James Kenneth Stephen

(25 February 1859 – 3 February 1892 / England)

Drinking Song


There are people, I know, to be found,
Who say, and apparently think,
That sorrow and care may be drowned
By a timely consumption of drink.

Does not man, these enthusiasts ask,
Most nearly approach the divine,
When engaged in the soul-stirring task
Of filling his body with wine?

Have not beggars been frequently known,
When satisfied, soaked, and replete,
To imagine their bench was a throne
And the civilised world at their feet?

Lord Byron has finely described
The remarkably soothing effect
Of liquor, profusely imbibed,
On a soul that is shattered and wrecked.

In short, if your body or mind
Or your soul or your purse come to grief,
You need only get drunk, and you'll find
Complete and immediate relief.

For myself, I have managed to do
Without having recourse to this plan,
So I can't write a poem for you,
And you'd better get someone who can.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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