Beer, thou benighted gold,
     Bitter and cold ichor,
          Bringer of that weary haze
          Which muffles my thoughts
          Like thick wads of cotton
     Stuffed deep in yawning ears,
Deadening the sharp and eloquent
To a muddy sludge of sound.
Thou who makes the satyr listless in amor
     And draws a curtain of pitch
     Over the stage of dreams.
Drug of black stupor,
Alcohol, my shroud!
Thou makes me feeble in my prime
     (If but for a few hours.)
And my thoughts droop
Like sails beneath the dying Zephyr,
     Hanging limply like wilted roses,
Then dropping into flacid heaps of dung.

And I ask myself
     Why do I sip this darkness,
     This frigid stagnation?
For I have no need
Of the ether of oblivion
Which clouds the despair of the wretched.
And even were it so, dear Beer,
     That I were given to manifold sorrows,
Thou'd only add to their bitterness with thine own.

George Chadderdon © 1993