1890 The art of drinking by G G Gervinus


in regard to the form. The contents are very characteristic of Chinese poetry in general, whose bare realism offers a remark- able contrast to that of the Orientals :

' ' Water, the fresh, Is drunk by the fish The carps and the pikes ; And each noble knight At the board Drinks water pure and bright. Is drunk by the fish The eels and the salmon ; You sad fellows all At the board, Drink, till for more ye shall call. Is drunk by the fish The perch and the barbel ; Ye good chums of mine At the board, Now drain ye the pearl of the wine. " Water, the fresh. Is drunk by the fish The trout and the merlin ; But we boys gay and bold At the board Drain waves of the wine untold." " Water, the fresh, " Water, the fresh,

Bnt, even in their highest ecstasy, the brave drinkers still preserve a sort of calmness ; and if there is anything that can be called a sober intoxication, this seems to be excellently expressed in the following very characteristic song :

" Now our guests are growing tipsy ; Decency is at an end ; Sparks from out their eyes are darting. And the babbling tongues unbend. " Crooked caps shake back and forward, Hung but by a single hair ; Stiff old legs the dance are trying. Hoarse old voices sing out fair.

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