The cries of lofty Cithaeron,
with spires ever clad in snow--
"I will give thee wine,
"I will give thee milk,
"I will give thee honey for thy babe."
Grasping arms twine,
greedy for the omniscience
of sorrowful, ruby wine:
Oh for a draught of vintage! that hath been
Cool'd a long age in the deep-delved earth,
Tasting of Flora and the country green,*
but the refrain comes too brief a time,
fades away in all its splendor,
and the maenad chokes
on a mouthful of blood,
grasping a tarnished thyrsus.
The ivy turns to pine,
turns to smoke,
and ancient lore
swells with bitter wisdom.
*Italicized portion excerpted from Keats, "Ode to a Nightingale"
[By Darcy Krasne]