Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > France
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
France: Vols. IX–X.  1876–79.
 
Normandy
Apology for Cider
Oliver Basselin (c. 1400–c. 1450)
 
Translated by John Oxenford

THOUGH Frenchmen at our drink may laugh,
  And think their taste is wondrous fine,
The Norman cider which we quaff
  Is quite the equal of his wine,—
When down, down, down it freely goes,        5
And charms the palate as it flows.
 
Whene’er a potent draught I take,
  How dost thou bid me drink again!
Yet, pray, for my affection’s sake,
  Dear Cider, do not turn my brain.        10
O, down, down, down it freely goes,
And charms the palate as it flows.
 
I find I never lose my wits,
  However freely I carouse,
And never try in angry fits        15
  To raise a tempest in the house;
Though down, down, down the cider goes,
And charms the palate as it flows.
 
To strive for riches is all stuff;
  Just take the good the gods have sent.        20
A man is sure to have enough
  If with his own he is content;
As down, down, down the cider goes,
And charms the palate as it flows.
 
In truth that was a hearty bout;        25
  Why, not a drop is left,—not one;
I feel I ’ve put my thirst to rout;
  The stubborn foe at last is gone.
So down, down, down the cider goes,
And charms the palate as it flows.        30
 
 
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