TO LIVE MERRILY, AND TO TRUST TO GOOD VERSES - Matthew Arnold Poems

 
 

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TO LIVE MERRILY, AND TO TRUST TO GOOD VERSES

Now is the time for mirth,
      Nor cheek or tongue be dumb;
For with the flow'ry earth
      The golden pomp is come.

The golden pomp is come;
      For now each tree does wear,
Made of her pap and gum,
      Rich beads of amber here.

Now reigns the rose, and now
      Th' Arabian dew besmears
My uncontrolled brow
      And my retorted hairs.

Homer, this health to thee,
      In sack of such a kind
That it would make thee see
      Though thou wert ne'er so blind.

Next, Virgil I'll call forth
      To pledge this second health
In wine, whose each cup's worth
      An Indian commonwealth.

A goblet next I'll drink
      To Ovid, and suppose,
Made he the pledge, he'd think
      The world had all one nose.

Then this immensive cup
      Of aromatic wine,
Catullus, I quaff up
      To that terse muse of thine.

Wild I am now with heat;
      O Bacchus! cool thy rays!
Or frantic, I shall eat
      Thy thyrse, and bite the bays.

Round, round the roof does run;
      And being ravish'd thus,
Come, I will drink a tun
      To my Propertius.

Now, to Tibullus, next,
      This flood I drink to thee;
But stay, I see a text
      That this presents to me.

Behold, Tibullus lies
      Here burnt, whose small return
Of ashes scarce suffice
      To fill a little urn.

Trust to good verses then;
      They only will aspire,
When pyramids, as men,
      Are lost i' th' funeral fire.

And when all bodies meet,
      In Lethe to be drown'd,
Then only numbers sweet
      With endless life are crown'd.