He whom the Creator did bless with good sense,
Should love and should drink well before it all ends;
For once one in Charon’s bark has set one’s foot,
All passion and wine’s out the window for good.
Let wine and love’s passion stoke fires in your breast.
Soon death all desires and lusts from it will wrest.
And should you live long, you risk ere your demise
A thing that is worse still, you risk growing wise.
A state of bliss, which by all mortals is sought,
Don’t let wise men teach you, your time is too short;
This only the juice of pressed grapes, my dear friend,
And young women’s kisses can ever extend.
In wine and love’s passion dwell learning and wit,
I cannot read stars, but know well not to quit,
For when I no more wine and women hold dear,
I’ll know for a certainty my end is near.
You strict theologians! Don’t stand in my way
From garland-decked taking the path that is gay;
My fear is but slight He will let hell’s jaws gape,
The One who’s created both woman and grape.
The Lord of Creation is gracious and good,
To comfort His creatures them wisely allowed
In grapes to find solace for all that might harm
And foretaste of heaven in women’s fair arms.
My greatest boon I wish my friend too may learn:
To drink and to love and be loved in return;
When death puts an end to all joys by and by,
You’ll have at least lived well before you must die.