Vulcan contrive me such a Cup, As Nestor us’d of old; Shew all thy skill to trim it up, Damask it round with Gold. Make it so large, that fill’d with Sack, Up to the swelling brim, Vast Toasts, on the delicious Lake, Like Ships at Sea may swim. Engrave no Battail on his Cheek, With War, I’ve nought to do; I’m none of those that took Mastrich, Nor Yarmouth Leager knew. Let it no name of Planets tell, Fixt Stars, or Constellations; For I am no Sir Sydrophell, Nor none of his Relations. But carve thereon a spreading Vine, Then add Two lovely Boys; Their Limbs in Amorous folds intwine, The Type of future joys. Cupid, and Bacchus, my Saints are, May drink, and Love, still reign, With Wine, I wash away my cares, And then to C*** again. (text sourced from recmusic.org/lieder) Both Ronsard and Rochester go back ultimately to Greek originals by Anacreon: Odes 17 & 18 in older editions, more recently relegated to the ‘Anacreonta’ (nos. 4-5) i.e. pseudonymous works in the style of Anacreon. Ode 17 is a far better work than ode 18; though the latter contributes a few ideas, the bulk of Ronsard & Wilmot’s ideas can be traced to ode 17.
ΕΙΣ ΠΟΤΗΡΙΟΝ ΑΡΓΥΡΟΥΝ Τὁν ἄργυρον τορεὐσας, Ἥφαιστέ, μοι ποιήσον, Πανοπλίαν μὲν οὐχί · Τί γὰρ μάχαισι κᾀμοί ; Ποτήριον δὲ κοίλον, Ὅσον δύνῃ, βάϑυνον. Ποίει δέ μοι, κατ΄ αὐτὸ, Μήτ̕ ἄστρα, μήϑʹ ἁμάξας͵ Μὴ στυγνὸν Ὠρίωνα· Τί Πλειάδεσσι κᾀμοί ; Τί δ΄ ἄστρασιν Βοὠτεω ; Ποίησον ἀμπέλους μοι, Καὶ βότρυας κατ΄ αὐτὸ, Καὶ χρυσέους πατοῦντας, Ὁμοῦ καλῷ Λυαίῳ, Ἔρωτα καὶ Βάϑυλλον. ON A SILVER CUP After carving the silver, O Hephaestus [Vulcan], make for me No suit of armour; For what have I to do with battles? But rather [make] a hollow bowl As deep as you can. And make for me , on it, Not stars, not the Wagon [=Plough], Not hateful Orion; For what have I to do with the Pleaides? Or with the stars of Boötes? Make for me vines And clusters of grapes on it, And, treading the grapes, golden Love and Bathyllus [a beautiful boy], Together with fair Lyaeus [Bacchus]. Here is Ode 18, which has the same title. Καλλίτεχνά, μοι τόρευσον Ἔαρος κύπελλον ἡδύ. Τὰ πρῶτα, τερπνὸν ἡμῖν, Ῥόδον φέρουςαν ὥρην. Τὸν ἄργυρον δ΄ ἁπλώσας, Πότον ποίει μοι τερπνόν. Τῶν τελετῶν, παραινῶ, Μή μοι ξένον τορεύσῃς, Μὴ φευκτὸν ἱστὀρημα. Μᾶλλον ποίει Διὸς γόνον, Βάκχον Εὔϊον ἡμῖν, Μύστην νάματος· ἢ Κύπριν Ὑμεναίοις κρατοῦσαν. Χάρασσ’ Ἔρωτ’ ἄνοπλον, Καὶ χαρίτας γελώσας Ὑπ’ ἄμπελον εὐπέταλον, Εὐβότρυον, κομῶσαν, Σύναπτε κούρους εὐπρεπεῖς, Ἂν μὴ Φοῖβος ἀϑύρῃ. O gifted craftsman, carve for me The sweet cup of Spring. First, the season which brings The rose, delightful to us. Shaping the silver, Make me a delightful drinking-cup. Do not carve for me a strange And shocking tale Of sacrifices, please. Rather, make for us the son of Zeus, Bacchus Euios, The priest of running wine; or Venus Who has charge of weddings. Engrave Cupid unarmed, And the laughing Graces Under a leafy vine, Heavy with fine grapes; And add some handsome boys, If Phoebus [Apollo] is not playing there.