Next> | <Prev |

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894)


Ode for a Social Meeting

By Oliver Wendell Holmes

WITH SLIGHT ALTERATIONS BY A TEE-TOTALER

1857





Come! fill a fresh bumper,--for why should we go

          logwood
While the nectar still reddens our cups as they flow?

             decoction
Pour out the rich juices still bright with the sun,

                                  dye-stuff
Till o'er the brimmed crystal the rubies shall run.




    half-ripened apples
The purple-globed clusters their life-dews have bled;

                 taste             sugar of lead.
How sweet is the breath of the fragrance they shed! 

             rank poisons                wines!!!
For summer's last roses lie hid in the wines

                      stable-boys smoking long-nines.
That were garnered by maidens who laughed thro' the vines. 





       scowl       howl           scoff         sneer,
Then a smile, and a glass, and a toast, and a cheer,
 
         strychnine and whiskey, and ratsbane and beer!
For all the good wine, and we've some of it here! 


In cellar, in pantry, in attic, in hall,

Down, down, with the tyrant that masters us all!
Long live the gay servant that laughs for us all!




[See The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, 2]








































.