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Poem by James Kenneth Stephen

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.

James Kenneth Stephen

James Kenneth Stephen's other poems:
  1. The Last Ride Together (after Browning)
  2. My Education
  3. After the Golden Wedding (Three Soliloquies)
  4. Steam-Launches on the Thames
  5. The Philosopher and the Philanthropist

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Henry Longfellow Drinking Song ("COME, old friend! sit down and listen!")
  • John Pierpont Drinking Song ("Drink, friends, drink deep-the moon is high")

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