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I taste a liquor never brewed –
From Tankards scooped in Pearl –
Not all the Vats upon the Rhine
Yield such an Alcohol!
Inebriate of Air — am I –
And Debauchee of Dew –
Reeling — through endless summer days –
From inns of Molten Blue –
When “Landlords” turn the drunken Bee
Out of the Foxglove’s door –
When Butterflies — renounce their “drams” –
I shall but drink more!
Till Seraphs swing their snowy Hats –
And Saints — to windows run –
To see the little Tippler
Leaning against the — Sun –
–Emily Dickinson, I Taste a Liquor Never Brewed (1860) in Poems by Emily Dickinson, First Series, no. xx (1890).
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”