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Old wood to burn, Old wine to drink, Old authors to read,

Old friends to converse with.

This axiom is old in its own right.  The earliest version is credited to King Alfonso of Aragon in the writings of British philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626).  It has been tweaked over the years by writers to fit their needs. Many versions replace “old friends to converse with” with “old friends to trust” (including Bacon’s).  I prefer to trust all my friends;  old friends being the best to engage in conversation.

At any rate, this sounds like a fine evening to me.  The saying speaks of an archetypal wine scene:  at rest beside a roaring fire, goblet in-hand, with an old friend or an old author to engage.  Many of the wine poems that follow allude to a similar scene, with a toast or two to friends and friendship thrown in.

So, throw a piece of old wood on the fire.  The old authors you now have before you.  That old friend is no further than a phone call, a text message, or a mouse-click away.

- text adapted from Bottled Poetry: Verses from the Vine, edited by S. H. Bass

Special keys :  Now That's Funny!   © Copyrighted Material     A/V  Video

A Midnight Farewell  by Li Bai (Obata)

A Toast for Men Yun-Ch'ing by Du Fu (Lowell)

Ad Nepotem by Robert Louis Stevenson

After Passing The Exam by Bai Juyi (Waley)

An Impromptu by Oliver Wendall Holmes

An Invitation To Li Bai by Tsui Tsung-chi (Obata)

An Ode To Sir Clipseby Crew by Robert Herrick

As Daniel, bird-alone, in that far land by Robert Louis Stevenson

At The Ancestral Shrine Of King Yao by Li Bai (Lowell)

College Drinking Song  by George Santayana

Dear comrade in the days when thou and I by Horace (Martin)

Descending The Extreme South Mountain by Li Bai (Lowell)

Forget not when dear friend  by Hafiz (Bell)   A/V

For The Road by Anthony Beal  ©

Give Me The Old by Robert Hinckley Messinger

Hither, Venus, queen of kisses by Sappho (Moore)

Introductions Made Easy by Joseph Mills   © ☺  

Lawrence of virtuous father virtuous son by John Milton

Little Apples of Sanlúcar by Anthony Beal  ©

Meat Without Mirth by Robert Herrick

My Servant Wakes Me  by Bai Juyi (Waley)

On The Eve Of Starting On A Journey by Li Bai (Lowell)

On The Yo-Yang Tower by Li Bai (Obata)

Our common Sabine wine shall be by Horace (Martin)

Rejoicing At The Arrival Of Ch’ēn Hsiung  by Bai Juyi (Waley)

See, Spring's companion, Thacian gales by Horace (Gladstone)

Sent To Li Bai As A Gift by Du Fu (Lowell)

Taking Leave Of Du Fu by Li Bai (Lowell)

The Terraced Road by Li Bai (Lowell)

To-Em-mei's "The Unmoving Cloud" by Tao Yuanming (Pound)  A/V

To James Corry: On His Making Me A Present Of A Wine Strainer by Thomas Moore

To Li Bai by Du Fu (Obata)

To Sir Clipseby Crew by Robert Herrick

Two Gallons of old wine by Hafiz (Le Gallienne)

With A Man of Leisure by Li Bai (Obata)

Verses from the Vine

vinted and bottled by Stephen H. Bass

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