Eugene Field

(2 September 1850 - 4 November 1895 / St Louis / Missouri / United States)

Echoes From The Sabine Farm - Poem by Eugene Field


O FOUNTAIN of Bandusia!
Whence crystal waters flow,
With garlands gay and wine I ’ll pay
The sacrifice I owe;
A sportive kid with budding horns
I have, whose crimson blood
Anon shall dye and sanctify
Thy cool and babbling flood.

O fountain of Bandusia!
The Dog-star’s hateful spell
No evil brings into the springs
That from thy bosom well;
Here oxen, wearied by the plow,
The roving cattle here
Hasten in quest of certain rest,
And quaff thy gracious cheer.

O fountain of Bandusia!
Ennobled shalt thou be,
For I shall sing the joys that spring
Beneath yon ilex-tree.
Yes, fountain of Bandusia,
Posterity shall know
The cooling brooks that from thy nooks
Singing and dancing go.


WHAT end the gods may have ordained for me,
And what for thee,
Seek not to learn, Leuconöe,—we may not know.
Chaldean tables cannot bring us rest.
’T is for the best
To bear in patience what may come, or weal or woe.

If for more winters our poor lot is cast,
Or this the last,
Which on the crumbling rocks has dashed Etruscan seas,
Strain clear the wine; this life is short, at best.
Take hope with zest,
And, trusting not To-morrow, snatch To-day for ease!


SEEK not, Leuconöe, to know how long you ’re going to live yet,
What boons the gods will yet withhold, or what they ’re going to give yet;
For Jupiter will have his way, despite how much we worry:—
Some will hang on for many a day, and some die in a hurry.

The wisest thing for you to do is to embark this diem
Upon a merry escapade with some such bard as I am.
And while we sport I ’ll reel you off such odes as shall surprise ye;
To-morrow, when the headache comes,—well, then I ’ll satirize ye!

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Poem Submitted: Friday, April 9, 2010

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