THE sun sets out the autumn crocuses And fills them up a pouring measure Of death-producing wine, till treasure Runs waste down their chalices. All, all Persephone's pale cups of mould Are on the board, are over-filled; The portion to the gods is spilled; Now, mortals all, take hold! The time is now, the wine-cup full and full Of lambent heaven, a pledging-cup; Let now all mortal men take up The drink, and a long, strong pull. Out of the hell-queen's cup, the heaven's pale wine— Drink then, invisible heroes, drink. Lips to the vessels, never shrink, Throats to the heavens incline. And take within the wine the god's great oath By heaven and earth and hellish stream To break this sick and nauseous dream We writhe and lust in, both. Swear, in the pale wine poured from the cups of the queen Of hell, to wake and be free From this nightmare we writhe in, Break out of this foul has-been.
Featured in our collection, Drink Poems