Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I figure that, with the way people choose to celebrate St. Patrick's day this day and age, a drinking poem would be an acceptable post. This is not my poem, but it is one of my favorites which I fully intend to memorize completely (at the moment, I can only say the first and last stanzas and a few bits of the middle from memory) and start reciting at a bar when everyone around me is drunk and therefore won't remember it...that's the plan anyway. I don't go to bars, so it's kind of a hitch. Still, I give you 'The Old Man's Carousal' by James Kirke Paulding.

The Old Man’s Carousal
By James Kirke Paulding
DRINK! drink! to whom shall we drink?
To a friend or a mistress? Come, let me think!
To those who are absent, or those who are here?
To the dead that we loved, or the living still dear?
Alas! when I look, I find none of the last! 5
The present is barren,—let ’s drink to the past!

Come! here ’s to the girl with a voice sweet and low,
The eye all of fire and the bosom of snow,
Who erewhile, in the days of my youth that are fled,
Once slept on my bosom, and pillowed my head! 10
Would you know where to find such a delicate prize?
Go seek in you church-yard, for there she lies.

And here ’s to the friend, the one friend of my youth,
With a head full of genius, a heart full of truth,
Who traveled with me in the sunshine of life, 15
And stood by my side in its peace and its strife!
Would you know where to seek for a blessing so rare?
Go drag the lone sea, you may find him there.

And here ’s to a brace of twin cherubs of mine,
With hearts like their mother’s, as pure as this wine, 20
Who came but to see the first act of the play,
Grew tired of the scene, and then both went away.
Would you know where this brace of bright cherubs have hied?
Go seek them in heaven, for there they abide.

A bumper, my boys! to a gray-headed pair, 25
Who watched o’er my childhood with tenderest care.
God bless them, and keep them, and may they look down
On the head of their son, without tear, sigh, or frown!
Would you know whom I drink to? go seek ’mid the dead,
You will find both their names on the stone at their head. 30

And here ’s—but alas! the good wine is no more,
The bottle is emptied of all its bright store;
Like those we have toasted, its spirit is fled,
And nothing is left of the light that it shed.
Then, a bumper of tears, boys! the banquet here ends. 35
With a health to our dead, since we ’ve no living friends.

Happy St. Patrick's day, and I hope that, whatever method
of celebration you choose, it is filled with friends and loved ones. 

God Bless!


(Poem cut and pasted from

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