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A WINTER WISH, by         Recitation            
First Line: Old wine to drink!
Last Line: Can books, or fire or wine be good?
Variant Title(s): Give Me The Old
Subject(s): Alcoholism & Alcoholics; Friendship; Drunkards; Alcohol Abuse

OLD wine to drink! --
Ay, give the slippery juice
That drippeth from the grape thrown loose
Within the tun;
Plucked from beneath the cliff
Of sunny-sided Teneriffe,
And ripened 'neath the blink!
Of India's sun!
Peat whiskey hot,
Tempered with well-boiled water!
These make the long night shorter, --
Forgetting not
Good stout old English porter.
Old wood to burn! --
Ay, bring the hillside beech
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;
The knotted oak
A fagot too, perhaps,
Whose bright flame, dancing, winking,
Shall light us at our drinking;
While the oozing sap
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!
The same my sire scanned before,
The same my grandsire thumbed o'er,
The same his sire from college bore,
The well-earned meed
Of Oxford's domes;
Old Homer blind,
Old Horace, rake Anacreon, by
Old Tully, Plautus, Terence lie;
Mort Arthur's olden minstrelsie,
Quaint Burton, quainter Spenser, ay!
And Gervase Markham's venerie, --
Nor leave behind
The Holy Book by which we live and die
Old friends to talk! --
Ay, bring those chosen few,
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!
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!
These add a sparkle to the pine!
If these I tine
Can books, or fire or wine be good?

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