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And since I now see your banquet, as Xeophanes the Colophonian says, full of all kinds of pleasure—
For now the floor and all men's hands are clean,
And all the cups, and since the feasters' brows
Are wreathed with garlands, while the slaves around
Bring fragrant perfume in well-suited dishes;
And in the middle stands the joyful bowl.
And wine's at hand, which ne'er deserts the guests
Who know its worth, in earthen jars well kept,
Well flavour'd, fragrant with the sweet fresh flowers;
[p. 730] And in the midst the frankincense sends forth
Its holy perfume; and the water's cold,
And sweet, and pure; and golden bread's at hand,
And duly honour'd tables, groaning under
Their weight of cheese and honey;—then an altar,
Placed in the centre, all with flow'rs is crown'd.
And song and feasting occupies the house,
And dancing, and all sorts of revelry:—
Therefore it does become right-minded men
First with well-omen'd words and pious prayers
To hymn the praises of the Gods; and so,
With pure libations and well-order'd vows,
To win from them the power to act with justice-
For this comes from the favour of the Gods;
And you may drink as much as shall not hinder
You from returning home without assistance,
Unless, indeed, you're very old: and he
Deserves to be above his fellows lauded
Who drinks and then says good and witty things,
Such as his memory and taste suggests,—
Who lays down rules, and tells fine tales of virtue;
Not raking up the old Titanic fables,
Wars of the Giants, or the Lapithæ,
Figments of ancient times, mere pleasing trifles,
Full of no solid good; but always speaking
Things that may lead to right ideas of God.

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