Bottle And The Bird Eugene
Field (1850-1895), American writer/poet
on a time a friend of mine prevailed on me to go
To see the
dazzling splendors of a sinful ballet show;
And after we had
revelled in the saltatory sights,
We sought a neighboring cafe for
more tangible delights.
When I demanded of my friend what viands
He quoth: “A large cold bottle, and a small hot
that I was, I did not know what anguish hidden lies
morceau that allures the nostrils and the eyes!
There is a
glorious candor in an honest quart of wine,
A certain inspiration
which I cannot well define!
How it bubbles, how it sparkles, how
its gurgling seems to say:
“Come! on a tide of rapture let me
float your soul away!”
the crispy, steaming mouthful that is spread upon your plate, –
How it discounts human sapience and satirizes fate!
wouldn’t think a thing so small could cause the pains and
That certainly accrue to him that of that thing partakes;
me, at least (a guileless wight!), it never once occurred
horror was encompassed in that small hot bird.
what a head I had on me when I awoke next day
And what a firm
conviction of intestinal decay!
What seas of mineral water and of
bromide I applied
To quench those fierce volcanic fires that
And, oh, the thousand solemn, awful vows I plighted
Never to tax my system with a small hot bird again!
doctor seemed to doubt that birds could worry people so,
bless him! since I ate the bird, I guess I ought to know!
acidous condition of my stomach, so he said,
Bespoke a vinous
irritant that amplified my head,
And, ergo, the causation of the
thing, as he inferred,
Was the large cold bottle,—not the small
course I know it wasn’t, and I'm sure you'll say I'm
If ever it has been your wont to train around at night.
sweet is retrospection when one’s heart is bathed in wine,
before its balmy breath how do the ills of life decline!
gracious juices drown what griefs would vex a mortal breast,
float the flattered soul into the port of dreamless rest!
you, O noxious, pigmy bird! whether it be you fly,
Or paddle in
the stagnant pools that sweltering, festering lie, –
you and your evil kind for that you do me wrong,
poisons that corrupt my petted muse of song;
Go. get thee hence!
and never more discomfit me and mine, – I
fain would barter all thy brood for one sweet draught of wine!
hither come, O sportive youth! when fades the telltale day, –
hither, with your fillets and your wreaths of posies gay;
unloose the fragrant seas of seething, frothing wine
Which now the
cobwebbed glass and envious wire and corks confine,
And midst the
pleasing revelry the praises shall be heard
Of the large cold
bottle, – not the small hot bird!