The Epicure

written by Abraham Cowley

The Epicure

— Abraham Cowley

FILL the bowl with rosy wine,
Around our temples roses twine.
And let us cheerfully awhile,
Like the wine and roses smile.
Crown'd with roses we contemn
Gyge's wealthy diadem.
Today is ours; what do we fear?
Today is ours; we have it here.
Let's treat it kindly, that it may
Wish, at least, with us to stay.
Let's banish business, banish sorrow;
To the Gods belongs tomorrow.

About the poet


Abraham Cowley

His father, a wealthy citizen, who died shortly before his birth, was a stationer. His mother was wholly given to works of devotion, but it happened that there lay in her parlour a copy of The Faerie Queene. This became the favourite reading of her son, and he had twice devoured it all before he was sent to school. As early as 1628, that is, in his tenth year, he composed his Tragicall History of Piramus and Thisbe, an epic romance written in a six-line stanza, a style of his own invention. It is not too much to say that this work is the most astonishing feat of imaginative precocity on record; it is marked by no great faults of immaturity...

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