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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

A Dithyrambic on Wine

By Thomas Godfrey (1736–1763)

[From Juvenile Poems on Various Subjects. 1765.]

COME! let Mirth our hours employ,

The jolly God inspires;

The rosy juice our bosom fires,

And tunes our souls to joy.

See, great Bacchus now descending,

Gay, with blushing honors crowned;

Sprightly Mirth and Love, attending,

Around him wait,

In smiling state—

Let Echo resound,

Let Echo resound

The joyful news all around.

Fond Mortals, come; if love perplex,

In wine relief you’ll find;

Who’d whine for women’s giddy sex

More fickle than the wind?

If beauty’s bloom thy fancy warms.

Here see her shine,

Clothed in superior charms;

More lovely than the blushing morn,

When first the opening day

Bedecks the thorn,

And makes the meadows gay.

Here see her in her crystal shrine;

See and adore; confess her all divine,

The Queen of Love and Joy.

Heed not thy Chloe’s scorn—

This sparkling glass,

With winning grace,

Shall ever meet thy fond embrace,

And never, never, never cloy,

No never, never cloy.

Here, Poet! see, Castalia’s spring—

Come, give me a bumper, I’ll mount to the skies,

Another, another—’Tis done! I arise;

On fancy’s wing,

I mount, I sing,

And now, sublime,

Parnassus’ lofty top I climb—

But hark! what sounds are these I hear,

Soft as the dream of her in love,

Or Zephyrs whispering through the grove?

And now, more solemn far than funeral woe,

The heavy numbers flow!

And now again,

The varied strain,

Grown louder and bolder, strikes quick on the ear,

And thrills through every vein.

’Tis Pindar’s song!

His softer notes the fanning gales

Waft across the spicy vales,

While, through the air,

Loud whirlwinds bear

The harsher notes along.

Inspired by wine,

He leaves the lazy crowd below,

Who never dared to peep abroad,

And, mounting to his native sky,

Forever there shall shine.

No more I’ll plod

The beaten road;

Like him inspired, like him I’ll mount on high;

Like his my strain shall flow.

Haste, ye Mortals! leave your sorrow;

Let pleasure crown to-day—to-morrow

Yield to fate.

Join the universal chorus,

Bacchus reigns,

Ever great;

Bacchus reigns,

Ever glorious—

Hark! the joyful groves rebound,

Sporting breezes catch the sound,

And tell to hill and dale around—

“Bacchus reigns”—

While far away

The busy echoes die away.