Invitation to the Dance

Spread the board with linen snow,
Bid ivy and the laurel grow
Over it, and with them twine
The green branches of the vine.
Bring great baskets that shall hold
Cytisus and the marigold,
Cassia and starwort bring
And crocuses, till everything,
Couch and sideboard, all shall be
A garland of perfumery.
Then with balsam-perfumed hand
Smooth disheveled locks; and stand
Frankincense about, to rise —
An Arabian sacrifice —
Smoking to the lofty roof.

Next, let darkness be a proof
That our lamps with day may vie,
Glittering from the chamber's sky.
Only in their bowls be spilled
Oil nor grease, but have them filled
With such odorous balm as came
From the east to give them flame.
Then bid loaded servants bring
Viands that shall please a king,
Bowing underneath the weight
Of chased silver rich and great.
Last, in bowl and patera
And in caudron mingle a
Portion of Falernian wine
With due nard, while roses shine
Wreathed about the cup and round
The cup's tripod. We'll confound —
Where the garlands sway in grace
From vase to alabaster vase —
All the measures of the dance;
And our languid limbs shall glance
In a mazy, Maenad play. —
Step and voice shall Bacchus sway,
And in garment let each man
Be a Dionysian!
Author of original: 
Apollinaris Sidonius
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