When the cardoon flowers
Hesiod (c. 8th century bce), Greek poet
translation by T. F. Higham

When the cardoon flowers and the loud cicada sings
Perched on a tree, pouring from under his wings
A flood of shrillest music time and again:
When summer is ripe, and the heat a burden of pain,
Then are the she-goats fattest, and wine is best
And women most fair; but men are languidest,
For Sirius parches the heads and knees of men
And burns their bodies with drouth. O give me then
The shade of a rock, with Biblis' wine set by,
And bread of the best, and the milk of goats drained dry!
Then be a heifer chosen to make my meat
That has not calved but feeds in the greenwood yet,
And firstling kids! Bright wine for my plenishment
I'd drink, in the shade, when food has brought content;
And then, as I sit, briskly the West should blow
Meeting my brow; and from the unsullied flow
Of some spring-water for ever running past
Three cups to the gods I'd pour: of wine a last.



courtesy of  vintagewinepoems.com