27 November 2007

The Vines! The conquering vines!

The local supermarket doesn't have an aisle for wine, but rather its own cellar. And one can't find a single wine here that isn't Appellation d’origine contrôlée; neither will one find a bottle over 10 euros (most of them are, in fact, about $3). I'd take a photo of all the empty wine bottles in our apartment, but I fear you may think we've helped ourselves a bit too often to this vermilion cornucopia...

vin


Heroic Poem in Praise of Wine

To exalt, enthrone, establish and defend,
To welcome home mankind's mysterious friend
Wine, true begetter of all arts that be;
Wine, privilege of the completely free;
Wine the recorder; wine the sagely strong;
Wine, bright avenger of sly-dealing wrong,
Awake, Ausonian Muse, and sing the vineyard song!
...
When from the waste of such long labour done
I too must leave the grape-ennobling sun
And like the vineyard worker take my way
Down the long shadows of declining day,
Bend on the sombre plain my clouded sight
And leave the mountain to the advancing night,
Come to the term of all that was mine own
With nothingness before me, and alone;
Then to what hope of answer shall I turn?
Comrade-Commander whom I dared not earn,
What said You then to trembling friends and
few?

"A moment, and I drink it with you new:
But in my Father's Kingdom." So, my Friend,
Let not Your cup desert me in the end.
But when the hour of mine adventure's near
Just and benignant, let my youth appear
Bearing a Chalice, open, golden, wide,
With benediction graven on its side.
So touch my dying lip: so bridge that deep:
So pledge my waking from the gift of sleep,
And, sacramental, raise me the Divine:
Strong brother in God and last companion, Wine.

--Hilaire Belloc
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