DRINK TO ME ONLY ... EX OCULIS ...
Ben Jonson trans. Colin Sydenham
Drink to me only with thine eyes,
....And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup
....And Iíll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise
....Doth ask a drink divine;
But might I of Joveís nectar sup,
....I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
....Not so much honouring thee
As giving it a hope that there
....It could not witheríd be;
But thou thereon didst only breathe
....And sentíst it back to me;
Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
....Not of itself but thee.
Ex oculis tantum monstra mihi pignus amoris;
.........Ex oculis pariter mutua signa dabo.
Oscula sin summo calici subiungere mavis,
.........Infundi calici non ego vina petam.
Ardenti quicunque sitit sub corde, liquorem
.........Non nisi divinum quo satietur avet;
Si tamen ipsius Iovis immortale daretur,
.........Nescirem nectar posthabuisse tuum.

Commisi roseam nuper tibi, Phylli, corollam,
.........Non decus ut decori iungeret illa tuo,
Sed potius (nam sic tecum sperare licebat)
.........Marcida ne tecum, ne moribunda, foret.
Te tamen in sertam semel exhalare iuvavit,
.........Et mihi retrorsum mittere deinde rosas,
Quas revirescentes (Venus hoc testetur) odore
.........Non proprio miror sed redolere tuo.

Trans. copyright © Colin Sydenham 2006

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