Having certain cares to drown,
To the sea I took them down:
And I threw them in the wave,
That engulfed them like a grave.
Swiftly then I plied the oar
With a light heart to the shore.
But behind me came my foes:
Like a nine-days' corpse each rose,
And (a ghastly sight to see!)
Clutched the boat and girned at me!
With a heavy heart, alack,
To the land I bore them back.
Not in Water or in Wine
Can I drown these cares of mine.
But some day, for good and sure,
I shall bury them secure,
Where the soil is rich and brown,
With a stone to keep them down,
And to let their end be known,
Have my name carved on the stone;
So that passers-by may say,
“Here lie cares that had their day,”
And sometimes by moonlight wan,
I may sit that stone upon —
With a spectre's solemn phlegm —
In my shroud, and laugh at them;
Or — who knows, when all is said? —
Maybe weep because they're dead.