A Jar Of Wine
Horace (65-8 bce), Roman poet
translation by Eugene Field (1850-1895), American poet
O gracious jar, – my friend, my twin,
Born at the time when I was born, –
Whether tomfoolery you inspire
Or animate with love's desire,
Or flame the soul with bitter scorn,
Or lull to sleep, O jar of mine!
Come from your place this festal day;
Corvinus hither wends his way,
And there's demand for wine!
Corvinus is the sort of man
Who dotes on tedious argument.
An advocate, his ponderous pate
Is full of Blackstone and of Kent;
Yet not insensible is he,
O genial Massic flood! to thee.
Why, even Cato used to take
A modest, surreptitious nip
At meal-times for his stomach's sake,
Or to forfend la grippe.
How dost thou melt the stoniest hearts,
And bare the cruel knave's design;
How through thy fascinating arts
We discount Hope, O gracious wine!
And passing rich the poor man feels
As through his veins thy affluence steals.
Now, prithee, make us frisk and sing,
And plot full many a naughty plot
With damsels fair – nor shall we care
Whether school keeps or not!
And whilst thy charms hold out to burn
We shall not deign to go to bed,
But we shall paint creation red;
So fill, sweet wine, this friend of mine, –
My lawyer friend, as aforesaid.
from Echoes From The Sabine Farm by Roswell Martin Field And Eugene Field (1899)
courtesy of vintagewinepoems.com