Strew me a fragrant bed of leaves,
Where lotus with the myrtle weaves,
And while in luxury’s dream I sink,
Let me the balm of Bacchus drink!
In this sweet hour of revelry
Young Love shall my attendant be —
Drest for the task, with tunic round
His snowy neck, and shoulders bound,
Himself shall hover by my side,
And minister the racy tide!
O, swift as wheels that kindling roll,
Our life is hurrying to the goal:
A scanty dust to feed the wind,
Is all the trace ’twill leave behind.
Then wherefore waste the rose’s bloom
Upon the cold insensate tomb?
Can flowery breeze or odour’s breath,
Affect the still cold sense of death?
Oh, no; I ask no balm to steep
With fragrant tears my bed of sleep:
But now while every pulse is glowing,
Now let me breathe the balsam flowing;
Now let the rose, with blush of fire,
Upon my brow in sweets expire;
And bring the nymph whose eye hath power
To brighten even death’s cold hour.
Yes, Cupid! ere my shade retire,
To join the best elysian choir,
With wine, and love and social cheer,
I’ll make my own elysium here!