Saki, thou know’st I worship wine ;

Let that delicious cup be mine.

Wine ! pure and limpid as my tears,

Dispeller of a lover’s fears ;

With thee inspired, with thee made bold,

‘Midst combat fierce my post I hold ;

With thee inspired, I touch the string,

And, rapt, of love and pleasure sing.

Thou art a lion, seeking prey,

Along the glades where wild deer stray ; 10

And like a lion I would roam,

To bring the joys I seek for home ;

With wine, life’s dearest, sweetest treasure,

I feel the thrill of every pleasure :

— Bring, Saki, bring the ruby now;

Its lustre sparkles on thy brow,

And, flashing with a tremulous light,

Has made thy laughing eyes more bright:

Bring, bring the liquid gem, and see

Its power, its wond’rous power, in me. 20

—No ancestors have I to boast;

The trace of my descent is lost.

From Adam what do I inherit ?

What but a sad and troubled spirit ?

For human life, from oldest time,

Is ever mark’d with guilt and crime ;

And man, betrayer and betray’d,

Lurks like a spider in the shade;

But wine still plays a magic part,

Exalting high the drooping heart. 30

Then, Saki, linger not, but give

The blissful balm on which I live.

Come, bring the juice of the purple vine,

Bring, bring the rnusky-scented wine ;

A draught of wine the memory clears,

And wakens thoughts of other years.—

When blushing dawn illumes the sky,

Fill up a bumper, fill it high !

That wine, which to the fever’d lip,

With anguish parch’d, when given to sip, 40

Imparts a rapturous smile, and throws

A veil o’er all distracting woes :

That wine, the lamp which, night and day,

Lights us along our weary way ;

Which strews the path with fruits and flowers,

And gilds with joy our fleeting hours;

And lifts the mind, now grown elate,

To Jamshid’s glory, Jamshid’s state.—

But of the kingly race beware ;

‘Tis not for thee their smiles to share : 50

Smiles are deceitful, fire looks bright,

And sheds a lucid dazzling light;

But, though attractive, it is known

That safety dwells in flight alone.

The moth the taper’s radiance tries,

But ‘midst the flame in torment, dies:

And none lament that foolish pride

Which seeks to be with kings allied.—

Bring, bring the musky-scented wine !

Tis the key of mirth, and must be mine ; 60

The key which opens wide the door

Of rapture’s rich and varied store ;

Which makes the mounting spirits glad,

And feel the pomp of Kai-Kobad.

Wine o’er the temper casts a spell

Of kindness indescribable:

Then, since I ‘m in the drinking vein,

Bring, bring the luscious wine again !

From the vintner another fresh supply,

And let not the reveller’s lips be dry.— 70

Come, Saki, thou’rt not old, nor lame ;

Thou ‘dst not incur from a minstrel blame;

Let him wash from his heart the dust of sorrow;

Let him riot in social bliss till the morrow ;

Let the sound of the goblet delight his ear,

Like the music that breathes from Heaven’s own sphere.

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