I recently posted the full text of my Quarantine Quatrains, a response to the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, but I said that I would also post some of the individual sections, for those who may not have leisure for the whole thing. And so, to cheer us up on yet another lock-down Monday I thought I’d share this little encomium and meditation on wine, in earnest of the day when we really can raise a glass together!
In the mean time, If you are enjoying these posts, you might like, on occasion,(though not every time of course!) to pop in and buy me a cup of coffee. Clicking on this banner will take you to a page where you can do so, if you wish.
As always you can hear me read the poem by clicking on the ‘play’ button or the Roman numeral
I think of old Khayyam who ‘stood before
The tavern shouting open up the door’
And wish I might carouse the night with him
Alas that such carousals are no more
I’ll keep the rules my country has imposed
My life, like my small garden, is enclosed,
But still I’ll raise a glass and pledge my friends
Although, for us, the tavern door is closed
For in my cellar, ranged in dusty rows,
Are sleeping poets waiting to disclose
Deep memories of St. Emillion
Whose vineyards reach to where the Dordogne flows
And with these wines I travel where I please
From Rhineland to the lofty Pyrenees,
I saunter though the chateaus of the loire,
Drawing the cork on any one of these.
So with the poets let me praise the vine
And pledge my absent friends in vintage wine
Sensing, sometimes, the savour at my lips
Speaks of a love both human and divine.
And when I come to taste my life’s last drop,
When all that flowed in me comes to a stop,
Then let me see my saviour pledge his love,
Come close to me, and help me drink the cup.