Maurice Thompson

(1844-1901 / the United States)

Nectar And Ambrosia - Poem by Maurice Thompson

If I were a poet, my sweetest song
Should have the bouquet of scuppernong,
With a racy smack in every line
From the savage juice of the muscadine.

The russet persimmon, the brown papaw,
The red wild plum and the summer haw,
Serviceberries and mandrake fruit,
Sassafras bark and ginseng root,
Should make my verse pungent and sweet by turns;
And the odor of grass and the freshness of ferns,
The kernels of nuts and the resins of trees,
The nectar distilled by the wild honey-bees,
Should be thrown in together, to flavor my words
With the zest of the woods and the joy of the birds!

Who sings by note, from the page of a book,
So sweet a tune as the brawl of a brook?
Shall Homer, or shall Anacreon
Suggest as much as the wind or the sun?

Give me a shell from the sea so green,
Cut me a flute from the Aulocrene,
Give me Nature's sweets and sours,
Her barks and nuts, her fruits and flowers;
And all the music I make shall be
Good as the sap of the maple-tree,
Whilst a rare bouquet shall fill my song
From the muscadine and the scuppernong.

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Poem Submitted: Friday, September 17, 2010

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