To Live Merrily, and to Trust to Good Verses


Now is the time for mirth;
     Nor cheek or tongue be dumb;
     For with [the] flowery earth
     The golden pomp is come.

     The golden pomp is come;
     For now each tree does wear,
     Made of her pap and gum,
     Rich beads of amber here.

     Now reigns the Rose, and now
     Th' Arabian dew besmears
     My uncontrolled brow,
     And my retorted hairs.

     Homer, this health to thee!
     In sack of such a kind,
     That it would make thee see,
     Though thou wert ne'er so blind

     Next, Virgil I'll call forth,
     To pledge this second health
     In wine, whose each cup's worth
     An Indian commonwealth.

     A goblet next I'll drink
     To Ovid; and suppose
     Made he the pledge, he'd think
     The world had all one nose.

     Then this immensive cup
     Of aromatic wine,
     Catullus!  I quaff up
     To that terse muse of thine.

     Wild I am now with heat:
     O Bacchus!  cool thy rays;
     Or frantic I shall eat
     Thy Thyrse, and bite the Bays!

     Round, round, the roof does run;
     And being ravish'd thus,
     Come, I will drink a tun
     To my Propertius.

     Now, to Tibullus next,
     This flood I drink to thee;
     —But stay, I see a text,
     That this presents to me.

     Behold!  Tibullus lies
     Here burnt, whose small return
     Of ashes scarce suffice
     To fill a little urn.

     Trust to good verses then;
     They only will aspire,
     When pyramids, as men,
     Are lost i' th' funeral fire.

     And when all bodies meet
     In Lethe to be drown'd;
     Then only numbers sweet
     With endless life are crown'd.


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