When I came across the above image, I immediately thought of the song, "Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes", then found that it was a poem by Ben Jonson, "Song: To Celia" set to an existing tune of the time and later, in 1790, a composition by J.W. Callcott, the tune we know today.
A romance poem rendered in English by Ben Jonson
From a Love Letter by Philostratus of Athens or Philostratus of Lemnos
Jonson published the poem in 1616
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.
I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honoring thee
As giving it a hope that there
It could not withered be;
But thou thereon didst only breathe
And sent'st back to me,
Since when it grows and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee.
"To Celia" is one of the most frequently quoted poems in English literature. Undoubtedly, most literate persons are familiar with the opening line, "Drink to me only with thine eyes." Indeed, many people think of that line as the title of the poem. Ben Jonson (1572-1637), a celebrated playwright and poet of the Shakespearean age, often receives full credit for composing those words, as well as the lines in the rest of the poem; instead, he should receive credit for translating or paraphrasing them. It was a Greek named Philostratus who originated the words in his own language. But which Philostratus? Scholars identify two writers of this name as candidates for authorship. The first was Lucius Flavius Philostratus (170 to 245-8? AD), a Greek writer sometimes called Philostratus the Athenian. He long received credit for penning the lines in his love letters until some scholars credited his relative, Philostratus of Lemnos (born 190AD), as the likely author. The authorship question has not been resolved.
Art: George W. Joy 1844-1925