To Anacreon in Heaven

Words by : Ralph Tomlinson Esq.,
Tune by : John Stafford Smith
'as sung at the Crown Anchor Tavern in the Strand, circa 1780'
Tune used for : The Star Spangled Banner by Francis Scott Key

To Anacreon in Heav'n, where he sat in full glee
A few Sons of Harmony sent a petition
That he their Inspirer and Patron would be;
When this answer arrived from the Jolly Old Grecian:
"Voice, Fiddle, and Flute, no longer be mute,
I'll lend you my name and inspire you to boot,

                And besides I'll instruct you, like me, to intwine
                The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine"

The news through Olympus immediately flew;
When Old Thunder pretended to give himself airs.
"If these Mortals are suffered their scheme to pursue,
The devil a Goddess, will stay above stairs."
Hark, already they cry, in transports of joy,
"Away to the Sons of Anacreon we'll fly,

                And there with good fellows, we'll learn to intwine
                The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine"

The Yellow-Haired God and his nine fusty Maids
From Helicon's bank will incontinent flee,
Idalia will boast of tenantless Shades,
And the bi-forked hill a mere desert will be.
My Thunder, no fear on't, shall do its errand,
And dam'me I'll swing the Ringleaders I warrant.

                I'll trim the young dogs, for thus daring to twine
                The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine.

Apollo rose up, and said "Prythee ne'er quarrel,
Good King of the Gods, with my Vot'ries below:
Your Thunder is useless"-- then showing his laurel,
Cry'd "Sic evitabile fulmen, you know!
Then over each head my laurels I'll spread,
So my sons from your Crackers no mischief shall dread,

                While, snug in their clubroom, they jovially twine
                The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine."

Next Momus got up with his risible Phiz
And swore with Apollo he'd cheerfully join --
"The full tide of Harmony still shall be his,
But the Song and the Catch, and the Laugh shall be mine.
Then, Jove, be not jealous of these honest fellows."
Cry'd Jove, "we relent, since the truth you now tell us;

                And swear by old Styx, that they long shall intwine
                The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine."

Ye Sons of Anacreon, then join hand in hand;
Preserve Unanimity, Friendship, and Love!
'Tis yours to support what's so happily plann'd;
You've the sanctions of Gods, and the Fiat of Jove.
While thus we agree, our toast let it be:
"May our Club flourish Happy, United, and Free!

                And long may the Sons of Anacreon intwine
                The Myrtle of Venus with Bacchus's Vine."