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John Godfrey Saxe
John Godfrey Saxe
1816-1887


Theme:  Praising Wine

Special Rhyme List:   Now That's Funny!


NOTES:
Hebrew Scripture (Genesis 9:20-21) tells us that one of the earliest acts of Noah, after the flood, was to plant a vineyard.  John Saxe, drawing on German folklore, embellishes this event with some humorous details.

For another humorous wine poem based on the Noah and wine theme, see Wine And Water by G. K. Chesterton.
- S. H. Bass    


Stop Button Clutter!

The Origin Of Wine
John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887), American poet

-A German Legend-

Ye friends of good cheer, I pray you give ear;
I sing of old Noah who planted the vine;
But first, if you please, our thirst to appease,
Let's drink to his health in a bumper of wine!

When the Deluge was o'er, and good Father
Noah
Sat moping one day in the shade of a tree,
An Angel came near, and thinking it queer,
Said: "Tell me, I pray, what the matter may be."

Says Noah: "I'm curst with a horrible thirst;
So painful, indeed, I am ready to sink;
I have plenty to eat, there's no lack of meat;
But, sir, on my honor, I've nothing to drink!

"See, on every side," the Angel replied,
"There is water enough both in river and rill,
Your fever to slake – not to mention the lake,
And many a fountain that flows from the hill."

Says Noah: "I know the waters still flow,
But the Deluge has ruined the fluid for drink;
So many bad men were soaked in it then,
The water now tastes of the sinners, I think."

"It can't be denied," the Angel replied,
"There is something of reason in what you have
said;
Since the water is bad, it is fitting you had
A good wholesome tipple to drink in its stead."

Then flying away, the very next day
The Angel came back with a handful of seeds;
And taught the good man the properest plan
Of planting, and hoeing, and killing the weeds.

Ah! what color and shape! 't is the beautiful
grape;
In clusters of purple they hang from the vine;
And these being pressed -- it is easily guessed,
Old Noah thenceforward drank nothing but wine.

So, a cup ere we part to the man of our heart,
Old Noah, the primitive grower of wine;
And one brimming cup (nay, fill it quite up)
To the Angel who gave him the seed of the vine!


       
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