John Pierpont Poems >>
Hymns and Odes for Temperance Occasions III
Thou sparkling bowl! thou sparkling bowl!
Though lips of bards thy brim may press,
And eyes of beauty o'er thee roll,
And song and dance thy power confess,
I will not touch thee; for there clings
A scorpion to thy side, that stings!
Thou crystal glass! like Eden's tree,
Thy melted ruby tempts the eye,
And, as from that, there comes from thee
The voice, "Thou shalt not surely die."
I dare not lift thy liquid gem;—
A snake is twisted round thy stem!
Thou liquid fire! like that which glowed
On Melita's surf-beaten shore,
Thou'st been upon my guests bestowed,
But thou shalt warm my house no more.
For, wheresoe'er thy radiance falls,
Forth, from thy heat, a viper crawls!
What, though of gold the goblet be,
Embossed with branches of the vine,
Beneath whose burnished leaves we see
Such clusters as poured out the wine?
Among those leaves an adder hangs!
I fear him;—for I've felt his fangs.
The Hebrew, who the desert trod,
And felt the fiery serpent's bite,
Looked up to that ordained of God,
And found that life was in the sight.
So, the worm-bitten's fiery veins
Cool, when he drinks what God ordains.
Ye gracious clouds! ye deep, cold wells!
Ye gems, from mossy rocks that drip!
Springs, that from Earth's mysterious cells
Gush o'er your granite basin's lip!
To you I look;—your largess give,
And I will drink of you, and live.
More Poetry from John Pierpont:
John Pierpont Poems based on Topics: God, Life, Nature, Sense & Perception, Wine, Gold, Beauty, Fire, Confession
- The Portrait (John Pierpont Poems)
- News-Carrier (John Pierpont Poems)
- Moslem Worship (John Pierpont Poems)
- Hymns and Odes for Temperance Occasions XIV: The Drunkard's Funeral (John Pierpont Poems)
- A Birthday In Scio (John Pierpont Poems)
- To A Friend (John Pierpont Poems)
Readers Who Like This Poem Also Like:
Based on Topics: God Poems, Life Poems, Nature Poems, Sense & Perception Poems, Fire Poems, Beauty Poems, Gold Poems, Wine Poems, Confession Poems
Based on Keywords: melita, surf-beaten, worm-bitten