Sculptor, wouldst thou glad my soul,
Grave for me an ample bowl,
Worthy to shine in hall or bower,
When spring-time brings the reveller’s hour.
Grave it with themes of chaste design,
Fit for a simple board like mine.
Display not there the barbarous rites
In which religious zeal delights;
Nor any tale of tragic fate
Which History shudders to relate.
No — cull thy fancies from above.
Themes of heaven and themes of love.
Let Bacchus, Jove’s ambrosial boy,
Distil the grape in drops of joy.
And while he smiles at every tear,
Let warm-eyed Venus, dancing near,
With spirits of the genial bed,
The dewy herbage deftly tread.
Let Love be there, without his arms,
In timid nakedness of charms;
And all the Graces, link’d with Love,
Stray, laughing, through the shadowy grove;
While rosy boys disporting round,
In circlets trip the velvet ground.
But ah! if there Apollo toys,
I tremble for the rosy boys.