Wisdom

We present this work in honor of the poet’s 235th birthday.

Denis Davydov
Russian
1784 – 1839

 

While honouring the grape’s ruby nectar,
All sportingly, laughingly gay;
We determined — I, Silvia, and Hector,
To drive old dame Wisdom away.

“O my children, take care,” said the beldame,
“Attend to these counsels of mine:
Get not tipsy! for danger is seldom
Remote from the goblet of wine.”

“With thee in his company, no man
Can err,” said our wag with a wink;
“But come, thou good-natured old woman,
There’s a drop in the goblet — and drink!”

She frowned — but her scruples soon twisting,
Consented: — and smilingly said:
“So polite — there’s indeed no resisting,
For Wisdom was never ill-bred.”

She drank but continued her teaching:
“Let the wise from indulgence refrain;”
And never gave over her preaching,
But to say, “Fill the goblet again.”

And she drank, and she totter’d, but still she
Was talking and shaking her head:
Muttered “temperance” – “prudence” –
until she Was carried by Love to bed.

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