Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/108

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The Bumper of Claret.

Now for the hour that is sweetest of all, Sirs,
'Tis sacred to mirth, to good humour, and wine,
Fairer than any that lazily crawl, Sirs,
Thro' dullardized space in the garish sunshine;
Haste then, and let not an instant be wasted,
For fleetly flies Time, and we can but ill spare it,—
To do it due honour or ever 'tis past yet.
Baptise its arrival in bumpers of Claret.

Then here's to the being still free and light-hearted,
Who ne'er cares o'er the woes of this world to repine.
But tho' he and false Fortune be long ago parted.
Still moistens his woes with a bumper of wine.

Soother of care and promoter of revels,
What'er be your ills, Claret ne'er comes amiss;
Take my receipt and the grimmest blue devils
Will beam like Hope's self, if ye plunge them in this;
Not the cheek of a beauty who saints might beguile. Sirs,
Her form nor her face, I can freely declare it
Could look now half so sweet in my eyes, as the smile. Sirs,
That dimples the cheek of my bumper of Claret.

I once heard a tale—from my Grannie I took it, Sirs,
How the great globe was erst covered with rain,
When all our poor dads, like blind pups in a bucket, Sirs,
Sank, and, as she said, ne'er came up again;
Ever since that, in respect to their memory,
Water I've hated—O Lord I can't bear it!
And I'm never myself after mentioning them, ere I
Wash out the thought with a bumper of Claret.