vest,
Thou comest to weave thy simple nest;
But when the chilling winter lowers.
Again thou seekest the genial bowers
Of Memphis, or the shores of Nile,
Where sunny hours for ever smile.
And thus thy pinion rests and roves,--
Alas! unlike the swarm of Loves,
That brood within this hapless breast,
And never, never change their nest!
Still every year, and all the year,
They fix their fated dwelling here;
And some their infant plumage try,
And on a tender winglet fly;
While in the shell, impregned with fires,
Still lurk a thousand more desires;
Some from their tiny prisons peeping,
And some in formless embryo sleeping.
Thus peopled, like the vernal groves,
My breast resounds, with warbling Loves;
One urchin imps the other's feather,
Then twin-desires they wing together,
And fast as they thus take their flight,
Still other urchins spring to light.
But is there then no kindly art,
To chase these Cupids from my heart;
Ah, no! I fear, in sadness fear,
They will for ever nestle here!


Thy harp may sing of Troy's alarms,
Or tell the tale of Theban arms;
With other wars my song shall burn,
For other wounds my harp shall mourn.
'Twas not the crested warrior's dart,
That drank the current of my heart;
Nor naval arms, nor mailed steed,
Have made this vanquished bosom bleed;
No--'twas from eyes of liquid blue,
A host of quivered Cupids flew;[1]
And now my heart all bleeding lies
Beneath that army of the eyes!

[1] The poets abound with conceits on the archery of the eyes, but few
have turned the thought so naturally as Anacreon. Ronsard gives to the
eyes of his mistress _un petit camp d'amours_.


We read the flying courser's name
Upon his side, in marks of flame;
And, by their turbaned brows alone,
The warriors of the East are known.
But in the lover's glowing eyes,
The inlet to his bosom lies;
Through them we see the small faint mark,
Where Love has dropt his burning spark!


As, by his Lemnian forge's flame,
The husband of the Paphian dame
Moulded the glowing steel, to form
Arrows for Cupid, thrilling warm;
And Venus, as he plied his art,
Shed honey round each new-made dart,
While Love, at hand, to finish all,
Tipped every arrow's point with gall;
It chanced the Lord of Battles came
To visit that deep cave of flame.
'Twas from the ranks of war he rushed,
His spear with many a life-drop blushed;
He saw the fiery darts, and smiled
Contemptuous at the archer-child.
"What!" said the urchin, "dost thou smile?
Here, hold this little dart awhile,
And thou wilt find, though swift of flight,
My bolts are not so feathery light."

Mars took the shaft--and, oh, thy look,
Sweet Venus, when the shaft he took!--
Sighing, he felt the urchin's art,
And cried, in agony of heart,
"It is not light--I sink with pain!
Take--take thy arrow back again."
"No," said the child, "it must not be;
That little dart was made for thee!"


Yes--loving is a painful thrill,
And not to love more painful still
But oh, it is the worst of pain,
To love and not be loved again!
Affection now has fled from earth,
Nor fire of genius, noble birth,
Nor heavenly virtue, can beguile,
From beauty's cheek one favoring smile.
Gold is the woman's only theme,
Gold is the woman's only dream.
Oh! never be that wretch forgiven--
Forgive him not, indignant heaven!
Whose grovelling eyes could first adore,
Whose heart could pant for sordid ore.
Since that devoted thirst began,
Man has forgot to feel for man;
The pulse of social life is dead,
And all its fonder feelings fled!
War too has sullied Nature's charms,
For gold provokes the world to arms;
And oh! the worst of all its arts,
It renders asunder loving hearts.


'Twas in a mocking dream of night--
I fancied I had wings as light
As a young birds, and flew as fleet;
While Love, around whose beauteous feet,
I knew not why, hung chains of lead,
Pursued me, as I trembling fled;
And, strange to say, as swift as thought,
Spite of my pinions, I was caught!
What does the wanton Fancy mean
By such a strange, illusive scene?
I fear she whispers to my breast,
That you, sweet maid, have stolen its rest;
That though my fancy, for a while,
Hath hung on many a woman's smile,
I soon dissolved each passing vow,
And ne'er was caught by love till now!

[1] Barnes imagines from this allegory, that our poet married very late in
life. But I see nothing in the ode which alludes to matrimony, except it
be the lead upon the feet of Cupid; and I agree in the opinion of Madame
Dacier, in her life of the poet, that he was always too fond of pleasure
to marry.


Armed with hyacinthine rod,
(Arms enough for such a god,)
Cupid bade me wing my pace,
And try with him the rapid race.
O'er many a torrent, wild and deep,
By tangled brake and pendent steep.
With weary foot I panting flew,
Till my brow dropt with chilly dew.
And now my soul, exhausted, dying,
To my lip was faintly flying;
And now I thought the spark had fled,
When Cupid hovered o'er my head,
And fanning light his breezy pinion,
Rescued my soul from death's dominion;[2]
Then said, in accents half-reproving.
"Why hast thou been a foe to loving?"

[1] The design of this little fiction is to intimate, that much greater
pain attends insensibility than can ever result from the tenderest
impressions of love.

[2] "The facility with which Cupid recovers him, signifies that the sweets
of love make us easily forget any solicitudes which he may occasion."--LA


Strew me a fragrant bed of leaves,
Where lotus with the myrtle weaves;
And while in luxury's dream I sink,
Let me the balm of Bacchus drink!
In this sweet hour of revelry
Young Love shall my attendant be--
Drest for the task, with tunic round
His snowy neck and shoulders bound,
Himself shall hover by my side,
And minister the racy tide!

Oh, swift as wheels that kindling roll,
Our life is hurrying to the goal;
A scanty dust, to feed the wind,
Is all the trace 'twill leave behind.
Then wherefore waste the rose's bloom
Upon the cold, insensate tomb?
Can flowery breeze, or odor's breath,
Affect the still, cold sense of death?
Oh no; I ask no balm to steep
With fragrant tears my bed of sleep:
But now, while every pulse is glowing,
Now let me breathe the balsam flowing;
Now let the rose, with blush of fire,
Upon my brow in sweets expire;
And bring the nymph whose eye hath power
To brighten even death's cold hour.
Yes, Cupid! ere my shade retire,
To join the blest elysian choir;
With wine, and love, and social cheer,
I'll make my own elysium here!

[1] We here have the poet, in his true attributes, reclining upon myrtles,
with Cupid for his cup-bearer. Some interpreters have ruined the picture
by making [Greek: Eros] the name of his slave. None but Love should fill
the goblet of Anacreon. Sappho, in one of her fragments, has assigned this
office to Venus.

Hither, Venus, queen of kisses.
This shall be the night of blisses;
This the night, to friendship dear.
Thou shalt be our Hebe here.
Fill the golden brimmer high,
Let it sparkle like thine eye;
Bid the rosy current gush.
Let it mantle like thy blush.
Goddess, hast thou e'er above
Seen a feast so rich in love?
Not a soul that is not mine!
Not a soul that is not thine!


'Twas noon of night, when round the pole
The sullen Bear is seen to roll;
And mortals, wearied with the day,
Are slumbering all their cares away;
An infant, at that dreary hour,
Came weeping to my silent bower,
And waked me with a piteous prayer,
To shield him from the midnight air.
"And who art thou," I waking cry,
"That bid'st my blissful visions fly?"
"Ah, gentle sire!" the infant said,
"In pity take me to thy shed;
Nor fear deceit; a lonely child
I wander o'er the gloomy wild.
Chill drops the rain, and not a ray
Illumes the drear and misty way!"

I heard the baby's tale of woe:
I heard the bitter night-winds blow;
And sighing for his piteous fate,
I trimmed my lamp and oped the gate.
'Twas Love! the little wandering sprite,
His pinion sparkled through the night,
I knew him by his bow and dart;
I knew him by my fluttering heart.
Fondly I take him in, and raise
The dying embers' cheering blaze;
Press from his dank and clinging hair
The crystals of the freezing air,
And in my hand and bosom hold
His little fingers thrilling cold.

And now the embers' genial ray,
Had warmed his anxious fears away;
"I pray thee," said the wanton child,
(My bosom trembled as he smiled,)
"I pray thee let me try my bow,
For through the rain I've wandered so,
That much I fear the midnight shower
Has injured its elastic power."
The fatal bow the urchin drew;
Swift from the string the arrow flew;
As swiftly flew as glancing flame,
And to my inmost spirit came!
"Fare thee well," I heard him say
As laughing wild he winged away,
"Fare thee well, for now I know
The rain has not relaxt my bow;
It still can send a thrilling dart,
As thou shalt own with all thy heart!"


Oh thou, of all creation blest,
Sweet insect, that delight'st to rest
Upon the wild wood's leafy tops,
To drink the dew that morning drops,
And chirp thy song with such a glee,
That happiest kings may envy thee.
Whatever decks the velvet field,
Whate'er the circling seasons yield,
Whatever buds, whatever blows,
For thee it buds, for thee it grows.
Nor yet art thou the peasant's fear,
To him thy friendly notes are dear;
For thou art mild as matin dew;
And still, when summer's flowery hue
Begins to paint the bloomy plain,
We hear thy sweet prophetic strain;
Thy sweet prophetic strain we hear,
And bless the notes and thee revere!
The Muses love thy shrilly tone;
Apollo calls thee all his own;
'Twas he who gave that voice to thee,
'Tis he who tunes thy minstrelsy.

Unworn by age's dim decline,
The fadeless blooms of youth are thine.
Melodious insect, child of earth,
In wisdom mirthful, wise in mirth;
Exempt from every weak decay,
That withers vulgar frames away;
With not a drop of blood to stain,
The current of thy purer vein;
So blest an age is past by thee,
Thou seem'st--a little deity!

[1] In a Latin ode addressed to the grasshopper, Rapin has preserved some
of the thoughts of our author:--

Oh thou, that on the grassy bed
Which Nature's vernal hand has spread,
Reclinest soft, and tunest thy song,
The dewy herbs and leaves among!
Whether thou lyest on springing flowers
Drunk with the balmy morning-showers
Or, etc.


Cupid once upon a bed
Of roses laid his weary head;
Luckless urchin not to see
Within the leaves a slumbering bee;
The bee awaked--with anger wild
The bee awaked, and stung the child.
Loud and piteous are his cries;
To Venus quick he runs, he flies;
"Oh mother!--I am wounded through--
I die with pain--in sooth I do!
Stung by some little angry thing,
Some serpent on a tiny wing--
A bee it was--for once, I know,
I heard a rustic call it so."
Thus he spoke, and she the while,
Heard him with a soothing smile;
Then said, "My infant, if so much
Thou feel the little wild-bee's touch,
How must the heart, ah, Cupid be,
The hapless heart that's stung by thee!"

[1] Theocritus has imitated this beautiful ode in his nineteenth idyl; but
is very inferior, I think, to his original, in delicacy of point and
naivete of expression. Spenser, in one of his smaller compositions, has
sported more diffusely on the same subject. The poem to which I allude
begins thus:--

Upon a day, as Love lay sweetly slumbering
All in his mother's lap;
A gentle bee, with his loud trumpet murmuring,
About him flew by hap, etc.


If hoarded gold possest the power
To lengthen life's too fleeting hour,
And purchase from the hand of death
A little span, a moment's breath,
How I would love the precious ore!
And every hour should swell my store;
That when death came, with shadowy pinion,
To waft me to his bleak dominion,
I might, by bribes, my doom delay,
And bid him call some distant day.
But, since not all earth's golden store
Can buy for us one bright hour more,
Why should we vainly mourn our fate,
Or sigh at life's uncertain date?
Nor wealth nor grandeur can illume
The silent midnight of the tomb.
No--give to others hoarded treasures--
Mine be the brilliant round of pleasures--
The goblet rich, the board of friends,
Whose social souls the goblet blends;[2]
And mine, while yet I've life to live,
Those joys that love alone can give.

[1] Fontenelle has translated this ode, in his dialogue between Anacreon
and Aristotle in the shades, where, on weighing the merits of both these
personages, he bestows the prize of wisdom upon the poet.

[2] The goblet rich, the board of friends.
Whose social soul the goblet blends.

This communion Of friendship, which sweetened the bowl of Anacreon, has
not been forgotten by the author of the following scholium, where the
blessings of life are enumerated with proverbial simplicity:

Of mortal blessing here the first is health,
And next those charms by which the eye we move;
The third is wealth, unwounding guiltless wealth,
And then, sweet intercourse with those we love!


'Twas night, and many a circling bowl
Had deeply warmed my thirsty soul;
As lulled in slumber I was laid,
Bright visions o'er my fancy played.
With maidens, blooming as the dawn,
I seemed to skim the opening lawn;
Light, on tiptoe bathed in dew,
We flew, and sported as we flew!

Some ruddy striplings, who lookt on--
With cheeks that like the wine-god's shone,
Saw me chasing, free and wild,
These blooming maids, and slyly smiled;
Smiled indeed with wanton glee,
Though none could doubt they envied me.
And still I flew--and now had caught
The panting nymphs, and fondly thought
To gather from each rosy lip
A kiss that Jove himself might sip--
When sudden all my dream of joys,
Blushing nymphs and laughing boys,
All were gone!--"Alas!" I said,
Sighing for the illusion fled,
"Again, sweet sleep, that scene restore,
Oh! let me dream it o'er and o'er!"[1]

[1] Dr. Johnson, in his preface to Shakespeare, animadverting upon the
commentators of that poet, who pretended, in every little coincidence of
thought, to detect an imitation of some ancient poet, alludes in the
following words to the line of Anacreon before us: "I have been told that
when Caliban, after a pleasing dream says, 'I cried to sleep again,' the
author imitates Anacreon, who had, like any other man, the same wish on
the same occasion."


Let us drain the nectared bowl,
Let us raise the song of soul
To him, the god who loves so well
The nectared bowl, the choral swell;
The god who taught the sons of earth
To thread the tangled dance of mirth;
Him, who was nurst with infant Love,
And cradled in the Paphian grove;
Him, that the Snowy Queen of Charms
So oft has fondled in her arms.
Oh 'tis from him the transport flows,
Which sweet intoxication knows;
With him, the brow forgets its gloom,
And brilliant graces learn to bloom.

Behold!--my boys a goblet bear,
Whose sparkling foam lights up the air.
Where are now the tear, the sigh?
To the winds they fly, they fly!
Grasp the bowl; in nectar sinking,
Man of sorrow, drown thy thinking!
Say, can the tears we lend to thought
In life's account avail us aught?
Can we discern with all our lore,
The path we've yet to journey o'er?
Alas, alas, in ways so dark,
'Tis only wine can strike a spark!

Then let me quaff the foamy tide,
And through the dance meandering glide;
Let me imbibe the spicy breath
Of odors chafed to fragrant death;
Or from the lips of love inhale
A more ambrosial, richer gale!
To hearts that court the phantom Care,
Let him retire and shroud him there;
While we exhaust the nectared bowl,
And swell the choral song of soul
To him, the god who loves so well
The nectared bowl, the choral swell!


How I love the festive boy,
Tripping through the dance of joy!
How I love the mellow sage,
Smiling through the veil of age!
And whene'er this man of years
In the dance of joy appears,
Snows may o'er his head be flung,
But his heart--his heart is young.


I know that Heaven hath sent me here,
To run this mortal life's career;
The scenes which I have journeyed o'er,
Return no more--alas! no more!
And all the path I've yet to go,
I neither know nor ask to know.
Away, then, wizard Care, nor think
Thy fetters round this soul to link;
Never can heart that feels with me
Descend to be a slave to thee!
And oh! before the vital thrill,
Which trembles at my heart is still,
I'll gather Joy's luxuriant flowers,
And gild with bliss my fading hours;
Bacchus shall bid my winter bloom,
And Venus dance me to the tomb!


When Spring adorns the dewy scene,
How sweet to walk the velvet green,
And hear the west wind's gentle sighs,
As o'er the scented mead it flies!
How sweet to mark the pouting vine,
Ready to burst in tears of wine;
And with some maid, who breathes but love,
To walk, at noontide, through the grove,
Or sit in some cool, green recess--
Oh, is this not true happiness?


Yes, be the glorious revel mine,
Where humor sparkles from the wine.
Around me, let the youthful choir
Respond to my enlivening lyre;
And while the red cup foams along,
Mingle in soul as well as song.
Then, while I sit, with flowerets crowned,
To regulate the goblets round.
Let but the nymph, our banquet's pride,
Be seated smiling by my side,
And earth has not a gift or power
That I would envy, in that hour.
Envy!--oh never let its blight
Touch the gay hearts met here tonight.
Far hence be slander's sidelong wounds,
Nor harsh dispute, nor discord's sounds
Disturb a scene, where all should be
Attuned to peace and harmony.

Come, let us hear the harp's gay note
Upon the breeze inspiring float,
While round us, kindling into love,
Young maidens through the light dance move.
Thus blest with mirth, and love, and peace,
Sure such a life should never cease!

[1] The character of Anacreon is here very strikingly depicted. His love
of social, harmonized pleasures, is expressed with a warmth, amiable and


While our rosy fillets shed
Freshness o'er each fervid head,
With many a cup and many a smile
The festal moments we beguile.
And while the harp, impassioned flings
Tuneful rapture from its strings,[1]
Some airy nymph, with graceful bound,
Keeps measure to the music's sound;
Waving, in her snowy hand,
The leafy Bacchanalian wand,
Which, as the tripping wanton flies,
Trembles all over to her sighs.
A youth the while, with loosened hair,
Floating on the listless air,
Sings, to the wild harp's tender tone,
A tale of woe, alas, his own;
And oh, the sadness in his sigh.
As o'er his lips the accents die!
Never sure on earth has been
Half so bright, so blest a scene.
It seems as Love himself had come
To make this spot his chosen home;--[2]
And Venus, too, with all her wiles,
And Bacchus, shedding rosy smiles,
All, all are here, to hail with me
The Genius of Festivity!

[1] Respecting the barbiton a host of authorities may be collected, which,
after all, leave us ignorant of the nature of the instrument. There is
scarcely any point upon which we are so totally uninformed as the music of
the ancients. The authors extant upon the subject are, I imagine, little
understood; and certainly if one of their moods was a progression by
quarter-tones, which we are told was the nature of the enharmonic scale,
simplicity was by no means the characteristic of their melody; for this is
a nicety of progression of which modern music is not susceptible. The
invention of the barbiton is, by Athenaeus, attributed to Anacreon.

[2] The introduction of these deities to the festival is merely
allegorical. Madame Dacier thinks that the poet describes a masquerade,
where these deities were personated by the company in masks. The
translation will conform with either idea.


Buds of roses, virgin flowers,
Culled from Cupid's balmy bowers,
In the bowl of Bacchus steep,
Till with crimson drops they weep.
Twine the rose, the garland twine,
Every leaf distilling wine;
Drink and smile, and learn to think
That we were born to smile and drink.
Rose, thou art the sweetest flower
That ever drank the amber shower;
Rose, thou art the fondest child
Of dimpled Spring, the wood-nymph wild.
Even the Gods, who walk the sky,
Are amorous of thy scented sigh.
Cupid, too, in Paphian shades,
His hair with rosy fillets braids,
When with the blushing sister Graces,
The wanton winding dance he traces.
Then bring me, showers of roses bring,
And shed them o'er me while I sing.
Or while, great Bacchus, round thy shrine,
Wreathing my brow with rose and vine,
I lead some bright nymph through the dance,
Commingling soul with every glance!

[1] This spirited poem is a eulogy on the rose; and again, in the fifty-
fifth ode, we shall find our author rich in the praises of that flower. In
a fragment of Sappho, in the romance of Achilles Tatius, to which Barnes
refers us, the rose is fancifully styled "the eye of flowers;" and the
same poetess, in another fragment, calls the favors of the Muse "the roses
of the Pleria."


Within this goblet, rich and deep,
I cradle all my woes to sleep.
Why should we breathe the sigh of fear,
Or pour the unavailing tear?
For death will never heed the sigh,
Nor soften at the tearful eye;
And eyes that sparkle, eyes that weep,
Must all alike be sealed in sleep.
Then let us never vainly stray,
In search of thorns, from pleasure's way;
But wisely quaff the rosy wave,
Which Bacchus loves, which Bacchus gave;
And in the goblet, rich and deep,
Cradle our crying woes to sleep.


Behold, the young, the rosy Spring,
Gives to the breeze her scented wing:
While virgin Graces, warm with May;
Fling roses o'er her dewy way.
The murmuring billows of the deep
Have languished into silent sleep;
And mark! the flitting sea-birds lave
Their plumes in the reflecting wave;
While cranes from hoary winter fly
To flutter in a kinder sky.
Now the genial star of day
Dissolves the murky clouds away;
And cultured field, and winding stream,
Are freshly glittering in his beam.

Now the earth prolific swells
With leafy buds and flowery bells;
Gemming shoots the olive twine,
Clusters ripe festoon the vine;
All along the branches creeping,
Through the velvet foliage peeping,
Little infant fruits we see,
Nursing into luxury.

[1] The fastidious affectation of some commentators has denounced this ode
as spurious. Degen pronounces the four last lines to be the patch-work of
some miserable versificator, and Brunck condemns the whole ode. It appears
to me, on the contrary, to be elegantly graphical: full of delicate
expressions and luxuriant imagery.


'Tis true, my fading years decline,
Yet can I quaff the brimming wine,
As deep as any stripling fair,
Whose cheeks the flush of morning wear;
And if, amidst the wanton crew,
I'm called to wind the dance's clue,
Then shalt thou see this vigorous hand,
Not faltering on the Bacchant's wand,
But brandishing a rosy flask,
The only thyrsus e'er I'll ask![1]

Let those, who pant for Glory's charms,
Embrace her in the field of arms;
While my inglorious, placid soul
Breathes not a wish beyond this bowl.
Then fill it high, my ruddy slave,
And bathe me in its brimming wave.
For though my fading years decay,
Though manhood's prime hath past away,
Like old Silenus, sire divine,
With blushes borrowed from my wine.
I'll wanton mid the dancing train,
And live my follies o'er again!

[1] Phornutus assigns as a reason for the consecration of the thyrsus to
Bacchus, that inebriety often renders the support of a stick very


When my thirsty soul I steep,
Every sorrow's lulled to sleep.
Talk of monarchs! I am then
Richest, happiest, first of men;
Careless o'er my cup I sing,
Fancy makes me more than king;
Gives me wealthy Croesus' store,
Can I, can I wish for more?
On my velvet couch reclining,
Ivy leaves my brow entwining,[1]
While my soul expands with glee,
What are kings and crowns to me?
If before my feet they lay,
I would spurn them all away;
Arm ye, arm ye, men of might,
Hasten to the sanguine fight;
But let _me_, my budding vine!
Spill no other blood than thine.
Yonder brimming goblet see,
That alone shall vanquish me--
Who think it better, wiser far
To fall in banquet than in war,

[1] "The ivy was consecrated to Bacchus [says Montfaucon], because he
formerly lay hid under that tree, or as others will have it, because its
leaves resemble those of the vine." Other reasons for its consecration,
and the use of it in garlands at banquets, may be found in Longepierre,
Barnes, etc.


When Bacchus, Jove's immortal boy,
The rosy harbinger of joy,
Who, with the sunshine of the bowl,
Thaws the winter of our soul--
When to my inmost core he glides,
And bathes it with his ruby tides,
A flow of joy, a lively heat,
Fires my brain, and wings my feet,
Calling up round me visions known
To lovers of the bowl alone.

Sing, sing of love, let music's sound
In melting cadence float around,
While, my young Venus, thou and I
Responsive to its murmurs sigh.
Then, waking from our blissful trance,
Again we'll sport, again we'll dance.

ODE L.[1]

When wine I quaff, before my eyes
Dreams of poetic glory rise;[2]
And freshened by the goblet's dews,
My soul invokes the heavenly Muse,
When wine I drink, all sorrow's o'er;
I think of doubts and fears no more;
But scatter to the railing wind
Each gloomy phantom of the mind.
When I drink wine, the ethereal boy,
Bacchus himself, partakes my joy;
And while we dance through vernal bowers,
Whose every breath comes fresh from flowers,
In wine he makes my senses swim,
Till the gale breathes of naught but him!

Again I drink,--and, lo, there seems
A calmer light to fill my dreams;
The lately ruffled wreath I spread
With steadier hand around my head;
Then take the lyre, and sing "how blest
The life of him who lives at rest!"
But then comes witching wine again,
With glorious woman in its train;
And, while rich perfumes round me rise,
That seem the breath of woman's sighs,
Bright shapes, of every hue and form.
Upon my kindling fancy swarm,
Till the whole world of beauty seems
To crowd into my dazzled dreams!
When thus I drink, my heart refines,
And rises as the cup declines;
Rises in the genial flow,
That none but social spirits know,
When, with young revellers, round the bowl,
The old themselves grow young in soul!
Oh, when I drink, true joy is mine,
There's bliss in every drop of wine.
All other blessings I have known,
I scarcely dared to call my own;
But this the Fates can ne'er destroy,
Till death o'ershadows all my joy.

[1] Faber thinks this ode spurious; but, I believe, he is singular in his
opinion. It has all the spirit of our author. Like the wreath which he
presented in the dream, "it smells of Anacreon."

[2] Anacreon is not the only one [says Longepierre] whom wine has inspired
with poetry. We find an epigram in the first book of the "Anthologia,"
which begins thus:--

If with water you fill up your glasses,
You'll never write anything wise;
For wine's the true horse of Parnassus.
Which carries a bard to the skies!


Fly not thus my brow of snow,
Lovely wanton! fly not so.
Though the wane of age is mine,
Though youth's brilliant flush be thine,
Still I'm doomed to sigh for thee,
Blest, if thou couldst sigh for me!
See, in yonder flowery braid,
Culled for thee, my blushing maid,[1]
How the rose, of orient glow,
Mingles with the lily's snow;
Mark, how sweet their tints agree,
Just, my girl, like thee and me!

[1] In the same manner that Anacreon pleads for the whiteness of his
locks, from the beauty of the color in garlands, a shepherd, in
Theocritus, endeavors to recommend his black hair.


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!

[1] "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.


When I behold the festive train
Of dancing youth, I'm young again!
Memory wakes her magic trance,
And wings me lightly through the dance.
Come, Cybeba, smiling maid!
Cull the flower and twine the braid;
Bid the blush of summer's rose
Burn upon my forehead's snows;
And let me, while the wild and young
Trip the mazy dance along,
Fling my heap of years away,
And be as wild, as young as they.
Hither haste, some cordial, soul!
Help to my lips the brimming bowl;
And you shall see this hoary sage
Forget at once his locks and age.
He still can chant the festive hymn,
He still can kiss the goblet's brim;[1]
As deeply quaff, as largely fill,
And play the fool right nobly still.

[1] Wine is prescribed by Galen, as an excellent medicine for old men:
"_Quod frigidos et humbribus expletos calefaciut_," etc.; but Nature was
Anacreon's physician.

There is a proverb in Eriphus, as quoted by Athenaeus, which says, "that
wine makes an old man dance, whether he will or not."

ODE. LIV.[1]

Methinks, the pictured bull we see
Is amorous Jove--it must be he!
How fondly blest he seems to bear
That fairest of Phoenician fair!
How proud he breasts the foamy tide,
And spurns the billowy surge aside!
Could any beast of vulgar vein,
Undaunted thus defy the main?
No: he descends from climes above,
He looks the God, he breathes of Jove!

[1] "This ode is written upon., a picture which represented the rape, of

It may probably have been a description of one of those coins, which the
Sidonians struck off in honor of Europa, representing a woman carried
across the sea by a bull. In the little treatise upon the goddess of
Syria, attributed very' falsely to Lucian, there is mention of this coin,
and of a temple dedicated by the Sidonians to Astarte, whom some, it
appears, confounded with Europa.

ODE LV.[1]

While we invoke the wreathed spring,
Resplendent rose! to thee we'll sing;
Resplendent rose, the flower of flowers,
Whose breath perfumes the Olympian bowers;
Whose virgin blush, of chastened dye,
Enchants so much our mortal eye.
When pleasure's spring-tide season glows.
The Graces love to wreathe the rose;
And Venus, in its fresh-blown leaves,
An emblem of herself perceives.
Oft hath the poet's magic tongue
The rose's fair luxuriance sung;
And long the Muses, heavenly maids,
Have reared it in their tuneful shades.
When, at the early glance of morn,
It sleeps upon the glittering thorn,
'Tis sweet to dare the tangled fence
To cull the timid floweret thence,
And wipe with tender hand away
The tear that on its blushes lay!
'Tis sweet to hold the infant stems,
Yet dropping with Aurora's gems,
And fresh inhale the spicy sighs
That from the weeping buds arise.

When revel reigns, when mirth is high,
And Bacchus beams in every eye,
Our rosy fillets scent exhale,
And fill with balm the fainting gale.
There's naught in nature bright or gay,
Where roses do not shed their ray.
When morning paints the orient skies,
Her fingers burn with roseate dyes;[2]
Young nymphs betray; the Rose's hue,
O'er whitest arms it kindles thro'.
In Cytherea's form it glows,
And mingles with the living snows.

The rose distils a healing balm,
The beating pulse of pain to calm;
Preserves the cold inurned clay,[3]
And mocks the vestige of decay:
And when, at length, in pale decline,
Its florid beauties fade and pine,
Sweet as in youth, its balmy breath
Diffuses odor even in death!
Oh! whence could such a plant have sprung?
Listen,--for thus the tale is sung.
When, humid, from the silvery stream,
Effusing beauty's warmest beam,
Venus appeared, in flushing hues,
Mellowed by ocean's briny dews;
When, in the starry courts above,
The pregnant brain of mighty Jove
Disclosed the nymph of azure glance,
The nymph who shakes the martial lance;--
Then, then, in strange eventful hour,
The earth produced an infant flower,
Which sprung, in blushing glories drest.
And wantoned o'er its parent breast.
The gods beheld this brilliant birth,
And hailed the Rose, the boon of earth!
With nectar drops, a ruby tide,
The sweetly orient buds they dyed,[4]
And bade them bloom, the flowers divine
Of him who gave the glorious vine;
And bade them on the spangled thorn
Expand their bosoms to the morn.

[1] This ode is a brilliant panegyric on the rose. "All antiquity [says
Barnes] has produced nothing more beautiful."

From the idea of peculiar excellence, which the ancients attached to this
flower, arose a pretty proverbial expression, used by Aristophanes,
according to Suidas "You have spoken roses."

[2] In the original here, he enumerates the many epithets of beauty,
borrowed from roses, which were used by the poets. We see that poets were
dignified in Greece with the title of sages: even the careless Anacreon,
who lived but for love and voluptuousness, was called by Plato the wise
Anacreon--_fuit haec sapienta quondam_.

[3] He here alludes to the use of the rose in embalming; and, perhaps (as
Barnes thinks), to the rosy unguent with which Venus anointed the corpse
of Hector.

[4] The author of the "Pervigilium Veneris" (a poem attributed to
Catullus, the style of which appears to me to have all the labored
luxuriance of a much later period) ascribes the tincture of the rose to
the blood from the wound of Adonis.


He, who instructs the youthful crew
To bathe them in the brimmer's dew,
And taste, uncloyed by rich excesses,
All the bliss that wine possesses;
He, who inspires the youth to bound
Elastic through the dance's round,--
Bacchus, the god again is here,
And leads along the blushing year;
The blushing year with vintage teems,
Ready to shed those cordial streams,
Which, sparkling in the cup of mirth,
Illuminate the sons of earth![1]

Then, when the ripe and vermil wine,--
Blest infant of the pregnant vine,
Which now in mellow clusters swells,--
Oh! when it bursts its roseate cells,
Brightly the joyous stream shall flow,
To balsam every mortal woe!
None shall be then cast down or weak,
For health and joy shall light each cheek;
No heart will then desponding sigh,
For wine shall bid despondence fly.
Thus--till another autumn's glow
Shall bid another vintage flow.

[1] Madame Dacier thinks that the poet here had the nepenthe of Homer in
his mind. Odyssey, lib. iv. This nepenthe was a something of exquisite
charm, infused by Helen into the wine of her guests, which had the power
of dispelling every anxiety. A French writer, De Mere, conjectures that
this spell, which made the bowl so beguiling, was the charm of Helen's
conversation. See Bayle, art. Helene.


Whose was the artist hand that spread
Upon this disk the ocean's bed?
And, in a flight of fancy, high
As aught on earthly wing can fly,
Depicted thus, in semblance warm,
The Queen of Love's voluptuous form
Floating along the silvery sea
In beauty's naked majesty!
Oh! he hath given the enamoured sight
A witching banquet of delight,
Where, gleaming through the waters clear,
Glimpses of undreamt charms appear,
And all that mystery loves to screen,
Fancy, like Faith, adores unseen.[2]

Light as a leaf, that on the breeze
Of summer skims the glassy seas,
She floats along the ocean's breast,
Which undulates in sleepy rest;
While stealing on, she gently pillows
Her bosom on the heaving billows.
Her bosom, like the dew-washed rose,
Her neck, like April's sparkling snows,
Illume the liquid path she traces,
And burn within the stream's embraces.
Thus on she moves, in languid pride,
Encircled by the azure tide,
As some fair lily o'er a bed
Of violets bends its graceful head.

Beneath their queen's inspiring glance,
The dolphins o'er the green sea dance,
Bearing in triumph young Desire,
And infant Love with smiles of fire!
While, glittering through the silver waves,
The tenants of the briny caves
Around the pomp their gambols play,
And gleam along the watery way.

[1] This ode is a very animated description of a picture of Venus on a
discus, which represented the goddess in her first emergence from the
waves. About two centuries after our poet wrote, the pencil of the artist
Apelles embellished this subject, in his famous painting of the Venus
Anadyomene, the model of which, as Pliny informs us, was the beautiful
Campaspe, given to him by Alexander; though, according to Natalis Comes,
lib. vii. cap. 16., it was Phryne who sat to Apelles for the face and
breast of this Venus.

[2] The picture here has all the delicate character of the semi-reducta
Venus, and affords a happy specimen of what the poetry of passion
_ought_ to be--glowing but through a veil, and stealing upon the heart
from concealment. Few of the ancients have attained this modesty of
description, which, like the golden cloud that hung over Jupiter and Juno,
is impervious to every beam but that of fancy.


When Gold, as fleet as zephyr's' pinion,
Escapes like any faithless minion,[1]
And flies me (as he flies me ever),[2]
Do I pursue him? never, never!
No, let the false deserter go,
For who would court his direst foe?
But when I feel my lightened mind
No more by grovelling gold confined,
Then loose I all such clinging cares,
And cast them to the vagrant airs.
Then feel I, too, the Muse's spell,
And wake to life the dulcet shell,
Which, roused once more, to beauty sings,
While love dissolves along the strings!

But, scarcely has my heart been taught
How little Gold deserves a thought,
When, lo! the slave returns once more,
And with him wafts delicious store
Of racy wine, whose genial art
In slumber seals the anxious heart.
Again he tries my soul to sever
From love and song, perhaps forever!

Away, deceiver! why pursuing
Ceaseless thus my heart's undoing?
Sweet is the song of amorous fire.
Sweet the sighs that thrill the lyre;
Oh! sweeter far than all the gold
Thy wings can waft, thy mines can hold.
Well do I know thy arts, thy wiles--
They withered Love's young wreathed smiles;
And o'er his lyre such darkness shed,
I thought its soul of song was fled!
They dashed the wine-cup, that, by him,
Was filled with kisses to the brim.[3]
Go--fly to haunts of sordid men,
But come not near the bard again.
Thy glitter in the Muse's shade,
Scares from her bower the tuneful maid;
And not for worlds would I forego
That moment of poetic glow,
When my full soul, in Fancy's stream,
Pours o'er the lyre, its swelling theme.
Away, away! to worldlings hence,
Who feel not this diviner sense;
Give gold to those who love that pest,--
But leave the poet poor and blest.

[1] There is a kind of pun in these words, as Madame Dacier has already
remarked; for Chrysos, which signifies gold, was also a frequent name for
a slave. In one of Lucian's dialogues, there is, I think, a similar play
upon the word, where the followers of Chrysippus are called golden fishes.
The puns of the ancients are, in general, even more vapid than our own;
some of the best are those recorded of Diogenes.

[2] This grace of iteration has already been taken notice of. Though
sometimes merely a playful beauty, it is peculiarly expressive of
impassioned sentiment, and we may easily believe that it was one of the
many sources of that energetic sensibility which breathed through the
style of Sappho.

[3] Horace has _Desiderique temperare poculum_, not figuratively, however,
like Anacreon, but importng the love-philtres of the witches. By "cups of
kisses" our poet may allude to a favorite gallantry among the ancients, of
drinking when the lips of their mistresses had touched the brim;--

"Or leave a kiss within the cup And I'll not ask for wine."

As In Ben Jonson's translation from Philostratus; and Lucian has a conceit
upon the same idea, "that you may at once both drink and kiss."


Ripened by the solar beam,
Now the ruddy clusters teem,
In osier baskets borne along
By all the festal vintage throng
Of rosy youths and virgins fair,
Ripe as the melting fruits they bear.
Now, now they press the pregnant grapes,
And now the captive stream escapes,
In fervid tide of nectar gushing.
And for its bondage proudly blushing
While, round the vat's impurpled brim,
The choral song, the vintage hymn
Of rosy youths and virgins fair,
Steals on the charmed and echoing air.
Mark, how they drink, with all their eyes,
The orient tide that sparkling flies,
The infant Bacchus, born in mirth,
While Love stands by, to hail the birth.

When he, whose verging years decline
As deep into the vale as mine,
When he inhales the vintage-cup,
His feet, new-winged, from earth spring up,
And as he dances, the fresh air
Plays whispering through his silvery hair.
Meanwhile young groups whom love invites,
To joys even rivalling wine's delights,
Seek, arm in arm, the shadowy grove,
And there, in words and looks of love,
Such as fond lovers look and say,
Pass the sweet moonlight hours away.

ODE LX.[1]

Awake to life, my sleeping shell,
To Phoebus let thy numbers swell;
And though no glorious prize be thine,
No Pythian wreath around thee twine,
Yet every hour is glory's hour
To him who gathers wisdom's flower.
Then wake thee from thy voiceless slumbers,
And to the soft and Phrygian numbers,
Which, tremblingly, my lips repeat,
Send echoes, from thy chord as sweet.
'Tis thus the swan, with fading notes,
Down the Cayster's current floats,
While amorous breezes linger round,
And sigh responsive sound for sound.

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