Verse > Anthologies > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of English Verse
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Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. 1919. The Oxford Book of English Verse: 1250–1900.
  
Abraham Cowley. 1618–1667
  
349. Anacreontics
1. Drinking
  
THE thirsty earth soaks up the rain, 
And drinks and gapes for drink again; 
The plants suck in the earth, and are 
With constant drinking fresh and fair; 
The sea itself (which one would think         5
Should have but little need of drink) 
Drinks twice ten thousand rivers up, 
So fill'd that they o'erflow the cup. 
The busy Sun (and one would guess 
By 's drunken fiery face no less)  10
Drinks up the sea, and when he 's done, 
The Moon and Stars drink up the Sun: 
They drink and dance by their own light, 
They drink and revel all the night: 
Nothing in Nature 's sober found,  15
But an eternal health goes round. 
Fill up the bowl, then, fill it high, 
Fill all the glasses there—for why 
Should every creature drink but I? 
Why, man of morals, tell me why?  20
 
 
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