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DRINK AND DRINKING


And here's to a' in barley bree,
      Oursel's and a' the warld thegither,
To a' wha luve the kilted knee,
      Or bonnie lasses in the heather.
--Geo. Robertson, Jr.


He is not drunk who, from the floor,
Can rise again and drink some more;
But he is drunk who prostrate lies
And cannot drink or cannot rise.
--Eugene Field


I wish I could drink like a lady
I can take one or two at the most
Three and I'm under the table
Four and I'm under the host
-- Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)

Now fill your glasses ane an' a',
      And drink the toast I gie ye, O.
"To merry chiefs and lasses braw,
      And every joy be wi' ye, O."
      Fair fa' the whiskey, O
      Fair fa' the whiskey, O
      What wad a droughty body do,
      If 'twere nae for the whiskey, O?
---D. Henderson


St. Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth
Drove all the snakes from Ireland-
Here's a bumper to his health.
But not too many bumpers,
Lest we lose ourselves, and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see the snakes again.
---Anonymous

There was a young fellow named Sydney,
Who drank 'till he ruined his kidney.
      It shriveled and shrank
      As he sat there and drank,
But he had a good time at it, didn't he?
--Don Marquis (1878-1937)


There was a young man who said: "Why
Can't I drink this good wine with my eye?
      It is now on my clothes,
      In my hair, up my nose-
Well, you never can tell till you try."

'Tis pity wine should be so deleterious,
For tea and coffee leave us much more serious.
--George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824)

AN OLD BACHELOR
Tudor Jenks (1857-1922)
'Twas raw, and chill, and cold outside,
      With a boisterous wind untamed,
But I was sitting snug within,
      Where my good log-fire flamed;
As my clock ticked,
My cat purred,
And my kettle sang.

I read me a tale of war and love,
      Brave knights and their ladies fair;
And I brewed a brew of stiff hot scotch
      To drive away dull care;
As my clock ticked,
My cat purred,
And my kettle sang.

At last the candles spluttered out,
      But the embers still were bright,
When I turned my tumbler upside down,
      An' bade m'self g'night!
As th' ket'l t-hic-ked,
The clock purred,
And the cat (hic) sang!

ARMY TOAST
Here's to wives and sweethearts sweet!
May they never, never meet!

A TOAST
Anonymous
Here's to ye absent Lords, may they
Long in a foreign country stay
Drinking at other ladies' boards
The health of other absent Lords.

BATHTUB GIN
Philip H. Rhinelander
Oh, ancient sin, Oh, bathtub gin,
      How rare and how robut,
Bouquet of tin and porcelain
     And little grains of rust.
Our cares dissolved as you evolved,
      Your beauty was benumbing.
You rose full-armor'd from the bath
      Like Venus from the plumbing.
When hardened hearts in foreign ports
      Deride your name with scorn,
And whisper calumnies and say
      That you were basely born,
I plant a wreath of juniper,
      My thirsty tonsils ache
To fill my skin with bathtub gin
      Like Father used to make.

DISGRUNTLED GUEST
The meat is high,
The bread is dry,
The wine is bitter
And so am I.

DRINKING SONG
She tells me with claret she cannot agree,
And she thinks of a hogshead whene'er she sees me;
For I smell like a beast, and therefore must I
Resolve to forsake her, or claret deny.
Must I leave my dear bottle, that was always my friend,
And I hope will continue so to my life's end?
Must I leave it for her? 'Tis a very hard task.
Let her got to the devil!--bring the other full flask.

Had she taxed me with gaming, and bid me forbear,
'Tis a thousand to one I had lent her an ear;
Had she found out my Sally, up three pair of stairs,
I had balked her, and gone to St. James's to prayers.
Had she bade me read homilies three times a day
She perhaps had been humored with little to say;
But, at night, to deny me my bottle of red
Let her go to the devil!--there's no more to be said.

GET DRUNK
From the PROSE POEMS OF CHARLES BAUDELAIRE, translated by Geoffrey Grigson
It is essential to be drunk all the time. That is all: there's no other problem. If you do not want to feel the appalling weight of Time which breaks your shoulders and bends you to the ground, get drunk, and drunk again.
      What with? Wine, Poetry, or being good, please yourself. But get drunk.
      And if now and then, on the steps of a palace, on the green grass of a ditch, in the glum loneliness of your room, you come to, your drunken state abated or dissolved, ask the wind, ask the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, ask all that runs away, all that groans, all that wheels, all that sings, all that speaks, what time it is; and the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, will tell you: 'It is time to get drunk!' If you do not want to be the martyred slaves of Time, get drunk, always get drunk! With wine, with poetry or with being good. As you please.

Give me women, wine, and snuff
John Keats (1795-1821)
Give me women, wine, and snuff
Untill I cry out "hold, enough!"
You may do so sans objection
Till the day of resurrection:
For, bless my beard, they aye shall be
My beloved Trinity.

IF YOU STICK A STOCK OF LIQUOR
Norman Levy
If you stick a stock of liquor in your locker,
It is slick to stick a lock upon your stock,
Or some joker who is slicker's going to trick you of your liquor;
Though you snicker you'll feel sicker from the shock.
Be a piker though your clubmates mock and bicker,
For like brokers round a ticker they will flock
To your locker full of liquor, and your stock will vanish quicker,
If you fail to lock your liquor with a lock.

IN JAPAN
Edward Rowland Sill (1841-1887)
At the punch-bowl’s brink,
Let the thirsty think
What they say in old Japan:

First the man takes a drink;
Then the drink takes a drink;
Then the drink takes the man.

JUDGED BY THE COMPANY ONE KEEPS
Anonymous
One night in late October,
When I was far from sober,
Returning with my load with manly pride,
My feet began to stutter
So I lay down in the gutter
And a pig came near and lay down by my side.
A lady passing by was heard to say:
"You can tell a man who boozes
By the company he chooses,"
And the pig got up, and slowly walked away.

THE MASSACRE OF MACPHERSON
Sir William Edmondstoune Aytoun (1813 - 1865)
Fhairshon had a son,
Who married Noah's daughter,
And nearly spoiled ta Flood
By trinking up ta water:

Which he would have done,
I at least pelieve it,
Had the mixture peen
Only half Glenlivet.

NO, THANKS
Marcus Valerius Martialis (born A.D. 40 in Spain)
They tell me, Paulus, when you dine,
You serve a very potent wine.
They also say, or so I've heard,
You poisoned your four wives. Absurd!
No one believes it. Still, I think
I'd just as soon not have a drink.

REASONS FOR DRINKING
Dr. Henry Aldrich
If all be true that I do think,
There are five reasons we should drink.
Good wine-a friend-or being dry-
Or lest we should be by and by-
Or any other reason why!

THE PORT OF REFUGE
R. Von Muhler
Out of the grog-shop, I've stepped in the street.
Road, what's the matter? you're loose on your feet;
Staggering, swaggering, reeling about.
Road, you're in liquor, past question or doubt.

Gas-lamps, be quiet-stand up, if you please.
What the deuce ails you? you're weak in the knees:
Some on your heads-in the gutter, some sunk-
Gas-lamps, I see it, you're all of you drunk.

Angels and ministers! look at the moon--
Shining up there like a paper balloon,
Winking like mad at me: Moon, I'm afraid--
Now I'm convinced--Oh! you tipsy old jade.

Here's a phenomenon: look at the stars--
Jupiter, Ceres, Uranus, and Mars
Dancing quadrilles, capered, shuffled, and hopped.
Heavenly bodies! this ought to be stopped.

Down come the houses! each drunk as a king--
Can't say I fancy much this sort of thing:
Inside the inn, it was safe and all right,
I shall go back there, and stop for the night.

THE SONG OF RIGHT AND WRONG
GK Chesterton (1874-1936)
Feast on wine or fast on water
And your honour shall stand sure,
God Almighty's son and daughter
He the valiant, she the pure;
If an angel out of heaven
Brings you other things to drink,
Thank him for his kind attentions,
Go and pour them down the sink.

Tea is like the East he grows in,
A great yellow Mandarin
With urbanity of manner
And unconsciousness of sin;
All the women, like a harem,
At his pig-tail troop along;
And, like all the East he grows in,
He is Poison when he's strong.

Tea, although an Oriental,
Is a gentleman at least;
Cocoa is a cad and coward,
Cocoa is a vulgar beast,
Cocoa is a dull, disloyal,
Lying, crawling cad and clown,
And may very well be grateful
To the fool that takes him down.

As for all the windy waters,
They were rained like tempests down
When good drink had been dishonoured
By the tipplers of the town;

When red wine had brought red ruin
And the death-dance of our times,
Heaven sent us Soda Water
As a torment for our crimes.

THE WORKMAN'S FRIEND
Flann O'Brien (1911-1966)
When things go wrong and will not come right,
Though you do the best you can,
When life looks black as the hour of night--
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.

When money's tight and hard to get
And your horse has also ran,
When all you have is a heap of debt--
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.

When health is bad and your heart feels strange,
And your face is pale and wan,
When doctors say you need a change,
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.

When food is scarce and your larder bare
And no rashers grease your pan,
When hunger grows as your meals are rare--
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.

In time of trouble and lousy strife,
You have still got a darlint plan
You still can turn to a brighter life--
A PINT OF PLAIN IS YOUR ONLY MAN.

WINE AND WATER
G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
Old Noah he had an ostrich farm and fowls on the largest scale.
He ate his soup with a ladle in an egg-cup big as a pail,
And the soup he took was Elephant soup and the fish he took was Whale,
But they all were small to the cellar he took when he set out to sail.
     And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine,
     "I don't care where the water gets if it doesn't get into the wine."

The cataract of the staff of heaven fell blinding off the brink
As if it would wash the stars away as suds go down a sink.
The seven heavens came roaring down for the throats of hell to drink,
And Noah he cocked his eyes and said, "It looks like rain, I think,
     The water has drowned the Matterhorn as deep as a Mendip mine,
     But I don't care where the water gets if it doesn't get into the wine."

But Noah he sinned, and we have sinned: on tipsy feet we trod,
Till a great big black teetotaller was sent to us for a rod,
And you can't get wine at a P.S.A., or chapel, or Eisteddfod,
For the Curse of Water has come again because of the wrath of God.
     And water is on the Bishop's board and the Higher Thinker's shrine,
     But I don't care where the water gets if it doesn't get into the wine.

Turn on the nightlight, lock the door, and tremble with an eerie collection of poetry on hauntings and the occult..

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