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.
A pot of wine before me amidst the flowers:
I drink alone–there’s none to drink with me.
Lifting my cup to invite the brilliant moon,
I find that with my shadow we are three.
Though the moon does not know how to drink,
And shadow in vain follows me,
Let me their company for the moment,
For while it’s spring one should be care-free.
As I sing, the moon lingers about;
As I dance, my shadow seems to fly.
When still sober we enjoy ourselves together;
When rapt with wine we bid each other good-bye.
Let us form a friendship free from passions
And meet in yonder distant sky.
Lost in wine, I did not notice dusk descending
Petals dropped and piled up on my robe
Drunk, I rise and walk the moonlit valley
The birds have gone, and people too are few.
My heart is weary of hypocrisy and
the drum under the blanket;
O happy moment, when I hoist the standard
at the wine-tavern…
Ah, many the long night thou and I
Have passed at ease with the wine-crowned cup,
Till the red dawn gleamed in the night-dim sky
And the stars of morn in the east rose up,
And along the west the stars of night
Like defeated armies pressed their flight.
Then the brightest of joys were ours to gain.
With never a care in the world to cloud,
And pleasure untouched by the hand of pain,
Were delight with eternal life endowed:
But alas! that even the fairest boon
Is doomed, like night, to be spent too soon.
Bring water, bring wine, boy! Bring flowering
garlands to me! Yes, bring them, so that I may try a
bout with love.
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.