My father wind and you my mother earth,
Fire, my friend, water, my near relation
And you my brother sky; in this last breath
Of mortal life I send you salutation.
From living ever with you comes this birth
Of uncontaminated wisdom with increase
Of goodness that all darkness and all folly cease
As now I live in brahma in my death.


on the death of a poet

They brought me word of your death,
and I wept for you remembering
how often we watched the sun
setting as we talked.

Dear Halikarnassian friend,
you lie elsewhere now
and are mere ashes;
yet your songs—your nightingales—will live,
and never will the underworld,
destroying everything,
touch them with its deadly hand.


gold, death, wine

If gold could buy life,
I would guard my wealth
with jelaous desire,
and when death came
he would take some
and leave me alone.
Yet being mortal
I cannot prolong
my life, so why
should I cry or moan ?
If we must die,
What good is gold?
So bring sweet wine,
and when I’ve drunk
bring my good friends.
I’ll lie on a soft bed
and be lost in love.

The Anakreonteia