Odes of Anacreon - Ode 36


I F 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;
And mine, while yet I've life to live,
Those joys that love alone can give.
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