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The Rhyme Maker
picture of medieval scribe
Unknown Medieval Poet
c. 12th Century


Theme:  Carpe Diem


NOTES:
The indentions in this poem indicate the continuation of a line beyond the parameters allowed on this web page.  Compare with the printable version.
- S. H. Bass  


more Wine Poems of Medieval Europe at vintagewinepoems.com

A Sequence In Praise Of Wine
(Symonds)
Come, sweetheart, come
(Waddell)  
The Abbot Adam of Angers
(Waddell)
The standing corn is green
by Sedulius Scottus      
     (Waddell)

There's No Lust Like To Poetry
(Symonds)

Poems with multiple translations:
Bacchic Frenzy
(Symonds)
To you, consummate drinkers
(Waddell)

The Confession of Golias
(Symonds)
The Confession Of The Archpoet
(Waddell)


Medieval Latin Lyrics (1928)
by Helen Waddell

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Dancing Girl of Syria
Unknown Medieval Poet (c. 5th century)
translated by Helen Waddell (1889-1965), English poet


Dancing girl of Syria, her hair caught up with a fillet:
Very subtle in swaying those quivering flanks of hers
In time to the Castanet's rattle: half-drunk in the smoky tavern,
She dances, lascivious, wanton, clashing the rhythm.
And what's the use, if you're tired, of being out in the dust and
the heat,
When you might as well lie still and get drunk on your settle?
Here's tankards and cups and measures and roses and pipes and
fiddles
And a trellis-arbor cool with its shade of reeds,
And somewhere somebody piping as if it were Pan's own grotto,
On a shepherd's flute, the way they do in the fields.
And here's a thin little wine, just poured from a cask that is pitchy,
And a brook running by with the noise and gurgle of running water.

There's even garlands for you, violet wreaths and saffron,
And golden melilot twining with crimson roses,
And lilies plucked where they grow by the virgin river,
Achelois brings them in green willow baskets –
And little cheeses for you that they dry in baskets of rushes,
And plums that ripen in the autumn weather,
And chestnuts, and the cheerful red of apples.
In brief, here's Ceres, Love, and rowdy Bacchus
And red-stained blackberries, and grapes in bunches, –
And hanging from his withe sea-green cucumber.
And here's the little god who keeps the arbor,
Fierce with his sickle and enormous belly.
Hither, O pilgrim ! See, the little donkey
Is tired and wistful. Spare the little donkey!
Did not a goddess love a little donkey?


It's very hot.
Cicadas out in the trees are shrilling, ear-splitting,
The very lizard is hiding for coolness under his hedge.
If you have sense you'll lie still and drench yourself from your
wine cup,
Or maybe you prefer the look of your wine in crystal?
Heigh ho, but it's good to lie here under the vines,
And bind on your heavy head a garland of roses,
And reap the scarlet lips of a pretty girl
You be damned, you there with your Puritan eye-brows!
What thanks will cold ashes give for the sweetness of garlands?
Or is it your mind to hang a rose wreath upon your tombstone?
Set down the wine and the dice, and perish who thinks of to-morrow!
Here's Death twitching my ear, "Live," says he, "for I'm coming."

from Medieval Latin Lyrics (1928)


       
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