Odes of Anacreon - Ode 8


I CARE not for the idle state
Of Persia's king, the rich, the great:
I envy not the monarch's throne,
Nor wish the treasured gold my own.
But oh! be mine the rosy wreath,
Its freshness o'er my brow to breathe;
Be mine the rich perfumes that flow,
To cool and scent my locks of snow.
To-day I'll haste to quaff my wine,
As if to-morrow ne'er would shine;
But if to-morrow comes, why then —
I'll haste to quaff my wine again.
And thus while all our days are bright,
Nor time has dimmed their bloomy light,
Let us the festal hours beguile
With mantling cup and cordial smile;
And shed from each new bowl of wine
The richest drop on Bacchus' shrine
For death may come, with brow unpleasant,
May come, when least we wish him present,
And beckon to the sable shore,
And grimly bid us — drink no more!
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