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ELEGIE UPON ANACREON, WHO WAS CHOAKED BY A GRAPE-STONE, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: How shall I lament thine end
Last Line: As strong as thunder is in jove's.
Subject(s): Poetry & Poets

HOW shall I lament thine end,
My best Servant, and my Friend?
Nay, and if from a Deity
So much Deified as I,
It sound not too profane and odd,
Oh my Master, and my God!
For 'tis true, most mighty Poet,
(Though I like not Men should know it)
I am in naked Nature less,
Less by much then in thy Dress.
All thy Verse is softer farre
Then the downy Feathers are
Of my Wings, or of my Arrows,
Of my Mother's Doves, or Sparrows.
Sweet as Lovers' freshest kisses,
Or their riper following blisses;
Graceful. cleanly, smooth and round,
All with Venus Girdle bound;
And thy Life was all the while
Kinde and gentle as thy Stile.
The Smooth-paced Hours of every day
Glided numerously away.
Like thy Verse each Hour did pass.
Sweet and short, like that it was.
Some do but their Youth allow me,
Just what they by Nature owe me,
The Time that's mine, and not their own,
The certain Tribute of my Crown;
When they grow old, they grow to be
Too Busie, or too wise for me.
Thou wert wiser, and did'st know
None too wise for Love can grow.
Love was with thy Life entwin'd
Close as Heat with Fire is joyn'd;
A powerful Brand prescribed the date
Of thine, like Meleager's Fate.
Th' Antiperistasis of Age
More enflamed thy amorous rage;
Thy silver Hairs yielded me more
Then even golden curls before.
Had I the power of Creation,
As I have of Generation,
Where I the matter must obey,
And cannot work Plate out of Clay,
My Creatures should be all like Thee,
'Tis Thou should'st their Idea bee.
They, like Thee, should throughly hate
Business, Honor, Title, State.
Other wealth they should not know
But what my Living Mines bestow;
The Pomp of Kings they should confess
At their Crownings to be less
Then a Lover's humblest Guise,
When at his Mistress feet he lies.
Rumour they no more should mind
Then Men safe-landed to the Wind.
Wisdom it self they should not hear
When it presumes to be Severe.
Beauty alone they should admire;
Nor look at Fortune's vain attire,
Nor ask what Parents it can shew;
With Dead or Old 't has nought to do.
They should not love yet All, or Any,
But very Much, and very Many.
All their Life should gilded be
With Mirth, and Wit, and Gayetie,
Well-remembring, and Applying
The Necessity of Dying.
Their chearful Heads should always wear
All that crowns the flowry Year.
They should always laugh, and sing,
And dance, and strike the harmonious string.
Verse should from their Tongue so flow,
As if it in the Mouth did grow,
As swiftly answering their command,
As tunes obey the artful Hand.
And whilst I do thus discover
Th' ingredients of a happy Lover,
'Tis, my Anacreon, for thy sake
I of the Grape no mention make.
'Till my Anacreon by thee fell,
Cursed Plant, I loved thee well,
And 'twas oft my wanton use
To dip my Arrows in thy juice.
Cursed Plant, 'tis true I see,
Th' old report that goes of Thee,
That with Gyants' blood the Earth
Stain'd and poyson'd gave thee birth,
And now thou wreak'st thy ancient spight
On Men in whom the Gods delight.
Thy Patron Bacchus, 'tis no wonder,
Was brought forth in Flames and Thunder;
In rage, in quarrels, and in fights,
Worse then his Tygers he delights;
In all our heaven I think there be
No such ill-natured God as He.
Thou pretendest, Trayterous Wine,
To be the Muses' friend and Mine.
With Love and Wit thou dost begin,
False Fires, alas, to draw us in;
Which, if our course we by them keep,
Misguide to Madness, or to Sleep.
Sleep were well; thou hast learnt a way
To Death it self now to betray.
It grieves me when I see what Fate
Does on the best of Mankind waite.
Poets or Lovers let them be,
'Tis neither Love nor Poesie
Can arm against Death's smallest dart
The Poet's Head, or Lover's Heart.
But when their life in its decline,
Touches the Inevitable Line,
All the World's Mortal to 'um then,
And Wine is Aconite to men,
Nay in Death's Hand, the Grape-Stone proves
As strong as Thunder is in Jove's.

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