Ah, my Belovèd, fill the Cup that clears
TODAY of past Regrets and future Fears:
--Why, Tomorrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n thousand Years.
For some we loved, the loveliest and the best
That from his Vintage rolling Time hath prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to rest.
And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in new bloom,
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend--ourselves to make a Couch--for whom?
Ah, make the most of what we yet may spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust
, and under Dust to lie,
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and-- sans End!
Alike for those who for TODAY prepare,
And those that after some TOMORROW stare,
from the Tower of Darkness cries,
"Fools! your Reward is neither Here nor There."
Why, all the Saint
s and Sage
s who discuss'd
Of the Two Worlds so wisely--they are thrust
Like foolish Prophet
s forth; their Words to Scorn
Are scatter'd, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.
Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint
, and heard great argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same door where in I went.
With them the seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with mine own hand wrought to make it grow;
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd--
"I came like Water, and like Wind I go."
Into this Universe
, and Why
, like Water willy-nilly
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not Whither
, willy-nilly blowing.
What, without asking, hither hurried Whence
And, without asking, Whither
Oh, many a Cup of this forbidden Wine
Must drown the memory of that insolence!
21. A thousand years to each Planet.