Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A MIDNIGHT MEDITATION, by WILLIAM EDMONSTOUNE AYTOUN



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A MIDNIGHT MEDITATION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Fill me once more the foaming pewter up!
Last Line: What ho! Within there, ho! Another pint of stout!
Alternate Author Name(s): Bon Gaultier (with Theodore Martin)
Subject(s): Drinks & Drinking; Wine


FILL me once more the foaming pewter up!
Another board of oysters, ladye mine!
To-night Lucullus with himself shall sup.
These mute inglorious Miltons are divine!
And as I here in slippered ease recline,
Quaffing of Perkins's Entire my fill,
I sigh not for the lymph of Aganippe's rill.
A nobler inspiration fires my brain,
Caught from Old England's fine time-hallowed drink;
I snatch the pot again and yet again,
And as the foaming fluids shrink and shrink,
Fill me once more, I say, up to the brink!
This makes strong hearts -- strong heads attest its charm --
This nerves the might that sleeps in Britain's brawny arm!

But these remarks are neither here nor there.
Where was I? Oh, I see -- old Southey's dead!
They'll want some bard to fill the vacant chair,
And drain the annual butt -- and oh, what head
More fit with laurel to be garlanded
Than this, which, curled in many a fragrant coil,
Breathes of Castalia's streams, and best Macassar oil?

I know a grace is seated on my brow,
Like young Apollo's with his golden beams --
There should Apollo's bays be budding now: --
And in my flashing eyes the radiance beams,
That marks the poet in his waking dreams,
When, as his fancies cluster thick and thicker,
He feels the trance divine of poesy and liquor.

They throng around me now, those things of air,
That from my fancy took their being's stamp:
There Pelham sits and twirls his glossy hair,
There Clifford leads his pals upon the tramp;
There pale Zanoni, bending o'er his lamp,
Roams through the starry wilderness of thought,
Where all is everything, and everything is nought.

Yes, I am he who sung how Aram won
The gentle ear of pensive Madeline!
How love and murder hand in hand may run,
Cemented by philosophy serene,
And kisses bless the spot where gore has been!
Who breathed the melting sentiment of crime,
And for the assassin waked a sympathy sublime!

Yes, I am he, who on the novel shed
Obscure philosophy's enchanting light!
Until the public, 'wildered as they read,
Believed they saw that which was not in sight --
Of course 'twas not for me to set them right;
For in my nether heart convinced I am,
Philosophy's as good as any other flam.

Novels three-volumed I shall write no more --
Somehow or other now they will not sell;
And to invent new passions is a bore --
I find the Magazines pay quite as well.
Translating's simple, too, as I can tell,
Who've hawked at Schiller on his lyric throne,
And given the astonished bard a meaning all my own.

Moore, Campbell, Wordsworth, their best days are grassed;
Battered and broken are their early lyres.
Rogers, a pleasant memory of the past,
Warmed his young hands at Smithfield's martyr fires,
And, worth a plum, nor bays nor butt desires.
But these are things would suit me to the letter,
For though this Stout is good, old Sherry's greatly better.

A fico for your small poetic ravers,
Your Hunts, your Tennysons, your Milnes, and these!
Shall they compete with him who wrote 'Maltravers',
Prologue to 'Alice or the Mysteries'?
No! Even now my glance prophetic sees
My own high brow girt with the bays about.
What ho! within there, ho! another pint of STOUT!





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