Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
 
The Wine Vault
By George Alexander Stevens (1710–1784)
 
CONTENTED I am, and contented I’ll be,
  For what can this world more afford,
Than a lass who will sociably sit on my knee,
  And a cellar as sociably stored,
                    My brave boys?        5
 
My vault door is open, descend and improve,
  That cask,—aye, that we will try;
’Tis as rich to the taste as the lips of your love,
  And as bright as her cheeks to the eye,
                    My brave boys.        10
 
In a piece of slit hoop, see my candle is stuck,
  ’Twill light us each bottle to hand;
The foot of my glass for the purpose I broke,
  As I hate that bumper should stand,
                    My brave boys.        15
 
Astride on a butt, as a butt should be strod,
  I gallop the brusher along;
Like grape-blessing Bacchus, the good fellow’s god,
  And a sentiment give, or a song,
                    My brave boys.        20
 
We are dry where we sit, though the oozing drops seem
  With pearls the moist walls to emboss;
From the arch mouldy cobwebs in gothic taste stream,
  Like stucco-work cut of moss,
                    My brave boys.        25
 
When the lamp is brimful, how the taper flame shines,
  Which, when moisture is wanting, decays;
Replenish the lamp of my life with rich wines,
  Or else there’s an end of my blaze,
                    My brave boys.        30
 
Sound those pipes,—they’re in tune, and those bins are well filled,
  View that heap of old Hock in your rear;
Yon bottles are Burgundy! mark how they’re piled,
  Like artillery, tier over tier,
                    My brave boys.        35
 
My cellar’s my camp, and my soldiers my flasks,
  All gloriously ranged in review;
When I cast my eyes round, I consider my casks
  As kingdoms I’ve yet to subdue,
                    My brave boys.        40
 
Like Macedon’s madman, my glass I’ll enjoy,
  Defying hyp, gravel, or gout;
He cried when he had no more worlds to destroy,
  I’ll weep when my liquor is out,
                    My brave boys.        45
 
On their stumps some have fought, and as stoutly will I,
  When reeling, I roll on the floor;
Then my legs must be lost, so I’ll drink as I lie,
  And dare the best buck to do more,
                    My brave boys.        50
 
’Tis my will when I die, not a tear shall be shed,
  No Hic jacet be cut on my stone;
But pour on my coffin a bottle of red,
  And say that his drinking is done,
                    My brave boys!        55
 
 
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