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On Being Asked to Join the Teetotallers

On Being Asked to Join the Teetotallers

Water is silver, but wine it is gold,
So give it me mellow, bright, pure and old;
I mind not its clime, be it Xeres or Cape,
So ’tis honest fermented juice of the grape.

I like it not foreign, I make my own wine
From blackberry grapes that grow here so fine.
I’m getting in age — have drank all my life,
Hand always a glass to my weans and my wife.

Don’t take it as physic, but take it for joy,
When I want to feel happy with naught to annoy.
If you like water best, do take it, my friend,
But bother me not, night and morn, without end.

Your teetotal’s a name no dictionary owns,
Old Johnson would spurn ye, as silly poor crones,
As Bedlamite witches, who themselves could not rule,
And deserved to be dipped on the old ducking stool.

‘Tis my own manufacture — my blackberry wine —
I’ll match it against any wine on the Rhine
For flavour and bouquet, and making one merry,
It has the body of port, the soul of old sherry.
I’ve drank it for years, and ne’er had a bill
From merchant or doctor for wine trash, or pill.

Water is silver, but wine it is gold,
So give it me mellow, bright, pure, and old;
I mind not its clime, be it Xeres or Cape,
So ’tis honest fermented juice of the grape.


(source: from Manxiania: Rhymes & Legends, poem by the Rev. JE Pattison, Chaplain of Sulby (1870); photograph http://bit.ly/1NNfrYG)

Bernadette Weyde

Bernadette Weyde

I'm a web designer, amateur historian and keen gardener and I enjoy bringing Manx history, folklore and poetry to a modern audience.


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poetry

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