Saturday, April 30, 2011


It Heals, It Hurts; It Cures, It Kills

Thomas Nabbes (1605-1641), Upon Excellent Strong Beer Which He Drank at the Town of Wich in Worcestershire, Where Salt is Made:
Thou ever youthful god of wine,
Whose burnish'd cheeks with rubies shine,
And brows with ivy chaplets crown'd,
We dare thee here to pledge a round!
    Thy wanton grapes we do detest;    5
    Here's richer juice from barley press'd.

Let not the Muses vainly tell
What virtue's in the horse-hoof well,
That scarce one drop of good blood breeds,
But with mere inspiration feeds;    10
    O let them come and taste this beer,
    And water henceforth they'll forswear.

If that the Paracelsian crew
The virtues of this liquor knew,
Their endless toils they would give o'er,    15
And never use extractions more.
    'Tis medicine; meat for young and old;
    Elixir; blood of tortured gold.

It is sublimed; it's calcinate;
'Tis rectified; precipitate;    20
It is Androgena, Sol's wife;
It is the Mercury of life;
    It is the quintessence of malt;
    And they that drink it want no salt.

It heals, it hurts; it cures, it kills;    25
Men's heads with proclamations fills;
It makes some dumb, and others speak;
Strong vessels hold, and crack'd ones leak;
    It makes some rich, and others poor;
    It makes, and yet mars many a score.    30
8 the horse-hoof well: Hippocrene
13 Paracelsian crew: alchemists


<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?