Verse > Anthologies > Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. > Yale Book of American Verse
Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse.  1912.
Robert Hinckley Messinger. 1811–1874
111. A Winter Wish
  OLD wine to drink! 
    Ay, give the slippery juice 
That drippeth from the grape thrown loose 
    Within the tun; 
Plucked from beneath the cliff         5
Of sunny-sided Teneriffe, 
  And ripened 'neath the blink 
    Of India's sun! 
    Peat whiskey hot, 
Tempered with well-boiled water!  10
These make the long night shorter,— 
    Forgetting not 
Good stout old English porter. 
  Old wood to burn! 
Ay, bring the hillside beech  15
From where the owlets meet and screech, 
    And ravens croak; 
The crackling pine, and cedar sweet; 
Bring too a clump of fragrant peat, 
  Dug 'neath the fern;  20
    The knotted oak, 
    A fagot too, perhap, 
Whose bright flame, dancing, winking, 
Shall light us at our drinking; 
    While the oozing sap  25
Shall make sweet music to our thinking. 
  Old books to read! 
Ay, bring those nodes of wit, 
The brazen-clasped, the vellum writ, 
    Time-honored tomes!  30
The same my sire scanned before, 
The same my grandsire thumbèd o'er, 
The same his sire from college bore, 
  The well-earned meed 
    Of Oxford's domes:  35
    Old Homer blind, 
Old Horace, rake Anacreon, by 
Old Tully, Plautus, Terence lie; 
Mort Arthur's olden minstrelsie, 
Quaint Burton, quainter Spenser, ay!  40
And Gervase Markham's venerie— 
    Nor leave behind 
The holye Book by which we live and die. 
  Old friends to talk! 
Ay, bring those chosen few,  45
The wise, the courtly, and the true, 
    So rarely found; 
Him for my wine, him for my stud, 
Him for my easel, distich, bud 
  In mountain walk!  50
    Bring Walter good, 
With soulful Fred, and learned Will, 
And thee, my alter ego (dearer still 
    For every mood). 
These add a bouquet to my wine!  55
These add a sparkle to my pine! 
    If these I tine, 
Can books, or fire, or wine be good? 

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