Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
8. The Parting Glass
 
By Philip Freneau
 
 
THE MAN that joins in life’s career
And hopes to find some comfort here,
To rise above this earthly mass,—
The only way ’s to drink his glass.
 
But still, on this uncertain stage        5
Where hopes and fears the soul engage,
And while, amid the joyous band,
Unheeded flows the measured sand,
Forget not as the moments pass
That time shall bring the parting glass!        10
 
In spite of all the mirth I ’ve heard,
This is the glass I always feared,
The glass that would the rest destroy,
The farewell cup, the close of joy.
 
With you, whom reason taught to think,        15
I could for ages sit and drink;
But with the fool, the sot, the ass,
I haste to take the parting glass.
 
The luckless wight, that still delays
His draught of joys to future days,        20
Delays too long—for then, alas!
Old age steps up, and—breaks the glass!
 
The nymph who boasts no borrowed charms,
Whose sprightly wit my fancy warms,—
What though she tends this country inn,        25
And mixes wine, and deals out gin?
With such a kind, obliging lass,
I sigh to take the parting glass.
 
With him who always talks of gain
(Dull Momus, of the plodding train),        30
The wretch who thrives by others’ woes,
And carries grief where’er he goes,—
With people of this knavish class
The first is still my parting glass.
 
With those that drink before they dine,        35
With him that apes the grunting swine,
Who fills his page with low abuse,
And strives to act the gabbling goose
Turned out by fate to feed on grass—
Boy, give me quick, the parting glass.        40
 
The man whose friendship is sincere,
Who knows no guilt, and feels no fear,—
It would require a heart of brass
With him to take the parting glass.
 
With him who quaffs his pot of ale,        45
Who holds to all an even scale,
Who hates a knave in each disguise,
And fears him not—whate’er his size—
With him, well pleased my days to pass,
May heaven forbid the Parting Glass!        50
 

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