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The Origin of Wine
John Godfrey Saxe


A German Legend
Respectfully dedicated to O. M. Tinkham, Esq.

Ye friends of good cheer, I pray you give ear;
I sing of old Noah who planted the vine;
But first, if you please, our thirst to appease,
Let's drink to his health in a bumper of wine!


When the Deluge was o'er, and good Father Noah
Sat moping one day in the shade of a tree,
An Angel came near, and thinking it queer,
Said: "Tell me, I pray, what the matter may be."


Says Noah: "I'm curst with a horrible thirst;
So painful, indeed, I am ready to sink;
I have plenty to eat, there's no lack of meat;
But, sir, on my honor, I've nothing to drink!"


"See, on every side," the Angel replied,
"There is water enough both in river and rill,
Your fever to slake, not to mention the lake,
And many a fountain that flows from the hill."


Says Noah: "I know the waters still flow,
But the Deluge has ruined the fluid for drink;
So many bad men were soaked in it then,
The water now tastes of the sinners, I think."


"It can't be denied," the Angel replied,
"There is something of reason in what you have said;
Since the water is bad, it is fitting you had
A good wholesome tipple to drink in its stead."


Then flying away, the very next day
The Angel came back with a handful of seeds;
And taught the good man the properest plan
Of planting, and hoeing, and killing the weeds.


Ah! what color and shape! 't is the beautiful grape;
In clusters of purple they hand from the vine;
And these being pressed it is easily guessed,
Old Noah thenceforward drank nothing but wine.


So, a cup ere we part to the man of our heart,
Old Noah, the primitive grower of wine;
And one brimming cup (nay, fill it quite up)
To the Angel who gave him the seed of the vine!

This poem is in the public domain.

John Godfrey Saxe (1816 –1887) was an American lawyer, satirist, and poet. Born in Vermont to a family of German descent, John was a popular and entertaining speaker, but his various efforts to win political office were mostly unsuccessful. His later years were filled with tragedy and, ultimately, this lively, outgoing public figure succumbed to depression and became a recluse.



Post New Comment:
This made very happy reading. I really enjoyed it..
Posted 10/08/2016 03:16 AM
Clever, in thought and execution.
Posted 10/06/2016 12:06 PM
Posted 10/06/2016 09:45 AM
Good timing, Jayne. Awaiting the deluge in Florida with Noah nearby!
Posted 10/06/2016 08:00 AM
Love it! Cheers!
Posted 10/06/2016 02:44 AM

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