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Happy he whom neither wealth nor fashion, Nor the march of the encroaching city, - Drives an exile
From the hearth of his ancestral homestead.
We may build more splendid habitations,
Buy with gold the old associations!
THIs song of mine Is a Song of the Vine, To be sung by the glowing embers Of wayside inns, When the rain begins
To darken the drear Novembers.
It is not a song
Nor the red Mustang,
For richest and best
With a benison on the giver.
And as hollow trees
For ever going and coming;
With a swarming and buzzing and humming.
Very good in its way
More dulcet, delicious, and dreamy.
There grows no vine
Drugged is their juice For foreign use, When shipped o'er the reeling Atlantic, To rack our brains With the fever pains, That have driven the Old World frantic.
To the sewers and sinks
While pure as a spring Is the wine I sing, And to praise it, one needs but name it; For Catawba wine Has need of no sign,
No tavern-bush to proclaim it.
And this Song of the Vine, This greeting of mine, The winds and the birds shall deliver To the Queen of the West, In her garlands dressed, On the banks of the Beautiful River.