ode XI: to Leuconoe

Do not inquire, we are not allowed to know,
what end the gods have assigned either to me or to you,
Leuconoe, nor consult the Babylonian tables. How much better
to patiently endure whatever comes whether Jupiter grants us more winters,
or whether this one, now crashing Tyrrhenean waves against the rocks,
shall be the last. Be wise. Water your wine. Life is so brief: cut short far-reaching hopes.
Even as we speak, envious time is fleeing: Seize the day: entrusting as little as possible to tomorrow.

Horace

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defence of Sunday

Island of solitudes and bells,
the days dash us against your cliffs,
your peak of rest and candour,
your immensity cut through by the hours and the birds.

Your mass of new light emerges out of time,
and little by little you share out your weekly gold,
reviving gardens
and making us rich in celestial allotments.

Our tired feet touch your last step as if it were a bed,
or coveted foam, or an agitated cupola
where birds of wine celebrate
the hands’ sweet holiday.

We reach your coasts each week
as shipwrecked men,
to fill ourselves with lights and to seek out the palm tree of repose
or the plans for the treasure hidden in the clouds.

Jorge Carrera Andrade

works and days

Wet your lungs with wine: the star is corning round,
the season is harsh, everything is thirsty under the heat,
the cicada sings sweetly from the leaves . . .
the artichoke is in flower;
now are women most pestilential, but men are feeble,
since Sirius parches their heads and knees . . .

Alcaeus

round red moon

Waves on the blue ocean
Smell of rice wine—
The moon of tonight.

Matsuo Bashō

nocturne

Silence of the night, painful silence,
Nocturne . . . Why does my soul tremble like this?
I hear the low hum of my blood.
I watch a calm storm pass inside my skull.
Insomnia! Not to sleep, and perchance
to dream. To be the whole soliloquy
of spiritual dissection, my Hamlet-I!
To dissolve my sadness
in one night’s wine,
in the marvelous crystal darkness . . .
And then I wonder: When will it be dawn?
A door just closed . . .
Someone is passing on the street . . .
The clock strikes three … It must be Her!

Rubén Darío

get drunk

You must always be drunk. Everything is there: it is the only question.
Not to feel the horrible burden of Time breaking your shoulders and
bowing you towards the ground, you must get drunk without stopping.

But on what? On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, after your fashion. But get drunk.
And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace, in the green grass of a ditch,
in the dreary solitude of your own room, you wake up,
with your drunkenness already lessened or gone,
ask wind, wave, star, bird, clock,
everything that flees, murmurs, rolls, sings, speaks,
ask what time it is;
and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you:
,,It is time to get drunk! Not to be the tormented slaves of Time,
get drunk without stopping!
On wine, on poetry, or on virtue, after your fashion.’’

Charles Baudelaire

poem of the soul

The nightingale hath no repose
For joy that ruby blooms the rose;
Long time it is that Philomel
Hath loved like me the rosy dell.

‘Tis sure no wonder if I sing
Both night and day my fair sweeting:
Let me be slave to that bird’s tongue
Who late the rose’s praise hath sung!

O saki, when the days commence
Of ruby roses, abstinence
By none is charged; then pour me wine
Like yonder rose incarnadine.

Sana’i