Drink to me with thine eyes…

Drink to me with thine eyes... Illustration by Neeraj Bhushan

Allahabad. The city I propose to write a series on…

It was here that I was given a lesson by a beautiful professor. Can I forget that Literature Session at the Allahabad University some two decades ago! She was at her best… on top… teaching Ben Jonson’s (To Celia) ‘Drink to me with only thine eyes’. I am reproducing those wonderful lines for your eyes, only:

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 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 honouring thee

As giving it a hope that there

     It could not withered be;

But thou thereon didst only breathe,

     And sent’st it back to me;

Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,

     Not of itself but thee! 

Okay! It is sounding heavy. Then let’s try simplifying and rephrasing it. I do it here for you, so that you remember such a great work by Ben Jonson (1616). Here I go:

“Drink to me with thine eyes, And I wont look for wine”.

Oh! It reads so beautiful. It reads wonderful. So romantic. Hope you feel like saying it to someone you really love.

I am also producing below two videos, for your eyes only. And it is recommended that you play both the videos simultaneously to feel a great effect.

What do you think? Please leave a reply, to complete the conversation. Thank you for your time.

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