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Short poem

Abraham Cowley (1618-1667)

Anacreon II. Drinking


              1The thirsty earth soaks up the rain,
              2And drinks, and gapes for drink again.
              3The plants suck in the earth, and are
              4With constant drinking fresh and fair.
              5The sea itself, which one would think
              6Should have but little need of drink,
              7Drinks ten thousand rivers up,
              8So fill'd that they o'erflow the cup.
              9The busy sun (and one would guess
            10By's drunken fiery face no less)
            11Drinks up the sea, and when h'as done,
            12The moon and stars drink up the sun.
            13They drink and dance by their own light,
            14They drink and revel all the night.
            15Nothing in Nature's sober found,
            16But an eternal health goes round.
            17Fill up the bowl then, fill it high,
            18Fill all the glasses there, for why
            19Should every creature drink but I,
            20Why, man of morals, tell me why?


1] Anacreon (fl. 6th cent. B.C.), a Greek lyrical poet, famous for his celebration of love and wine.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Abraham Cowley, Poems (London: H. Moseley, 1656). E-10 2928 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto) pt. 1-4. Facs. edn. (Menston: Scolar, 1971). PR 3370 A1 1656A Robarts Library
First publication date: 1656
RPO poem editor: N. J. Endicott
RP edition: 2RP 1.452.
Recent editing: 4:2002/2/10

Form: Short Couplets

Other poems by Abraham Cowley