Stops of Various Quills/If

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If by William Dean Howells
illustrations by Howard Pyle

Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 025 large a.jpg


IF


YES, death is at the bottom of the cup,
And every one that lives must drink it up;
And yet between the sparkle at the top
And the black lees where lurks that bitter drop,
There swims enough good liquor, Heaven knows,
To ease our hearts of all their other woes.

The bubbles rise in sunshine at the brim;
That drop below is very far and dim;
The quick fumes spread and shape us such bright dreams
That in the glad delirium it seems
As though by some deft sleight, if so we willed,
That drop untasted might be somehow spilled.


Howells, Stops of Various Quills, 1895 025 large c.jpg