Anacreon ((570 BC – 488 BC) was a Greek lyric poet, notable for his drinking songs and hymns. Later Greeks included him in the canonical list of nine lyric poets.
Anacreon wrote all of his poetry in the ancient Ionic dialect. Like all early lyric poetry, it was composed to be sung or recited to the accompaniment of music, usually the lyre. Anacreon's verses were primarily in the form of monody, which means that they were to be performed by a single voice rather than by a chorus.
In keeping with Greek poetic tradition, his poetry relied on meter for its construction. Metrical poetry is a particularly rhythmic form, deriving its structure from patterns of phonetic ... more »
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In a dream unto me came Anacreon, of Teian fame. He accosted me, and I Ran up to him lovingly,
Praise of Bacchus
Whilst our joys with wine we raise, Youthful Bacchus we will praise. Bacchus dancing did invent; Bacchus is on songs intent;
Youth and Age
When I see the young men play, Young methinks I am as they; And my aged thoughts laid by, To the dance with joy I fly:
The Women Tell Me Every Day
The women tell me every day That all my bloom has past away. 'Behold,' the pretty wantons cry, 'Behold this mirror with a sigh;
And Now With All Thy Pencil's Truth
And now with all thy pencil's truth, Portray Bathyllus, lovely youth! Let his hair, in lapses bright, Fall like streaming rays of light; And there the raven's die confuse
Here Recline You, Gentle Maid
Here recline you, gentle maid, Sweet is this imbowering shade; Sweet the young, the modest trees, Ruffled by the kissing breeze;
Wine and Song
Bring me hither Homer's lute, Taught with mirth (not wars) to suit; Reach a full cup, that I may All the laws of wine obey, Drink, and dance, and to the lyre Sing what Bacchus shall inspire.
Give Me the Harp of Epic Song
Give me the harp of epic song, Which Homer's finger thrill'd along; But tear away the sanguine string, For war is not the theme I sing. Proclaim the laws of festal rite,
Men and maids at time of year The ripe clusters jointly bear To the press, but in when thrown, They by men are trod alone,
Count Me, on the Summer Trees
Count me, on the summer trees, Every leaf that courts the breeze; Count me, on the foamy deep, Every wave that sinks to sleep;
The Bowl of Song
Sweet the song Anacreon sings, Sweet notes flow from Sappho's strings: Pindar's strains, their sweets among, Add, to crown the bowl of song.
With the flowery crowned spring Now the vernal rose we sing; Sons of mirth, your sprightly lays Mix with ours, to sound its praise:
As Late I Sought the Spangled Bowers
As late I sought the spangled bowers, To cull a wreath of matin flowers, Where many an early rose was weeping, I found the urchin Cupid sleeping.
I Care Not for the Idle State
I care not for the idle state Of Persia's king, the rich, the great! I envy not the monarch's throne, Nor wish the treasur'd gold my own.
Comments about Anacreon
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In a dream unto me came
Anacreon, of Teian fame.
He accosted me, and I
Ran up to him lovingly,
And my arms about him threw.
Old he was, but fair to view,
Fair, a lover of the vine;
His stain'd lip yet breath'd of wine.
Falteringly he seem'd to tread;
(Love his trembling footsteps led;)
Crowned was his brow, and he
Held the garland out to me,
Of Anacreon it breath'd:
Straight my forehead (fool!) I wreath'd;
And from that time till today
I by love am plagued alway.