ONCE I held a well-carved brimming goblet,–
In my two hands tightly clasp’d I held it,
Eagerly the sweet wine sipp’d I from it,
Seeking there to drown all care and sorrow.
Amor enter’d in, and found me sitting,
And he gently smiled in modest fashion,
Smiled as though the foolish one he pitied.
“Friend, I know a far more beauteous vessel,
One wherein to sink thy spirit wholly;
Say, what wilt thou give me, if I grant it,
And with other nectar fill it for thee?”
Oh, how kindly hath he kept his promise!
For to me, who long had yearn’d, he granted
Thee, my Lida, fill’d with soft affection.
When I clasp mine arms around thee fondly,
When I drink in love’s long-hoarded balsam
From thy darling lips so true, so faithful,
Fill’d with bliss thus speak I to my spirit
“No! a vessel such as this, save Amor
Never god hath fashion’d or been lord of!
Such a form was ne’er produced by Vulcan
With his cunning, reason-gifted hammers!
On the leaf-crown’d mountains may Lyaeus
Bid his Fauns, the oldest and the wisest,
Pass the choicest clusters through the winepress,
And himself watch o’er the fermentation:
Such a draught no toil can e’er procure him!”