Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AURUM POTABILE, by BAYARD TAYLOR

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AURUM POTABILE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Brother bards of every region
Last Line: Golden blood of lebanon!
Alternate Author Name(s): Taylor, James Bayard
Subject(s): Lebanon


BROTHER Bards of every region, --
Brother Bards, (your name is Legion!)
Were you with me while the twilight
Darkens up my pine-tree skylight, --
Were you gathered, representing
Every land beneath the sun,
Oh, what songs would be indited,
Ere the earliest star is lighted,
To the praise of vino d'oro,
On the Hills of Lebanon!


Yes; while all alone I quaff its
Lucid gold, and brightly laugh its
Topaz waves and amber bubbles,
Still the thought my pleasure troubles,
That I quaff it all alone.
Oh for Hafiz, -- glorious Persian!
Keats, with buoyant, gay diversion
Mocking Schiller's grave immersion;
Oh for wreathed Anacreon!
Yet enough to have the living, --
They, the few, the rapture-giving!
(Blessed more than in receiving,)
Fate, that frowns when laurels wreathe them,
Once the solace might bequeath them,
Once to taste of vino d'oro
On the Hills of Lebanon!


Lebanon, thou mount of story,
Well we know thy sturdy glory,
Since the days of Solomon;
Well we know the Five old Cedars,
Scarred by ages, -- silent pleaders,
Preaching, in their gray sedateness,
Of thy forest's fallen greatness,
Of the vessels of the Tyrian,
And the palaces Assyrian,
And the temple on Moriah
To the High and Holy One!
Know the wealth of thy appointment, --
Myrrh and aloes, gum and ointment;
But we knew not, till we clomb thee,
Of the nectar dropping from thee, --
Of the pure, pellucid Ophir
In the cups of vino d'oro,
On the Hills of Lebanon!


We have drunk, and we have eaten,
Where Egyptian sheaves are beaten;
Tasted Judah's milk and honey
On his mountains, bare and sunny;
Drained ambrosial bowls, that ask us
Never more to leave Damascus;
And have sung a vintage paean
To the grapes of isles AEgean,
And the flasks of Orvieto,
Ripened in the Roman sun:
But the liquor here surpasses
All that beams in earthly glasses.
'T is of this that Paracelsus
(His elixir vitae) tells us,
That to happier shores can float us
Than Lethean stems of lotus,
And the vigor of the morning
Straight restores when day is done.
Then, before the sunset waneth,
While the rosy tide, that staineth
Earth, and sky, and sea, remaineth,
We will take the fortune proffered, --
Ne'er again to be re-offered,
We will drink of vino d'oro,
On the Hills of Lebanon!
Vino d'oro! vino d'oro! --
Golden blood of Lebanon!

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