For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
And many a lightfoot lad.
The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping
In fields where roses fade.
I too would be where I am not.
I too survey that endless line
Of men whose thoughts are not as mine.
Years, ere you stood up from rest,
On my neck the collar prest;
Years, when you lay down your ill,
I shall stand and bear it still.
Courage, lad, ’tis not for long:
Stand, quit you like stone, be strong.”
So I thought his look would say;
And light on me my trouble lay,
And I slept out in flesh and bone
Manful like the man of stone.
Pluck it out, lad, and be sound:
’Twill hurt, but here are salves to friend you,
And many a balsam grows on ground.
Cut it off, lad, and be whole;
But play the man, stand up and end you,
When your sickness is your soul.
Is hung with bloom along the bough,
And stands about the woodland ride
Wearing white for Eastertide.
Twenty will not come again,
And take from seventy springs a score,
It only leaves me fifty more.
Fifty springs are little room,
About the woodlands I will go
To see the cherry hung with snow.
You eat your victuals fast enough;
There can’t be much amiss, ’tis clear,
To see the rate you drink your beer.
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make,
It gives a chap the belly-ache...”
From the many-venomed earth;
First a little, thence to more,
He sampled all her killing store;
And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
Sate the king when healths went round.
They put arsenic in his meat
And stared aghast to watch him eat;
They poured strychnine in his cup
And shook to see him drink it up:
They shook, they stared as white’s their shirt:
Them it was their poison hurt.
―I tell the tale that I heard told.
Mithridates, he died old.