The Feast

By George Sterling

Never, O Death, was such a wine as this
    Given thine everlasting thirst to drain,—
    Never a vintage of so royal stain,
Crushed from the youth of Europe for thy bliss.
At these thine orgies Hate and Madness kiss,
    And Horror crowns the frantic brows of Pain;
    Garlands of serpents are thy flowery chain
And, for thy music, their infernal hiss.

Drink deep: such banquet shall not be again.
    Drink till the lees are cloudy in the cup,
        And in thy veins a scarlet venom sings !
Then, drunken with the doom of myriad men,
    Kneel, and at ruined altars offer up
        Thy deep thanksgiving to the power of kings!

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