The Book of the Native

by Charles G.D. Roberts


Three Good Things

Bona in terrâ tria inveni,
Ludum, venirem, vinum.


Three good things I’ve thanked the Gods for,—
    Play, and love, and wine!

So by Tiber sang my poet;—
    Would the song were mine!

Yet methinks I would not turn it

    Just the Roman way,
But for ludum say read libros,—
    Books are more than play!

Through the togaed Latin trembles

    Laughter half divine;
Flash the dice beside the column;
    Rosy flagons shine.

I, for gleams of yellow Tiber,
    Down my garden way

See a water blue and beaming
    In the northern day.

Ovid, Meleager, Omar,
    In the orchard shade,
With a jug that gurgles gently,

    And a white-armed maid.

Three good things I thank the Gods for,—
    Books, and love, and wine:
So, my poet, singing later,

    Would have run your line!