Oliver Wendell Holmes

(1809-1894 / United States)

A Loving-Cup Song - Poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes

COME, heap the fagots! Ere we go
Again the cheerful hearth shall glow;
We 'll have another blaze, my boys!
When clouds are black and snows are white,
Then Christmas logs lend ruddy light
They stole from summer days, my boys,
They stole from summer days.

And let the Loving-Cup go round,
The Cup with blessed memories crowned,
That flows whene'er we meet, my boys;
No draught will hold a drop of sin
If love is only well stirred in
To keep it sound and sweet, my boys,
To keep it sound and sweet.

Give me, to pin upon my breast,
The blossoms twain I love the best,
A rosebud and a pink, my boys;
Their leaves shall nestle next my heart,
Their perfumed breath shall own its part
In every health we drink, my boys,
In every health we drink.

The breathing blossoms stir my blood,
Methinks I see the lilacs bud
And hear the bluebirds sing, my boys;
Why not? Yon lusty oak has seen
Full tenscore years, yet leaflets green
Peep out with every spring, my boys,
Peep out with every spring.

Old Time his rusty scythe may whet,
The unmowed grass is glowing yet
Beneath the sheltering snow, my boys;
And if the crazy dotard ask,
Is love worn out? Is life a task?
We'll bravely answer No! my boys,
We 'll bravely answer No!

For life's bright taper is the same
Love tipped of old with rosy flame
That heaven's own altar lent, my boys,
To glow in every cup we fill
Till lips are mute and hearts are still,
Till life and love are spent, my boys,
Till life and love are spent.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 6, 2010

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