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 But give him his ale and cider,
Give him his pipe and song,
Little he cared for Church or State,
Or the balance of right and wrong.
‘Tis work, work, work,’ he muttered,—
‘And for rest a snuffle of psalms!’
He smote on his leathern apron
With his brown and waxen palms.
“Oh for the purple harvests
Of the days when I was young!
For the merry grape-stained maidens,
And the pleasant songs they sung!
Oh for the breath of vineyards,
Of apples and nuts and wine!
For an oar to row and a breeze to blow
Down the grand old river Rhine! “
A tear in his blue eye glistened,
And dropped on his beard so gray.
‘Old, old am I,’ said Keezar,
‘And the Rhine flows far away!’
But a cunning man was the cobbler;
He could call the birds from the trees,
Charm the black snake out of the ledges,
And bring back the swarming bees.
All the virtues of herbs and metals,
All the lore of the woods, he knew,
And the arts of the Old World mingled
With the marvels of the New.
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