Ad Nepotem
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), Scottish poet
edited by S.H. Bass (b. 1956), American writer/poet

O Nepos, twice my neighbor (here at home,
door-by-door, we share Flora's temple dome;
and in the country, still conjoined by fate,
behold our villas standing gate by gate!):

Thou hast a daughter, dearer far than life –
made in thy image and that of thy wife.
But why for her, neglect the flowing bin
and lose the prime of thy Falernian?

Hoard casks of money, if to hoard be thine,
but let thy daughter drink a younger wine!
Let her grow rich and wise, in silk and fur;
Lay down a vintage to grow old with her.

And thou, meantime, while this batch remains sound,
with pleased companions, pass the bowl around.
Let not the childless only taste delights,
for fathers also may enjoy their nights.

from New Poems by Robert Louis Stevenson (1918)

courtesy of