Imbibo ergo sum!
I searched my wallet in vain for a few coppers this morning and surprised myself by finding a scribbled limerick that I penned ages ago and had quite simply forgotten about.
I can’t recall what inspired it; possibly some reflections on getting merry along the lines of Shakespeare’s let my liver rather heat with wine or perhaps I was thinking of a line from Bruce’s Philosophers Song, I drink therefore I am. Anyway, whatever it was, here’s the result:
Whether you rest in the Fields of Elysium
Or want for a grand mausoleum,
Live a life full of mirth
For your tenure on earth:
Carpe diem! Carpe noctem! Carpe vinum!
Postscript: The faux Latin phrase used in the title of this post is a modified version of the correct Latin: bibo ergo sum – I drink therefore I am. I just think imbibo sounds more ‘Latin’ than bibo!
I don’t need to tell you that it’s a play on René Descartes proclamation: cogito ergo sum (I think therefore I am) and, although its quotation in English is sometimes attributed to Oscar Wilde, the earliest known printed source of the phrase in Latin is found in A New Philosophy of Man’s Moral Nature as defined by The Ancient and Honorable Order of the Priests of Bacchus in Cornell University’s yearbook (The Cornellian) of 1886:
“Our dictum, for a philosophy without a dictum is not worth much, is—Bibo Ergo Sum. It will be urged, no doubt, that this is an adaptation from Descartes. We frankly admit that it is, but we maintain that while Cogito Ergo Sum” is good, Bibo Ergo Sum is inﬁnitely better”. [See the original citation and web link here www.barrypopik.com]
In fact, as Dr Google tells me, bibo ergo sum refers strictly to the biological need to drink to sustain life. If the phrase is meant to reflect one’s need for alcoholic refreshment, then the correct Latin would be poto ergo sum. It looks like Cornell’s bacchanalian students of the 1880s got their Latin wrong!