Victor James Daley

Here you will find the Long Poem In a Wine Cellar of poet Victor James Daley

In a Wine Cellar

SEE how it flashes,
 This grape-blood fine!?
Our beards it splashes,
 O comrade mine!?
Life dust and ashes
 Were, wanting wine. 
 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
 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!