The Works of J. W. von Goethe/Volume 9/The Goblet
In my hands I held a brimming goblet,
Sculptured quaintly by the carver's cunning,
Quaffed with eager lips the strong nepenthe,
So at once to drown all care and anguish.
Then came Amor in and found me sitting,
And he smiled a smile of serious sweetness
As in pity of my foolish purpose.
"Friend, I know a vessel nobler, fairer,
Worthy all your soul in it to bury;
Say what guerdon, if to thee I give it,
Fill it for thee with a rarer nectar?"
Oh, he kept his promise, and how truly!
Lida, when with thy dear love he blessed me—
Me, that for thy sake had long been pining.
When I clasp thy beauties to my bosom,
And from thy fond lips, so fond and faithful,
Drink the balm of long, long stored affection,
Thus entranced, I commune with my spirit.
"No; has never God, save Amor, fashioned
Vessel such as this, nor e'er possessed it!
Forms so glorious ne'er were shaped by Vulcan,
With his finest soul-enprompted mallet.
"On the leaf-clad mountains may Lyæus
With his fauns, the hoariest, the sagest,
Cull the clusters of the daintiest savour,
Yea, may guide the mystic fermentation,
Draughts like this not all his skill can furnish!"