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Poem by Thomas Moore
From “The Odes of Anacreon”. Ode 38
Let us drain the nectar’d bowl, Let us raise the song of soul To him, the god who loves so well The nectar’d bowl, the choral swell; The god who taught the sons of earth To thread the tangled dance of mirth; Him, who was nursed with infant Love, And cradled in the Paphian grove; Him, that the snowy Queen of Charms So oft has fondled in her arms. 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 my imbibe the spicy breath Of odours 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 nectar’s bowl, And swell the choral song of soul To him, the god who loves so well The nectar’s bowl, the choral swell!
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