|The Rhyme Maker
Theme: Praising Wine
Wendell Holmes, Sr. was a noted physician and lecturer, as well as a
voluminous "part-time" poet. It was in his role as a
lecturer/public speaker that Holmes wrote many of his poems, and much
of his poetry bear a perspective of some special occasion.
son (“Junior”, 1831-1935) was a Justice of the United States
Supreme Court. This Supreme Court jurist inherited his father's wit,
which is often displayed in his pithy remarks and official
opinions. Junior is one of the “most-cited” justices of the
Rebrum” (Latin): “red sea”
The Garonne River meanders through the wine countryside
of France. bacchant: female followers of Bacchus in
the real world and myth.
- S. H. Bass
Wendell Holmes at vintagewinepoems.com
For A Social Meeting (with alterations)
Lyre Of Anacreon
The Poetical Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes
Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894), American poet
out a stream of blood-red wine,
I would drink to other days,
brighter shall their memory shine,
flaming through its crimson blaze!
roses die, the summers fade,
every ghost of boyhood's dream
nature's magic power is laid
sleep beneath this blood-red stream!
filled the purple grapes that lay,
drank the splendors of the sun,
the long summer's cloudless day
mirrored in the broad Garonne;
pictures still the bacchant shapes
saw their hoarded sunlight shed, -
maidens dancing on the grapes, -
milk-white ankles splashed with red.
these waves of crimson lie,
rosy fetters prisoned fast,
flitting shapes that never die, –
swift-winged visions of the past.
but the crystal's mystic rim,
shadow rends its flowery chain,
in a bubble from its brim,
walks the chambers of the brain.
beauty! Time and fortune's wrong
shape nor feature may withstand;
wrecks are scattered all along,
emptied sea-shells on the sand;
sprinkled with this blushing rain,
dust restores each blooming girl,
if the sea-shells moved again
glistening lips of pink and pearl.
lies the home of school-boy life,
creaking stair and wind-swept hall,
scarred by many a truant knife,
old initials on the wall;
rest, their keen vibrations mute,
shout of voices known so well,
ringing laugh, the wailing flute,
chiding of the sharp-tongued bell.
clad in burning robes, are laid
blossomed joys, untimely shed,
here those cherished forms have strayed
miss awhile, and call them dead.
wizard fills the wondrous glass?
soil the enchanted clusters grew?
buried passions wake and pass
beaded drops of fiery dew?
take the cup of blood-red wine, –
hearts can boast a warmer glow,
from a vintage more divine,
but not chilled, by winter's snow!
the palest wave we sip
as the priceless draft shall be
wet the bride of Cana's lip, –
wedding wine of Galilee!
from The Poetical
Works of Oliver Wendell Holmes