Lapsus Calami (Apr 1891)/Drinking Song

Lapsus Calami  (1891)  by J.K.S.
Drinking Song

Originally published in The Reflector, January 1888, "Drinking Song" was later included in Lapsus Calami. In the third edition of that volume it is followed by "[Sincere Flattery] Of F. W. H. M.", the intervening pieces being omitted.

Drinking Song

To A. S.[1]

There are people, I know, to be found,
Who say and apparently think
That sorrow and care may be drowned
By a timely consumption of drink.

Does not man, these enthusiasts ask,
Most nearly approach the divine
When engaged in the soul-stirring task
Of filling his body with wine?

Have not beggars been frequently known
When satisfied, soaked and replete,
To imagine their bench was a throne
And the civilised world at their feet?

Lord Byron has finely described
The remarkably soothing effect
Of liquor, profusely imbibed,
On a soul that is shattered and wrecked.

In short, if your body or mind
Or your soul or your purse come to grief,
You need only get drunk, and you'll find
Complete and immediate relief.

For myself, I have managed to do
Without having recourse to this plan.
So I can't write a poem for you,
And you'd better get someone who can.

Reflector, Jan., 91.

  1. Who had asked for one, to set to music.