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            Abraham Cowley (1618-1667)
After the Anacreontea (Anonymous c.100 BC-600 AD)

                       I I.  DRINKING.

    THE thirsty Earth soaks up the Rain,
    And drinks, and gapes for drink again.
    The Plants suck in the Earth, and are
    With constant drinking fresh and faire.
    The Sea it self, which one would think
    Should have but little need of Drink,
    Drinks ten thousand Rivers up,
    So fill'd that they or'eflow the Cup.
    The busie Sun (and one would guess
    By's drunken fiery face no less)
    Drinks up the Sea, and when h'as done,
    The Moon and Stars drink up the Sun.
    They drink and dance by their own light,
    They drink and revel all the night.
    Nothing in Nature's Sober found,
    But an eternal Health goes round.
    Fill up the Bowl then, fill it high,
    Fill all the Glasses there, for why
    Should every creature drink but I,
    Why, Man of Morals, tell me why?


While Cowley claims his Anacreontiques are "some
copies of verses, translated paraphrastically out of
Anacreon", the original were not actually written by
Anacreon. Instead, they were the Anacreontea -
anonymous poems written between AD 100 and 600
BC in imitation of Anacreon's work. Cowley's version
approximately triples the length of the original. It can
be found in:
  • Cowley, Abraham. Poetry and Prose. L. C. Martin
    ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1949.
  • Cowley, Abraham. The Complete Works in Verse
    and Prose of Abraham Cowley, Volume I
    . Alexander
    B. Grosart, ed. New York: AMS Press, Inc., 1967.

    An overview of Anacreon's life and imitators and a
    translation of the Anacreontea (the above is based on
    number 21) can be found in:

  • Rosenmeyer, Patricia A. The Poetics of Imitation:
    Anacreon and the Anacreontic Tradition
    . Cambridge:
    Cambridge University Press, 1992.