Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
 
Poems of Home: V. The Home
In the Cellar
Josiah Gilbert Holland (1819–1881)
 
From “Bitter Sweet”

SIXTEEN barrels of cider
Ripening all in a row!
Open the vent-channels wider!
See the froth, drifted like snow,
Blown by the tempest below!        5
Those delectable juices
Flowed through the sinuous sluices
Of sweet springs under the orchard;
Climbed into fountains that chained them;
Dripped into cups that retained them,        10
And swelled till they dropped, and we gained them.
Then they were gathered and tortured
By passage from hopper to vat,
And fell—every apple crushed flat.
Ah! how the bees gathered round them,        15
And how delicious they found them!
Oat-straw as fragrant as clover,
Was platted, and smoothly turned over,
Weaving a neatly ribbed basket;
And, as they built up the casket,        20
In went the pulp by the scoop-full,
Till the juice flowed by the stoup-full,—
Filling the half of a puncheon
While the men swallowed their luncheon.
Pure grew the stream with the stress        25
  Of the lever and screw,
Till the last drops from the press
  Were as bright as the dew.
There were these juices spilled;
There were these barrels filled;        30
Sixteen barrels of cider—
Ripening all in a row!
Open the vent-channels wider!
See the froth, drifted like snow,
Blown by the tempest below!        35
 
 
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