Generous Wine


“Generous Wine,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed July 25, 2024,

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Generous Wine


This item is part of the I. G. Greer Folksong Collection which consists of more than 300 individual song titles and their variants as collected by Isaac Garfield Greer (1881-1967) from informants, primarily in Ashe, Wilkes and Watauga counties. The collection includes manuscripts, typescript transcriptions produced by Dr. Greer’s clerical staff, and handwritten musical notations. Songs range from traditional Child Ballads, traditional English and Scottish ballads as well as their American variants, to 19th century popular music to musical compositions of local origin.


Folk songs
Wine--Songs and music
Neptune (Roman deity)--Songs and music
Binge drinking--Songs and music

Alternative Title

Neptune, When First He Took Charge of the Sea, Had Neptune When He First Took Charge of the Sea, The Bacchanalian's Wish


W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection, Appalachian State University


Greer, I. G. (Isaac Garfield), 1881-1967








Generous Wine

Had Neptune when first he took charge of the sea,
Been as wise, or at least been as merry as we,
He'd have thought better on it, and insted of the brine
Would have filled the vast ocean with generous wine.

What trafficing then would have been on the main,
For the sake of good liquor as well as for gain.
Nor fear then of tempest, or danger of sinking,
The fishes never drown that are always drinking.

The hot thirsty sun would then drive with more haste,
Secure in the evening of such a repaste,
And when he'd got tipsy would have taken his nap,
With double the pleasure on Thelus's lap.

By the force of his rays, and thus heated with wine,
Consider how gloriously Phoebus would shine,
What vast exhalations he'd draw up on high,
To relieve the poor earth as it wanted supply.

How happy us mortals when blessed with such rain,
To fill all our vessels and fill them again!
Nay, even the beggar that has never a disk,
Might jump in the river and drink like a fish.

What mirth and contentment on every one's brow,
Hob as great as a prince, dancing after his plow,
The birds in the air as they play on the wing,
Although they but sip, would eternally sing.

The stars which I think do not to drink incline,
Would frisk and rejoice at the fume of the wine,
And merrily twinkling would soon let us know,
That they were as happy as mortals below.

Had this been the case, what had we enjoyed,
Our spirits still rising, our fancy never cloyed,
A pox then on Neptune, when it was in his power,
To slip, like a fool, such a fortunate hour.

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