Cigars and Beer

15 Dec

Almost finished with this Art History paper and I happily stumbled upon a great little poem in a book of poetry compiled by Joseph Knight in 1897 that is devoted to Pipe and Pouch: The Smoker’s Own Book of Poetry.  The tiny book gave me some great examples of how smoking, smoke, pipes, cigars and cigarettes were commonly referred to as women, brides, wives and lovers, but it also gave me these sweet stanzas:

CIGARS AND BEER

by George Arnold

“Here

with my beer

I sit,

While golden moments flit.

Alas!

They pass

Unheeded by;

And, as they fly,

I,

Being dry,

sit idly sipping here

My beer.

Oh finer far

Than fame or riches are

The graceful smoke — wreaths of this cigar!

Why

Should I

Weep, wail, or sigh?

What if luck has passed me by?

What if my hopes are dead,

My pleasures fled?

Have I not still

My fill

Of right good cheer, —

Cigars and beer?

Go, whining youth,

Forsooth!

Go, weep and wail,

Sigh and grow pale,

Weave melancholy rhymes

On the old times,

Whose joys like shadowy ghosts appear, —

But leave me to my beer!

Gold is dross

Love is loss;

So, if I gulp my sorrows down,

Or see them drown

In foamy draughts of old nut-brown,

Then do I wear the crown

Without a cross!”

Knight, Joseph, compiler. Pipe and Pouch: The Smoker’s Own Book of Poetry. Boston: L.C. Page and Company, Inc., 1897.

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