Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SONG OF THE DECANTER, by ALFRED GIBBS CAMPBELL

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SONG OF THE DECANTER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: There was an old decanter
Last Line: "tread the dismal road of death."
Subject(s): Drinks & Drinking; Wine

There was an old decanter,
and its mouth was
gaping wide; the
rosy wine had
ebbed away
and left
its crystal
and the wind
went humming
up and
down the
sides it flew,
and through the
reed like
hollow neck
the wildest notes it
blew. I placed it in the
window where the blast was
blowing free, and fancied that its
pale mouth sang the queerest strains to
me. "They tell me -- puny conquerors! the
Plague has slain his ten, and War his hundred
thousand of the very best of men; but I" -- 'twas
thus the Bottle spake -- "but I have conquered
more than all your famous conquerors, so
feared and famed of yore. Then come, ye
youths and maidens all, come drink from
out my cup, the beverage that dulls the
brain and burns the spirits up; that puts
to shame your conquerors that slay their
scores below; for this has deluged millions
with the lava tide of woe. Tho'
in the path of battle darkest waves
of blood may roll; yet while I killed
the body, I have damn'd the very
soul. The cholera, the plagues,
the sword, such ruin never wro't,
as I, in mirth or malice, on the
innocent have brought. And
still I breathe upon them, and
they shrink before my breath;
and year by year my thousands
tread the dismal road of Death."

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