Dry moralists still rail at drinking—let them1
They might rail better, could we but persuade them2
To let the juice of eloquent virtue aid them ;3
They might be witty, had they this to whet them.4
Oh ! let arch Bacchus’ wiles but once beset them,5
How well their courtesy would be repaid them,6
How would they shine, when witching wine display’d them ;7
Your wits still sparkle more, the more you wet them ;8
Just as the pebbles of the mountain river,9
Nature’s mosaic, darker dyes and lighter,10
In wild variety, as the current bore them,—11
How beautiful may be their hues so ever,12
Look ten times richer, more than ten times brighter,13
Beneath the sunny stream that glances o’er them14