Epicurean Music - John Rutter's "Shadows" (2006): "The Epicure" (For Acoustic Guitar and Baritone)

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    "Let us drink and be merry, dance, joke, and rejoice,

    With Claret and Sherry, Theorbo and Voice;

    The changeable world to our joy is unjust,

    All treasure uncertain, then down with your dust.

    In frolic dispose your pounds, shillings and pence,

    For we shall be nothing a hundred years hence.

    We’ll kiss and be free with Nan, Betty, and Philly,

    Have oysters and lobsters, and maids by the belly;

    Fish-dinners will make a lass spring like a flea,

    Dame Venus (Love’s goddess) was born of the sea.

    With her and with Bacchus we’ll tickle the sense,

    For we shall be past it a hundred years hence.

    Your most beautiful bit that hath all eyes upon her,

    That her honesty sells for a hogo* of honour;

    Whose lightness and brightness doth shine in such splendour

    That none but the stars are thought fit to attend her,

    Though now she be pleasant and sweet to the sense,

    Will be damnably mouldy a hundred years hence.

    Then why should we turmoil in cares and in fears,

    Turn all our tranquillity to sighs and to tears?

    Let’s eat, drink and play till the worms do corrupt us,

    ’Tis certain that post mortem nulla Voluptas*.

    Let’s deal with our damsels, that we may from thence

    Have broods to succeed us a hundred years hence."

    * "hogo" in the archaic sense, or "haut gout" means meat that is turning/rotting but remains strongly desirable, but today is used to describe the strong and rank flavor in certain rums.

    * "no pleasure after death"

    “If the joys found in nature are crimes, then man’s pleasure and happiness is to be criminal.”