The Vine

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Like clustering tents upon the embattled mead,
See Vitis thick her small pavilions spread.
Beneath each silken veil, with studious care
Five amorous brothers woo one yielding fair;
From the sweet raptures of the fond embrace,
Soon springs a lovely and a generous race:
In purple bright, or lucid verdure clad,
The passer’s eye the groups luxuriant glad;

While o’er the enchanting clusters’ native hue,
Spreads a rich tincture of celestial blue.
Sweet to the taste, the swelling orbs produce
A rich profusion of ambrosial juice;
Mantling and clear, man sees the beverage shine,
And hails with grateful voice the Power of Wine.
Fair and delicious boon of favouring Heaven,
To human kind the balm of sorrow given!
By this inspir’d, behold on blither wing
Soar the young Joys, the Muses sweeter sing;
With lighter step the dancing Graces move,
And fiercer burns the golden lamp of love.
But, thoughtless man! beware of foul excess,
Nor draw a curse where Heaven design’d to bless.
Then flies the genial draught that cheer’d the soul,
And fatal poison drugs the intemperate bowl;
Amid the flowrets of the festal wreath,
The serpents writhe of anguish and of death,
Shoots pale disease along the languid frame,
And passion’s burning fiends the veins inflame.

 

– Henry James Pye

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