THE WINE OF CIRCE
- OUR modern folk have drunken of Circe’s wine
- And yielding up their reason to the spell,
- Think but to eat and drink and buy and sell,
- Flouting to scorn all thought of things divine;
- Yet, for they fare on their hind-feet, opine
- Still to be men: but, wallowing in the hell
- That they hold Heaven, they mostly, truth to tell,
- Are no more human than a herd of swine.
- Yet some there be who shun the inglorious guild
- And in the purer places of the earth,
- On the bright memories of their island-birth
- Founding, a new and nobler England build,
- That shall relume the glories of the old,
- When the hogs dead are on their heaps of gold.
© John Payne. Payne: The Way of the Winepress. The John Payne Society, (1920).
About the Poet
John Payne (1842-1916), was a British poet and translator exotic poems and tales. He is now best known for his translations of the Diwan of Hafez, Boccaccio’s Decameron, The Arabian Nights and works of Villon.