The Soul of Wine (L’Ame du Vin)

One night the soul of wine sang in the bottles:
“To you, oh my worthy guttersnipe
From my hermetic, rosy prison
I send a song of light and fellowship.

For I know well atop the flaming hillock
The cost in sweat and toil and baking sun
Just to give me life and soul to live it
But I won’t be ungrateful or malign.

For I feel joy and pleasure when I tumble
Down the hatch of some weary feller
His warm bosom such a sweet sepulchre
So much more pleasant than a chilly cellar.

Can you hear the Sunday’s ringing chorus
And hope chirping in my trembling breast?
Elbows on the table in your shirtsleeves
You will give me honor me and be blessed.

I’ll brighten up the eyes of your lady;
Your son his strength and color I will double
And for this tender athlete I will be
The oil that makes the wrestler’s muscles supple.

Into you I’ll fall, vegetable ambrosia,
Precious seed scattered by the eternal Sower,
So that, from our love, there will be born poetry,
Springing up toward God like a rare flower!”


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