Nothing occupies us, Sir,
save service to that cupbearer;
Saki! Another round, please-
& deliver us from Good & Evil.
God, Sir, has created no one
without a proper vocation;
as for us, He has appointed the job
of permanent unemployment:
by day dancing in the light
like motes of dust;
by night, like stars, circumambulating
the moon-visaged beloved.
If He wanted us to work, after all,
He would not have created this wine;
with a skin-full of this, Sir,
would you rush out to commit economics?
What job could a drunkard do
other than the work of the wine itself?
That sacred vintage, transported across
earth & heaven to the Everlasting Refuge.
Drink mere worldly wine, sleep
one night & it passes;
drink from the flagon of the One & your head
will follow you to the grave.
The source of all mercy, Sir,
pours it out for free;
& these sakis treat us as sweetly
as nursemaids their children.
Drink, my heart, & go drunk,
introduce others to this pleasure
& God will keep you well supplied.
Where you witness some beauty
sit & be a mirror;
where you see ugliness
slip the looking glass back in its bag.
Wander happily about the streets
mingling with the young &
reciting, “Nay, I swear
by this city. . .”
. . .ah, but my head,
my head is spinning from this wine;
I will dry up & be silent,
I will not sit here & count blessings
which mathematics cannot