These oceans vast :: The uttermost rim (III)

by Eric Banks on Monday, July 30, 2012 at 3:52pm

OK, kids. Here’s a drinking song for you. The poem is by Herman Melville,
who was looking for courage while at sea. He found it: in a bottle of red.

III. The uttermost rim (Drinking song)

Ha, ha, gods and kings; fill high, one and all;
Drink, drink! shout and drink! mad respond to the call!
Fill fast, and fill full; ‘gainst the goblet ne’er sin;
Quaff there, at high tide, to the uttermost rim:—
Flood-tide, and soul-tide to the brim!

Who with wine in him fears? Who thinks of his cares?
Who sighs to be wise, when wine in him flares?
Water sinks down below, in currents full slow;
But wine mounts on high with its genial glow:—
Welling up, till the brain overflow!

As the spheres, with a roll, some fiery of soul,
Others golden, with music, revolve round the pole.
So let our cups, radiant with many hued wines,
Round and round in groups circle, our zodiac’s signs:—
Round reeling, and ringing their chimes!

Then drink, gods and kings; wine merriment brings;
It bounds through the veins; there, jubilant sings.
Let it ebb, then, and flow; wine never grows dim;
Drain down that bright tide at the foam-beaded rim:—
Fill up, every cup, to the brim!