Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BOTTOMS UP!, by BERTON BRALEY

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BOTTOMS UP!, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The wine of life! -- most men prefer
Last Line: "the wine of life—with brandy in it!"
Subject(s): Drinks & Drinking; Wine

("Every now and then I like to drink the wine of life—with brandy in
it!"—Letter of Theodore Roosevelt to Senator Lodge.)

The Wine of Life!—Most men prefer
A vintage bland and smooth and mild,
Something to make their pulses purr
With soft enchantment undefiled;
But now and then one stalks along
Whose thirst grows mightier by the minute,
Who takes his tipple, hot and strong,
The Wine of Life—with Brandy in it!

Where ordinary folk desire
Life to be like a watered claret,
These topers call for liquid fire
And with their lusty fellows share it.
In every row with Destiny
They are the fellows who begin it,
Guzzling like Vikings, bold and free
The Wine of Life—with Brandy in it!

They swagger to the Bar of Fate
And slap their roll upon the bar
Demanding singeing distillate
Fit for the hardy souls they are;
They take their potent potion neat
And scorn with ice or fizz to thin it.
Only one mixture they find sweet—
The Wine of Life—with Brandy in it!

Fighters and gamesters, pioneers,
Whose taste is spoiled for milder things,
Who rollick down the roaring years
Swigging of life that sears and stings!
And we—we watch them, and we think
"They drink too deep, we're all agin' it!"
—Yet wish WE had the verve to drink
"The Wine of Life—with Brandy in it!"

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