Two Tuscan pirates seized sweet Bacchus fast
And with a shout of heady, lusty joy
Hauled him away to vineyards where slim asps
Were in the pirate’s blood and bones employ.
They said that they had earned wine’s sweetened fruit
That only Bacchus could with skill distill,
And they would have it though the awful brute
Of night descended with its anger singing shrill.
Sweet Bacchus let them bind him head and foot.
He let them hold his form inside their hands.
He brewed their liquor from the grape’s sour root
With parsley, thyme, and scabious grown in sand.
But when the pirates woke sweet Bacchus was gone,
And they were fishy dolphins senseless of the dawn.