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About this Poem 

From Ballads and Songs (London: Cassell and Company, 1896).

 

A Credo

  I.

  For the sole edification
  Of this decent congregation,
  Goodly people, by your grant
  I will sing a holy chant—
       I will sing a holy chant.
  If the ditty sound but oddly,
  'Twas a father, wise and godly,
       Sang it so long ago—
  Then sing as Martin Luther sang,
  As Doctor Martin Luther sang:
  "Who loves not wine, woman and song,
  He is a fool his whole life long!"

  II.

  He, by custom patriarchal,
  Loved to see the beaker sparkle;
  And he thought the wine improved,
  Tasted by the lips he loved—
       By the kindly lips he loved.
  Friends, I wish this custom pious
  Duly were observed by us,
       To combine love, song, wine,
  And sing as Martin Luther sang,
  As Doctor Martin Luther sang:
  "Who loves not wine, woman and song,
  He is a fool his whole life long!"

  III.

  Who refuses this our Credo,
  And who will not sing as we do,
  Were he holy as John Knox,
  I'd pronounce him heterodox!
       I'd pronounce him heterodox,
  And from out this congregation,
  With a solemn commination,
       Banish quick the heretic,
  Who will not sing as Luther sang,
  As Doctor Martin Luther sang:
  "Who loves not wine, woman and song,
  He is a fool his whole life long!"

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray, born July 18, 1811, was an English writer best known for his novels, particularly The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. (The Mershon Company Publishers, 1852) and Vanity Fair (Bradbury and Evans, 1848). While in school, Thackeray began writing poems, which he published in a number of magazines, chiefly Fraser and Punch. He died on December 24, 1863.

by this poet

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  (IN REPLY TO AN INVITATION DATED ON THE 1ST.)

 By fate's benevolent award,
    Should I survive the day,
  I'll drink a bumper with my lord
    Upon the last of May.

  That I may reach that happy time
    The kindly gods I pray,
  For are not ducks and pease in prime
    Upon the last of May?

  At thirty
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  Some love the matin-chimes, which tell
    The hour of prayer to sinner:
  But better far's the mid-day bell,
    Which speaks the hour of dinner;
  For when I see a smoking fish,
    Or capon drown'd in gravy,
  Or noble haunch on silver dish,
    Full glad I sing my ave.

  My pulpit is an alehouse bench
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  Now the toils of day are over,
    And the sun hath sunk to rest,
  Seeking, like a fiery lover,
    The bosom of the blushing west—

  The faithful night keeps watch and ward,
    Raising the moon her silver shield,
  And summoning the stars to guard
    The slumbers of my fair Mathilde!

  The faithful