Autumn Sunshine


Autumn Sunshine
Peter Ykens, Pieter Spierinckx, Orpheus Playing the Lyre to Hades and Persephone, 1685

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
  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


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Return to the D. H. Lawrence library , or . . . Read the next poem; Birdcage Walk

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