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The Tipler's Defense

Anonymous (18th century, England)
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The women all tell me I'm false to my lass,
That I quit my poor Chloe and stick to my glass,
But to you men of reason my reasons I'll own,
And if you don't like them, why let them alone.
Why let them alone.

Although I have left her, the truth I'll declare;
I believe she was good, and I'm sure she was fair:
But goodness and charms in a bumper I see
That make it as good and as charming as she.
As charming as she.

My Chloe had dimples and smiles, I must own;
But, though she could smile, yet in truth she could frown;
But tell me, ye lovers of liquor divine,
Did you e'er see a frown in a bumper of wine?
In a bumper of wine?

Her lilies and roses were just in their prime;
Yet lilies and roses are conquer'd by time:
But, in wine, from its age such benefit flows,
That we like it the better the older it grows.
The older it grows.

They tell me my love would in time have been cloy'd,
And that beauty's insipid when once 'tis enjoy'd;
But in wine I both time and enjoyment defy,
For, the longer I drink the more thirsty am I.
The more thirsty am I.

Let murders, and battles, and history, prove
The mischiefs that wait upon rivals in love:
But in drinking, thank heav’n no rival contends;
For, the more we love liquor the more we are friends.
The more we are friends.

She, too, might have poison'd the joy of my life
With nurses, and babies, and squalling, and strife:
But my wine neither nurses nor babies can bring,
And a big-belly’d bottle’s a mighty good thing.
A mighty good thing.

We shorten our days when with love we engage;
It brings on diseases, and hastens old age:
But wine from grim death can its votaries save,
And keep out t'other leg when there's one in the grave.
When there’s one in the grave.

Perhaps, like her sex, ever false to their word,
She had left me - to get an estate, or a lord;
But my bumpers (regarding nor titles nor pelf)
Will stand by me when I can't stand by myself.
I can’t stand by myself.

Then let my dear Chloe no longer complain,
She's rid of her lover, and I of my pain:
For in wine, mighty wine, many comforts I spy.
Should you doubt what I say, take a bumper and try.
Take a bumper and try.

Source: The Songster’s Museum:---or, a Trip to Elysium,
Andrew Wright, 1803, pp.33-34.