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Title: Wine, Water, and Song
Author: Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith), 1874-1936
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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WINE, WATER, AND SONG



BY THE SAME AUTHOR


  CHARLES DICKENS
  THE BALLAD OF THE WHITE HORSE
  THE FLYING INN
  ALL THINGS CONSIDERED
  TREMENDOUS TRIFLES
  ALARMS AND DISCURSIONS
  A MISCELLANY OF MEN



  WINE, WATER
  AND SONG

  BY
  G. K. CHESTERTON


  THIRD EDITION


  METHUEN & CO. LTD.
  36 ESSEX STREET W.C.
  LONDON



  First Published      August  6th 1915
  Second Edition       August 10th 1915
  Third Edition        August 23rd 1915



NOTE


The Songs in this book are taken from "THE FLYING INN," with the
exception of "The Good Rich Man" and "The Song of the Strange Ascetic,"
which are here included by kind permission of the editor of =The New
Witness=, where they originally appeared.



CONTENTS


                                     Page

  The Englishman                        9

  Wine and Water                       11

  The Song against Grocers             15

  The Rolling English Road             20

  The Song of Quoodle                  24

  Pioneers, O Pioneers                 27

  The Logical Vegetarian               31

  "The Saracen's Head"                 34

  The Good Rich Man                    37

  The Song against Songs               42

  Me Heart                             45

  The Song of the Oak                  49

  The Road to Roundabout               53

  The Song of the Strange Ascetic      57

  The Song of Right and Wrong          60

  Who Goes Home?                       63



WINE, WATER, AND SONG



The Englishman


  St. George he was for England,
  And before he killed the dragon
  He drank a pint of English ale
  Out of an English flagon.
  For though he fast right readily
  In hair-shirt or in mail,
  It isn't safe to give him cakes
  Unless you give him ale.

  St. George he was for England,
  And right gallantly set free
  The lady left for dragon's meat
  And tied up to a tree;
  But since he stood for England
  And knew what England means,
  Unless you give him bacon
  You mustn't give him beans.

  St. George he is for England,
  And shall wear the shield he wore
  When we go out in armour
  With the battle-cross before.
  But though he is jolly company
  And very pleased to dine,
  It isn't safe to give him nuts
  Unless you give him wine.



Wine and Water


  Old Noah he had an ostrich farm and fowls on the largest scale,
  He ate his egg with a ladle in an egg-cup big as a pail,
  And the soup he took was Elephant Soup and the fish he took was Whale,
  But they all were small to the cellar he took when he set out to sail,
  And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine,
  "I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine."

  The cataract of the cliff of heaven fell blinding off the brink
  As if it would wash the stars away as suds go down a sink,
  The seven heavens came roaring down for the throats of hell to drink,
  And Noah he cocked his eye and said, "It looks like rain, I think,
  The water has drowned the Matterhorn as deep as a Mendip mine,
  But I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine."

  But Noah he sinned, and we have sinned; on tipsy feet we trod,
  Till a great big black teetotaller was sent to us for a rod,
  And you can't get wine at a P.S.A., or chapel, or Eisteddfod,
  For the Curse of Water has come again because of the wrath of God,
  And water is on the Bishop's board and the Higher Thinker's shrine,
  But I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine.



The Song Against Grocers


  God made the wicked Grocer
  For a mystery and a sign,
  That men might shun the awful shops
  And go to inns to dine;
  Where the bacon's on the rafter
  And the wine is in the wood,
  And God that made good laughter
  Has seen that they are good.

  The evil-hearted Grocer
  Would call his mother "Ma'am,"
  And bow at her and bob at her,
  Her aged soul to damn,
  And rub his horrid hands and ask
  What article was next,
  Though =mortis in articulo=
  Should be her proper text.

  His props are not his children,
  But pert lads underpaid,
  Who call out "Cash!" and bang about
  To work his wicked trade;
  He keeps a lady in a cage
  Most cruelly all day,
  And makes her count and calls her "Miss"
  Until she fades away.

  The righteous minds of innkeepers
  Induce them now and then
  To crack a bottle with a friend
  Or treat unmoneyed men,
  But who hath seen the Grocer
  Treat housemaids to his teas
  Or crack a bottle of fish-sauce
  Or stand a man a cheese?

  He sells us sands of Araby
  As sugar for cash down;
  He sweeps his shop and sells the dust
  The purest salt in town,
  He crams with cans of poisoned meat
  Poor subjects of the King,
  And when they die by thousands
  Why, he laughs like anything.

  The wicked Grocer groces
  In spirits and in wine,
  Not frankly and in fellowship
  As men in inns do dine;
  But packed with soap and sardines
  And carried off by grooms,
  For to be snatched by Duchesses
  And drunk in dressing-rooms.

  The hell-instructed Grocer
  Has a temple made of tin,
  And the ruin of good innkeepers
  Is loudly urged therein;
  But now the sands are running out
  From sugar of a sort,
  The Grocer trembles; for his time,
  Just like his weight, is short.



The Rolling English Road


  Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
  The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.
  A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,
  And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire;
  A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread
  The night we went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.

  I knew no harm of Bonaparte and plenty of the Squire,
  And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;
  But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed
  To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made,
  Where you and I went down the lane with ale-mugs in our hands,
  The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands.

  His sins they were forgiven him; or why do flowers run
  Behind him; and the hedges all strengthing in the sun?
  The wild thing went from left to right and knew not which was which,
  But the wild rose was above him when they found him in the ditch.
  God pardon us, nor harden us; we did not see so clear
  The night we went to Bannockburn by way of Brighton Pier.

  My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,
  Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,
  But walk with clearer eyes and ears this path that wandereth,
  And see undrugged in evening light the decent inn of death;
  For there is good news yet to hear and fine things to be seen,
  Before we go to Paradise by way of Kensal Green.



The Song of Quoodle


  They haven't got no noses,
  The fallen sons of Eve;
  Even the smell of roses
  Is not what they supposes;
  But more than mind discloses
  And more than men believe.

  They haven't got no noses,
  They cannot even tell
  When door and darkness closes
  The park a Jew encloses,
  Where even the Law of Moses
  Will let you steal a smell.

  The brilliant smell of water,
  The brave smell of a stone,
  The smell of dew and thunder,
  The old bones buried under,
  Are things in which they blunder
  And err, if left alone.

  The wind from winter forests,
  The scent of scentless flowers,
  The breath of brides' adorning,
  The smell of snare and warning,
  The smell of Sunday morning,
  God gave to us for ours.

  . . . . .

  And Quoodle here discloses
  All things that Quoodle can,
  They haven't got no noses,
  They haven't got no noses,
  And goodness only knowses
  The Noselessness of Man.



Pioneers, O Pioneers


  Nebuchadnezzar the King of the Jews
  Suffered from new and original views,
  He crawled on his hands and knees, it's said,
  With grass in his mouth and a crown on his head.
        With a wowtyiddly, etc.

  Those in traditional paths that trod
  Thought the thing was a curse from God,
  But a Pioneer men always abuse
  Like Nebuchadnezzar the King of the Jews.

  Black Lord Foulon the Frenchman slew
  Thought it a Futurist thing to do.
  He offered them grass instead of bread.
  So they stuffed him with grass when they cut off his head.
        With a wowtyiddly, etc.

  For the pride of his soul he perished then--
  But of course it is always of Pride that men,
  A Man in Advance of his Age accuse,
  Like Nebuchadnezzar the King of the Jews.

  Simeon Scudder of Styx, in Maine,
  Thought of the thing and was at it again.
  He gave good grass and water in pails
  To a thousand Irishmen hammering rails.
        With a wowtyiddly, etc.

  Appetites differ; and tied to a stake
  He was tarred and feathered for Conscience' Sake.
  But stoning the prophets is ancient news,
  Like Nebuchadnezzar the King of the Jews.



The Logical Vegetarian


"Why shouldn't I have a purely vegetarian drink? Why shouldn't I take
vegetables in their highest form, so to speak? The modest vegetarians
ought obviously to stick to wine or beer, plain vegetarian drinks,
instead of filling their goblets with the blood of bulls and elephants,
as all conventional meat-eaters do, I suppose."--Dalroy.

    You will find me drinking rum,
    Like a sailor in a slum,
  You will find me drinking beer like a Bavarian.
    You will find me drinking gin
    In the lowest kind of inn,
  Because I am a rigid Vegetarian.

    So I cleared the inn of wine,
    And I tried to climb the sign,
  And I tried to hail the constable as "Marion."
    But he said I couldn't speak,
    And he bowled me to the Beak
  Because I was a Happy Vegetarian.

    Oh, I knew a Doctor Gluck,
    And his nose it had a hook,
  And his attitudes were anything but Aryan;
    So I gave him all the pork
    That I had, upon a fork;
  Because I am myself a Vegetarian.

    I am silent in the Club,
    I am silent in the pub.,
  I am silent on a bally peak in Darien;
    For I stuff away for life
    Shoving peas in with a knife,
  Because I am at heart a Vegetarian.

    No more the milk of cows
    Shall pollute my private house
  Than the milk of the wild mares of the Barbarian;
    I will stick to port and sherry,
    For they are so very, very,
  So very, very, very Vegetarian.



"The Saracen's Head"


  "The Saracen's Head" looks down the lane,
  Where we shall never drink wine again,
  For the wicked old women who feel well-bred
  Have turned to a tea-shop "The Saracen's Head."

  "The Saracen's Head" out of Araby came,
  King Richard riding in arms like flame,
  And where he established his folk to be fed
  He set up a spear--and the Saracen's Head.

  But "The Saracen's Head" outlived the Kings,
  It thought and it thought of most horrible things,
  Of Health and of Soap and of Standard Bread,
  And of Saracen drinks at "The Saracen's Head."

  So "The Saracen's Head" fulfils its name,
  They drink no wine--a ridiculous game--
  And I shall wonder until I'm dead,
  How it ever came into the Saracen's Head.



The Good Rich Man


  Mr. Mandragon, the Millionaire, he wouldn't have wine or wife,
  He couldn't endure complexity: he lived the Simple Life.
  He ordered his lunch by megaphone in manly, simple tones,
  And used all his motors for canvassing voters, and twenty telephones;
  Besides a dandy little machine,
  Cunning and neat as ever was seen,
  With a hundred pulleys and cranks between,
  Made of metal and kept quite clean,
  To hoist him out of his healthful bed on every day of his life,
  And wash him and dress him and shave him and brush him
        --to live the Simple Life.

  Mr. Mandragon was most refined and quietly, neatly dressed,
  Say all the American newspapers that know refinement best;
  Quiet and neat the hat and hair and the coat quiet and neat,
  A trouser worn upon either leg, while boots adorn the feet;
  And not, as any one would expect,
  A Tiger's Skin all striped and specked,
  And a Peacock Hat with the tail erect,
  A scarlet tunic with sunflowers decked,
  Which might have had a more marked effect,
  And pleased the pride of a weaker man that yearned for wine or wife;
  But Fame and the Flagon, for Mr. Mandragon
        --obscured the Simple Life.

  Mr. Mandragon, the Millionaire, I am happy to say, is dead;
  He enjoyed a quiet funeral in a Crematorium shed.
  And he lies there fluffy and soft and grey and certainly quite refined;
  When he might have rotted to flowers and fruit with Adam and all mankind,
  Or been eaten by wolves athirst for blood,
  Or burnt on a good tall pyre of wood,
  In a towering flame, as a heathen should,
  Or even sat with us here at food,
  Merrily taking twopenny ale and pork with a pocket-knife;
  But this was luxury not for one that went for the Simple Life.



The Song Against Songs


  The song of the sorrow of Melisande is a weary song and a dreary song,
  The glory of Mariana's grange had got into great decay,
  The song of the Raven Never More has never been called a cheery song,
  And the brightest things in Baudelaire are anything else but gay.

  But who will write us a riding song,
  Or a hunting song or a drinking song,
  Fit for them that arose and rode
  When day and the wine were red?
  But bring me a quart of claret out,
  And I will write you a clinking song,
  A song of war and a song of wine
  And a song to wake the dead.

  The song of the fury of Fragolette is a florid song and a torrid song,
  The song of the sorrow of Tara is sung to a harp unstrung,
  The song of the cheerful Shropshire Lad I consider a perfectly horrid song,
  And the song of the happy Futurist is a song that can't be sung.

  But who will write us a riding song
  Or a fighting song or a drinking song,
  Fit for the fathers of you and me,
  That knew how to think and thrive?
  But the song of Beauty and Art and Love
  Is simply an utterly stinking song,
  To double you up and drag you down
  And damn your soul alive.



Me Heart


  I come from Castlepatrick, and me heart is on me sleeve,
  And any sword or pistol boy can hit it with me leave,
  It shines there for an epaulette, as golden as a flame,
  As naked as me ancestors, as noble as me name.
  For I come from Castlepatrick, and me heart is on me sleeve,
  But a lady stole it from me on St. Gallowglass's Eve.

  The folk that live in Liverpool, their heart is in their boots;
  They go to hell like lambs, they do, because the hooter hoots.
  Where men may not be dancin', though the wheels may dance all day;
  And men may not be smokin'; but only chimneys may.
  But I come from Castlepatrick, and me heart is on me sleeve,
  But a lady stole it from me on St. Poleander's Eve.

  The folk that live in black Belfast, their heart is in their mouth,
  They see us making murders in the meadows of the South;
  They think a plough's a rack, they do, and cattle-calls are creeds,
  And they think we're burnin' witches when we're only burnin' weeds;
  But I come from Castlepatrick, and me heart is on me sleeve;
  But a lady stole it from me on St. Barnabas's Eve.



The Song of the Oak


  The Druids waved their golden knives
  And danced around the Oak
  When they had sacrificed a man;
  But though the learned search and scan,
  No single modern person can
  Entirely see the joke.
  But though they cut the throats of men
  They cut not down the tree,
  And from the blood the saplings sprang
  Of oak-woods yet to be.
    But Ivywood, Lord Ivywood,
    He rots the tree as ivy would,
    He clings and crawls as ivy would
    About the sacred tree.

  King Charles he fled from Worcester fight
  And hid him in an Oak;
  In convent schools no man of tact
  Would trace and praise his every act,
  Or argue that he was in fact
  A strict and sainted bloke,
  But not by him the sacred woods
  Have lost their fancies free,
  And though he was extremely big
  He did not break the tree.
    But Ivywood, Lord Ivywood,
    He breaks the tree as ivy would,
    And eats the woods as ivy would
    Between us and the sea.

  Great Collingwood walked down the glade
  And flung the acorns free,
  That oaks might still be in the grove
  As oaken as the beams above,
  When the great Lover sailors love
  Was kissed by Death at sea.
  But though for him the oak-trees fell
  To build the oaken ships,
  The woodman worshipped what he smote
  And honoured even the chips.
    But Ivywood, Lord Ivywood,
    He hates the tree as ivy would,
    As the dragon of the ivy would
    That has us in his grips.



The Road to Roundabout


  Some say that Guy of Warwick,
  The man that killed the Cow
  And brake the mighty Boar alive
  Beyond the Bridge at Slough;
  Went up against a Loathly Worm
  That wasted all the Downs,
  And so the roads they twist and squirm
  (If I may be allowed the term)
  From the writhing of the stricken Worm
  That died in seven towns.
    I see no scientific proof
    That this idea is sound,
    And I should say they wound about
    To find the town of Roundabout,
    The merry town of Roundabout,
    That makes the world go round.

  Some say that Robin Goodfellow,
  Whose lantern lights the meads
  (To steal a phrase Sir Walter Scott
  In heaven no longer needs),
  Such dance around the trysting-place
  The moonstruck lover leads;
  Which superstition I should scout
  There is more faith in honest doubt
  (As Tennyson has pointed out)
  Than in those nasty creeds.
    But peace and righteousness (St. John)
    In Roundabout can kiss,
    And since that's all that's found about
    The pleasant town of Roundabout,
    The roads they simply bound about
    To find out where it is.

  Some say that when Sir Lancelot
  Went forth to find the Grail,
  Grey Merlin wrinkled up the roads
  For hope that he should fail;
  All roads led back to Lyonesse
  And Camelot in the Vale,
  I cannot yield assent to this
  Extravagant hypothesis,
  The plain, shrewd Briton will dismiss
  Such rumours (=Daily Mail=).
    But in the streets of Roundabout
    Are no such factions found,
    Or theories to expound about,
    Or roll upon the ground about,
    In the happy town of Roundabout,
    That makes the world go round.



The Song of the Strange Ascetic


  If I had been a Heathen,
    I'd have praised the purple vine,
  My slaves should dig the vineyards,
    And I would drink the wine;
  But Higgins is a Heathen,
    And his slaves grow lean and grey,
  That he may drink some tepid milk
    Exactly twice a day.

  If I had been a Heathen,
    I'd have crowned Neoera's curls,
  And filled my life with love affairs,
    My house with dancing girls;
  But Higgins is a Heathen,
    And to lecture rooms is forced,
  Where his aunts, who are not married,
    Demand to be divorced.

  If I had been a Heathen,
    I'd have sent my armies forth,
  And dragged behind my chariots
    The Chieftains of the North.
  But Higgins is a Heathen,
    And he drives the dreary quill,
  To lend the poor that funny cash
    That makes them poorer still.

  If I had been a Heathen,
    I'd have piled my pyre on high,
  And in a great red whirlwind
    Gone roaring to the sky;
  But Higgins is a Heathen,
    And a richer man than I;
  And they put him in an oven,
    Just as if he were a pie.

  Now who that runs can read it,
    The riddle that I write,
  Of why this poor old sinner,
    Should sin without delight--?
  But I, I cannot read it
    (Although I run and run),
  Of them that do not have the faith,
    And will not have the fun.



The Song of Right and Wrong


  Feast on wine or fast on water,
  And your honour shall stand sure,
  God Almighty's son and daughter
  He the valiant, she the pure;
  If an angel out of heaven
  Brings you other things to drink,
  Thank him for his kind attentions,
  Go and pour them down the sink.

  Tea is like the East he grows in,
  A great yellow Mandarin
  With urbanity of manner
  And unconsciousness of sin;
  All the women, like a harem,
  At his pig-tail troop along;
  And, like all the East he grows in,
  He is Poison when he's strong.

  Tea, although an Oriental,
  Is a gentleman at least;
  Cocoa is a cad and coward,
  Cocoa is a vulgar beast,
  Cocoa is a dull, disloyal,
  Lying, crawling cad and clown,
  And may very well be grateful
  To the fool that takes him down.

  As for all the windy waters,
  They were rained like tempests down
  When good drink had been dishonoured
  By the tipplers of the town;
  When red wine had brought red ruin
  And the death-dance of our times,
  Heaven sent us Soda Water
  As a torment for our crimes.



Who Goes Home?


  In the city set upon slime and loam
  They cry in their parliament "Who goes home?"
  And there comes no answer in arch or dome,
  For none in the city of graves goes home.
  Yet these shall perish and understand,
  For God has pity on this great land.

  Men that are men again; who goes home?
  Tocsin and trumpeter! Who goes home?
  For there's blood on the field and blood on the foam
  And blood on the body when Man goes home.
  And a voice valedictory.... Who is for Victory?
  Who is for Liberty? Who goes home?


  Printed in Great Britain by
  UNWIN BROTHERS, LIMITED, PRINTERS, WOKING AND LONDON



SOME DELIGHTFUL BOOKS BY G. K. CHESTERTON


*CHARLES DICKENS.

With 2 Portraits in Photogravure. _Eighth Edition._ Crown 8vo, 6s.

A famous book on Dickens which is intended as a general justification of
that author. Mr. Chesterton compares the immense achievements produced
by the optimism of Dickens in the realm of reform with the small results
produced by the pessimistic method of later days. He treats each of the
novels in turn, and he devotes the latter part of his book to a general
estimate of the influence of Dickens.

THE FLYING INN. _Third Edition._ Crown 8vo, 6s. Also Crown 8vo, 2s. net.

THE BALLAD OF THE WHITE HORSE. _Fifth Edition._ Fcap. 8vo, 5s.

A Ballad of the Reign of King Alfred. It describes that monarch's noble
exploits, his character, his struggle with the Danes, the story of the
White Horse, and the Battle of Ethandune.

LETTERS TO AN OLD GARIBALDIAN. Crown 8vo, 3d. net.


ESSAYS

Fcap. 8vo. Gilt Top. 5s. each.

*ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. _Seventh Edition._

TREMENDOUS TRIFLES. _Fifth Edition._

ALARMS AND DISCURSIONS. _Second Edition._

A MISCELLANY OF MEN. _Second Edition._


* _An edition in cloth, Fcap. 8vo, 1s. net, is also issued._


METHUEN & CO. LTD. LONDON





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