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Here Recline You, Gentle Maid

Here recline you, gentle maid,

Sweet is this imbowering shade;

Sweet the young, the modest trees,

Ruffled by the kissing breeze;

Sweet the little founts that weep,

Lulling bland the mind to sleep;

Hark! they whisper as they roll,

Calm persuasion to the soul;

Tell me, tell me, is not this

All a stilly scene of bliss?

Who, my girl, would pass it by?

Surely neither you nor I!

The Wish

IOBE on Phrygian sands

Turn'd a weeping statue stands,

And the Pandionian Maid

In a swallow's wings array'd;

But a mirror I would be,

To be look'd on still by thee;

Or the gown wherein thou'rt drest,

That I might thy limbs invest;

Or a crystal spring, wherein

Thou might'st bathe thy purer skin;

Or sweet unguents, to anoint

And make supple every joint;

Or a knot, thy breast to deck;

Or a chain, to clasp thy neck;

Or thy shoe I wish to be,

That thou might'st but tread on me.

Translated by Thomas STANLEY


Horns to bulls wise Nature lends;

Horses she with hoofs defends;

Hares with nimble feet relieves;

Dreadful teeth to lions gives;

Fishes learn through streams to slide;

Birds through yielding air to glide;

Men with courage she supplies;

But to women these denies.

What then gives she? Beauty, this

Both their arms and armor is:

She, that can this weapon use,

Fire and sword with ease subdues.

Translation Thomas STANLEY

De natuur schonk aan de stieren horens

en aan de haas zijn snelle schuil.

Het paard kreeg harde hoeven

en de leeuw een wrede muil.

De vissen gaf zij vinnen

en snelle vleugels aan het vogelheer;

de man ontving een scherpe geest

en de vrouw …? Er was niets meer!

Wat nu? Zij kreeg wat tegen wapens opweegt

wat elke dreiging wegveegt,

wat mens en dier verslaat:

één enkel schoon gelaat.

Vertaling Herman VERBRUGGEN

Natuur schonk ieder dier

verweer: zijn hoorn de stier,

zijn hoef het paard; en baas

in ’t lopen werd de haas.

De leeuw gaf zij een tand

die mens en dier vermant.

Zij schonk de vissen vinnen,

de vogels kregen zwingen.

Zij gaf de man verstand.

En wat schonk zij de vrouw?

Haar bood zij schoonheid aan

in plaats van schild of degen

van piek of pertizaan;

want vuur of staal zijn tegen

de schoonheid niet bestaan

van een charmante vrouw.

Vertaling Paul VERBRUGGEN


I care not for the idle state

Of Persia's king, the rich, the great!

I envy not the monarch's throne,

Nor wish the treasured gold my own.
But oh! be mine the rosy braid,

The fervor of my brows to shade;

Be mine the odors, richly sighing,

Amid my hoary tresses flying.

To-day I'll haste to quaff my wine,
As if to-morrow ne'er should shine;

But if to-morrow comes, why then--

I'll haste to quaff my wine again.

And thus while all our days are bright,

Nor time has dimmed their bloomy light,

Let us the festal hours beguile

With mantling cup and cordial smile;

And shed from every bowl of wine

The richest drop on Bacchus's shrine!

For Death may come, with brow unpleasant,

May come when least we wish him present,

And beckon to the sable shore,

And grimly bid us--drink no more!

Translation: Thomas MOORE

Pluk de dag

Wat geef ik om schatten van vorsten,

wat geef ik om ’t Aziatische goud?

Afgunst kwelt mij nimmer

en koningsmacht laat mij koud.

Welriekende olie op mijn haren

en rozen die mijn hoofd omkransen:

de dag van heden, niet de komende jaren.

Wat morgen is … Wie zegt het mij?

The thirsty earth soaks up the rain,

And drinks and gapes for drink again;

The plants suck in the earth, and are

With constant drinking fresh and fair;

The sea itself (which one would think

Should have but little need of drink)

Drinks twice ten thousand rivers up,

So fill'd that they o'erflow the cup.

The busy Sun (and one would guess

By 's drunken fiery face no less)

Drinks up the sea, and when he's done,

The Moon and Stars drink up the Sun:

They drink and dance by their own light,

They drink and revel all the night:

Nothing in Nature 's sober found,

But an eternal health goes round.

Fill up the bowl, then, fill it high,

Fill all the glasses there—for why

Should every creature drink but I?

Why, man of morals, tell me why

Translation: Abraham COWLEY

Alles drinkt

De donkere aarde drinkt de regen

en de boom zuigt zich zat aan dit vocht.

Zo drinkt dan weer de zee gezwollen stromen,

de zonnegloed de dampen van de zee,

en de maan slurpt van het zonnelicht.

En wie, mijn vrienden, wie durft mij dan

mijn drinken te verwijten!

Vertaling : H. VERBRUGGEN

Ode 1 – To His Lyre

I wish to tune my quivering lyre

To deed of fame and notes of fire;

To echo, from its rising swell,

How heroes fought and nations fell,

When Atreus’ sons advanced to war,

Or Tyrian Cadmus roved afar;

But still, to martial strains unknown,

My lyre recurs to love alone.

Fired with the hope of future fame,

I seek some nobler hero’s name;

The dying chords are strung anew,

To war, to war, my harp is due.

With glowing strings, the epic strain

To Jove’s great son I raise again;

Alcides and his glorious deeds,

Beneath whose arm the Hydra bleeds.

All, all in vain; my wayward lyre

Wakes silver notes of soft desire.

Adieu, ye chiefs renown’d in arms!

Adieu the clang of war’s alarms!

To other deeds my soul is strung,

And sweeter notes shall now be sung;

My harp shall all its powers reveal,

To tell the tale my heart must feel;

Love, Love alone, my lyre shall claim,

In songs of bliss and sighs of flame.

Translation: BYRON

Aan de vrouwen

Roem ik mijn vriend om talenten,

ik was ze gaarne rijk;

en zing ik weer iedere lente

ik was haar gaarne gelijk.

Maar roem ik u gans, o vrouwen,

toch blijf ik dankbaar een man,

omdat ik zo beter aanschouwen

en gans u bezitten kan.

Vertaling Raymond HERREMAN


Oft am I by the women told,

Poor Anacreon, thou grow'st old!

Look how thy hairs are falling all;

Poor Anacreon, how they fall!

Whether I grow old or no,

By th' effects I do not know;

This I know, without being told,

'Tis time to live, if I grow old;

'Tis time short pleasures now to take,

Of little life the best to make,

And manage wisely the last stake.

Translation Abraham COWLEY.

The women tell me every day

The women tell me every day
That all my bloom has passed away.
'Behold,' the pretty wantons cry,
'Behold this mirror with a sigh;
The locks upon thy brow are few,
And, like the rest, they're withering too!'
Whether decline has thinn'd my hair,
I'm sure I neither know nor care;
But this I know, and this I feel,
As onward to the tomb I steal,
That still as death approaches nearer,
The joys of life are sweeter, dearer;
And had I but an hour to live,
That little hour to bliss I'd give!

Translation Thomas MOORE

They tell how Atys

They tell how Atys, wild with love,

Roams the mount and haunted grove;

Cybele's name he howls around,

The gloomy blast returns the sound!

Oft too by Claros' hallow'd spring,

The votaries of the laurell'd king

Quaff the inspiring, magic stream,

And rave in wild, prophetic dream.

But frenzied dreams are not for me,

Great Bacchus is my deity!

Full of mirth, and full of him,

While floating odors round me swim;

While mantling bowls are full supplied,

And you sit blushing by my side,

I will be mad and raving too--

Mad, my girl! with love for you!

The Thracian Filly

Ah tell me why you turn and fly,

My little Thracian filly shy?

Why turn askance

That cruel glance,

And think that such a dunce am I?

O I am blest with ample wit

To fix the bridle and the bit,

And make thee bend

Each turning-end

In harness all the course of it.

But now 'tis yet the meadow free

And frisking it with merry glee;

The master yet

Has not been met

To mount the car and manage thee.

Translation: Walter HEADLAM

In a Dream

Anacreon, the singer of Teos,

Looked at me and laughingly addressed me.

And I ran up to him

And embraced him and kissed him.

He was an old man, but beautiful,

Beautiful and fond of wine.

His lips smelled of grapes.

Though he was already old and quaking

Eros led him by the hand.

As he passed by he took the wreath from his head

And gave it to me.

And I stupidly took it

And bound it around my forehead

And ever since

I have been mad with the sting of love.

Translation: Thomas McEvilley

Youth And Age

When I see the young men play,

Young methinks I am as they;

And my aged thoughts laid by,

To the dance with joy I fly:

Come, a flowery chaplet lend me;

Youth and mirthful thoughts attend me:

Age be gone, we'll dance among

Those that young are, and be young:

Bring some wine, boy, fill about;

You shall see the old man's stout;

Who can laugh and tipple too,

And be mad as well as you.