Wine Poetry and Wine Poems:

A collection of wine poems


W.B. Yeats

Wine comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
I look at you, and I sigh.


George Gordon, Lord Byron


Start not--nor deem my spirit fled:
In me behold the only skull,
From which, unlike a living head,
Whatever flows is never dull.


I lived, I loved, I quaff'd, like thee:
I died: let earth my bones resign;
Fill up--thou canst not injure me;
The worm hath fouler lips than thine.


Better to hold the sparkling grape,
Than nurse the earth-worm's slimy brood;
And circle in the goblet's shape
The drink of Gods, than reptile's food.


Where once my wit, perchance, hath shone,
In aid of others' let me shine;
And when, alas! our brains are gone,
What nobler substitute than wine?


Quaff while thou canst: another race,
When thou and thine, like me, are sped,
May rescue thee from earth's embrace,
And rhyme and revel with the dead.


Why not? since through life's little day
Our heads such sad effects produce;
Redeem'd from worms and wasting clay,
This chance is theirs, to be of use.

Newstead Abbey, 1808.

[First published in the seventh edition of 'Childe Harold'.]

[Footnote 1: Byron gave Medwin the following account of this cup:--"The gardener in digging [discovered] a skull that had probably belonged to some jolly friar or monk of the abbey, about the time it was dis-monasteried. Observing it to be of giant size, and in a perfect state of preservation, a strange fancy seized me of having it set and mounted as a drinking cup. I accordingly sent it to town, and it returned with a very high polish, and of a mottled colour like tortoiseshell."--Medwin's 'Conversations', 1824, p. 87.]

Sonnet 17

John Milton

Lawrence of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day; what may be won
From the hard season gaining: time will run
On smoother till Favonius reinspire
The frozen earth; and clothe in fresh attire
The lily and rose, that neither sowed nor spun.
What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise
To hear the lute well touched, or artful voice
Warble immortal notes and tuskan air?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.

A Drinking Song

Henry Carey (1693?-1743)

BACCHUS must now his power resign -
I am the only God of Wine !
It is not fit the wretch should be
In competition set with me,
Who can drink ten times more than he.

Make a new world, ye powers divine !
Stock'd with nothing else but Wine :
Let Wine its only product be,
Let Wine be earth, and air, and sea -
And let that Wine be all for me !

"Wine is Bottled Poetry" - Robert Louis Stevenson