Text of the Poem

Drink to me only with thine eyes, 
And I will pledge with mine:
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
And I'll not look for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise 5
Doth ask a drink divine
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.
I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honoring thee, 10
As giving hope that there
It could not withered be
But thou thereto didst only breathe
And sent it back to me;
Since when it grows and smells, I swear, 15
Not of itself, but thee.


  1. Assonance is used here to make the imagery sound richer. Also, "rosy” is an interesting word choice because wreaths aren’t typically described as "rosy,” but a young lady's lips and cheeks would be described that way by a lover.

    — Allegra Keys, Owl Eyes Editor
  2. Jove, also known as Jupiter, is a god in Roman mythology that reigns over the sky, thunder, and kings. This line in combination with the next says that the speaker would choose his love’s affection above all else, even a nectar from the gods.

    — Allegra Keys, Owl Eyes Editor
  3. This line is the more common title of this ballad poem.

    — Allegra Keys, Owl Eyes Editor
  4. The speaker of the poem uses wine as a metaphor for love. When this poem was written in 1616, wine was just as, if not, more important than water.

    — Allegra Keys, Owl Eyes Editor