Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CARPE DIEM, by JEAN ANTOINE DE BAIF



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CARPE DIEM, by            
First Line: Emperor and turk, I wot
Last Line: And her cupids all be there.
Subject(s): Carpe Diem


EMPEROR and Turk, I wot,
With their schemes torment me not;
Hopes of making mighty gain,
Tempt not me who wealth disdain.
And still less do I desire
Fame and titles to acquire,
Or the pomp and gaudy show
Which the greatest monarchs know.

I my thought and care apply
To the day that passes by;
Fools are they who pine and fret
For what the future may beget.
Who to-morrow's fate can tell?

Like a master, quickly, well,
Forge me, Vulcan! without fail--
Not a steel-bright coat of mail
That will never break or yield;
Nor I ask an ample shield,
Nor a trenchant scimitar--
What have I to do with war?
Rather be thy skill displayed
In a cup of silver made;
And the goblet all around
Let not cruel war be found,
Nor of murder dreadful forms,
Nor the might of raging storms,
Nor the barren ocean shrouded,
By black threatening skies o'erclouded,
Nor depict the broken mast
In the raging billows cast:

But the pleasant clinging vine,
And its laughing grapes design,
And God Bacchus ivy-crowned,
Whom do jolly troops surround;
Goat-horned Satyrs who are dragging
The slow ass 'neath burden lagging,
On whom does Silenus ride,
Toppling oft from side to side.
And my love to represent,
Let thy chiefest skill be spent;
And be sure that Venus fair
And her cupids all be there.





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