Here you will find the Long Poem In a Wine Cellar of poet Victor James Daley
SEE how it flashes, This grape-blood fine!? Our beards it splashes, O comrade mine!? Life dust and ashes Were, wanting wine. Amontillado Fires heart and eyes; Champagne the shadow Of care defies; An El Dorado In Rhine-wine lies; Port has the mintage Of generous deeds; Tokay scorns stintage And richly bleeds; But this great vintage The Wine-March leads. Yet it is wanting In poesy; No legends haunting Its vassals be, No tales enchanting Of chivalry. Spain?s grape hath stories; Its blood the bold Conquistadores Drank deep of old? A wine of glories, A wine of gold. Who drinks not sparing, Beholdeth he The great Cid bearing His banner free, Columbus daring The unknown Sea, And, haply biding, In this dream-Spain, Don Quixote riding Across the plain, His squire confiding Beside his rein. The wine of France is Aglow to-day With flash of lances, With feast and fray, And dark-eyed glances Of ladies gay. See where together, A flagon near, Lie hat with feather, And long rapier? Fine courting weather, O Cavalier! Bright Rhenish, gleaming Moon-white! Perchance Thy wave clear beaming Still guards Romance, Not dead, but dreaming In spell-bound trance! Not in Rhine-water, But Rhine-wine fair Sir Rupert sought her (As bards declare) The Rhine King?s daughter With golden hair. Still ?neath its smiling Wave?s amber rings, Men sweetly wiling From earthly things, Her song beguiling The Loreley sings. Your cup, wild siren, That Deutschland drains? Her heart of iron Moved by your strains? No blood shall fire in Australian veins; Nor yours whose charm is Your topaz eyne, Nor yours whose armies In gold caps shine, Shall charm or harm us? Eh, comrade mine? No vintage alien For thee or me! Our fount Castalian Of poesy Shall wine Australian, None other be. Then place your hand in This hand of mine, And while we stand in Her brave sunshine Pledge deep our land in Our land?s own wine. It has no glamour Of old romance, Of war and amour In Spain or France; Its poets stammer As yet, perchance; But he may wholly Become a seer Who quaffs it slowly; For he shall hear, Though faintly, lowly, Yet sweet and clear, The axes ringing On mountain sides, The wool-boats swinging Down Darling tides, The drovers singing Where Clancy rides, The miners driving, The stockman?s strife; All sounds conniving To tell the rife, Rich, rude, strong-striving Australian life. Once more your hand in This hand of mine! And while we stand in The brave sunshine, Pledge deep our land in Our land?s own wine!