To you, consummate drinkers
Unknown Medieval Poet (c. 13th Century)
translated by Helen Waddell (1889-1965), English poet

To you, consummate drinkers,
Though little be your drought,
Good speed be to your tankards,
And send the wine about.
Let not the full decanter
Sleep on its round,
And my unheard-of banter
In wit abound.

If any cannot carry
His liquor as he should,
Let him no longer tarry,
No place her for the prude.
No room among the happy
For modesty.
A fashion only fit for clowns,
Sobriety.

If such by chance are lurking
Let them be shown the door;
He who good wine is shirking,
Is one of us no more.
A death's head is his face to us,
If he abide.
Who cannot keep the pace with us,
As well he died.

Should any take upon him
To drink without a peer,
Although his legs go from him,
His speech no longer clear,
Still for his reputation
Let him drink on,
And swig for his salvation
The bumper down.

But between god and goddess,
Let there no marriage be,
For he whose name is Liber
Exults in liberty.
Let none his single virtue
Adulterate,
Wine that is wed with water is
Emasculate.

Queen of the sea we grant her,
Goddess without demur,
But to be bride to Bacchus
Is not for such as her.
For Bacchus drinking water
Hath no man seen;
Nor ever hath his godship
Baptized been.

from Medieval Latin Lyrics (1928)


courtesy of  vintagewinepoems.com