by Robert Herrick

NOW is the time for mirth,
    Nor cheek or tongue be dumb ;
For, with the flowery earth,
    The golden pomp is come.

The golden pomp is come ;
    For now each tree does wear,
Made of her pap and gum,
    Rich beads of amber here.

Now reigns the rose, and now
    Th' Arabian dew besmears
My uncontrolled brow
    And my retorted hairs.

Homer, this health to thee,
    In sack of such a kind
That it would make thee see
    Though thou wert ne'er so blind.

Next, Virgil I'll call forth
    To pledge this second health
In wine, whose each cup's worth
    An Indian commonwealth.

A goblet next I'll drink
    To Ovid, and suppose,
Made he the pledge, he'd think
    The world had all one nose.

Then this immensive cup
    Of aromatic wine,
Catullus, I quaff up
    To that terse muse of thine.

Wild I am now with heat :
    O Bacchus, cool thy rays !
Or, frantic, I shall eat
    Thy thyrse and bite the bays.

Round, round the roof does run,
    And, being ravish'd thus,
Come, I will drink a tun
    To my Propertius.

Now, to Tibullus, next,
    This flood I drink to thee :
But stay, I see a text
    That this presents to me.

Behold, Tibullus lies
    Here burnt, whose small return
Of ashes scarce suffice
    To fill a little urn.

Trust to good verses then ;
    They only will aspire
When pyramids, as men,
    Are lost i' th' funeral fire.

And when all bodies meet
    In Lethe to be drown'd,
Then only numbers sweet
    With endless life are crown'd.

Retorted, bound back, "retorto crine," Martial.
Immensive, measureless.

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 97-99.

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