Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Love and Wine

Heavy clusters of grapes hang from the gnarled vines: indeed, Aphrodite is only more attractive when united with Bacchus; their pleasures are sweeter for being mixed together. Apart, they have less spice.
Pseudo-Lucian, Erotes: description of the temenos of Aphrodite at Knidos

Wine is the milk of Venus.
Ben Jonson
"[Wine] provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance."
Shakespeare, Macbeth Act II Scene III

Well, what does Shakespeare know about it anyway? The Greeks, wise in the ways of moderation -- including the moderation of moderation -- mixed their wine with water and knew the merits of raising a cup in the spirit of romance.

So let me toast the beauty of the lovely Laurelei, dutiful servant of shapely Aphrodite, and sweetest of mates.

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss within the cup,
And I'll not ask for wine.
The thirst that from the soul doth rise,
Doth crave a drink divine;
But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.
Ben Jonson


  1. Oh, and she quotes Shakespeare and Johnson for me! *coos and flaunts*

  2. "Three bowls only do I mix for the temperate – one to health, which they empty first, the second to love and pleasure, the third to sleep. When this is drunk up wise guests go home. The fourth bowl is ours no longer, but belongs to violence, the fifth to uproar, the sixth to drunken revel, the seventh to black eyes. The eight is the policeman’s, the ninth belongs to biliousness, and the tenth to madness and hurling the furniture. "
    - Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 2.36a-b