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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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;
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.
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;
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:
Wine the Healer
Who his cups can stoutly bear, In his cups despiseth fear, In his cups can nimbly dance, Him Lyæus will advance:
In a dream unto me came Anacreon, of Teian fame. He accosted me, and I Ran up to him lovingly,
Pleasant 'tis abroad to stray Thro' the meadow deep in hay, Where soft zephyrs, breathing low, Odorous sweets around us throw:
I Will; I Will; the Conflict's Past
I will; I will; the conflict's past, And I'll consent to love at last. Cupid has long, with smiling art, Invited me to yield my heart;
In the Lemnian forge of late Vulcan making arrows sate, Whilst with honey their barb'd points Venus, Love with gall anoints:
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,
Grasshopper thrice-happy! who Sipping the cool morning dew, Queen-like chirpest all the day Seated on some verdant spray;
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,
With the flowery crowned spring Now the vernal rose we sing; Sons of mirth, your sprightly lays Mix with ours, to sound its praise:
Tell Me, Why, My Sweetest Dove
Tell me, why, my sweetest dove, Thus your humid pinions move, Shedding through the air in showers Essence of the balmiest flowers?
Comments about Anacreon
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Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
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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;
The locks upon thy brow are few,
And, like the rest, they're withering too!'
Whether decline has thinn'd my hair,
I'm sure I neither know nor care;
But this I know, and this I feel,
As onward to the tomb I steal,
That still as death approaches nearer,
The joys of life are sweeter, dearer;
And had I but an hour to live,
That little hour to bliss I'd give!