The verse of the vine

The bishop, the heathen, the soldier, the muse,

All legions, collectives, great nations in turn,

Through treachery, treaty, industry, ruse,

Have nurtured the vine from the earth to the urn;


Survival of the vitis!

Through wars of attrition, by sweeping decree,

Through alliance, betrayal, entreaties, crusade,

Republics’ and empires’ hegemony,

Gave wings to the vine and a burgeoning trade;

From Mesopotamia to the banks of the Nile,

Deutsch: Pergola aus Schilfrohr am Nil, Ägypten

From Carthage to Syracuse, from Rome to Pompeii,

Vitis the genus would enchant and beguile,

Lead some souls to glory, lead others astray;

Inhospitable landscapes embraced by so few,

Push vitis to greatness define its domain,

What sparks flora communia vitis will eschew,

Undaunted, inspired by meager terrain;

With the first rays of sunlight the vine plots its course,

Like a bevy of vipers once captive, uncaged,

Thrusts upward embracing this sustaining force,

 Drives roots ever deeper, its objective presaged;

English: Vine. Русский: Виноградный ус.

And up through the stratified earth flows a web,

Of fruit-bearing vines of exception and grace,

So pick, crush, ferment, let this juice flow and ebb,

And declare to us all its unique sense of place;

Inspiring poetry, music and verse,

When crafted and coaxed by an artisan’s hands,

Wedded to nature for better or worse,

The winemaker cedes to what vitis demands;

And finally the cask lying eerily still,

Succumbs to the bottle, relents and recedes,

The cruet so humbly agrees to the fill,

And the vinous elixir to its new fate concedes;

In time sorted, then shipped, is this now finished wine,

Awaiting the patron who’ll raise up a glass,

Expound on its virtues, attempt to divine,

Its provenance, pedigree, station and class;

This great celebration, time-honored display,

Enjoining us all to take pause and delight,

Release inhibitions, let sobriety give way,

And for a few moments our senses take flight;


Vitis thunbergii (= Vitis ficifolia), Vitaceae

Vitis vinifera with thunderous voice,

For millennia has ignited the passion of men,

For pharaohs, queens, emperors the nectar of choice,

So let it be told again and again,

That if ever a reason there were to unite,

Pretext to assemble an indulgence to share,

It is paramount vitis grace your glass tonight,

To resist the temptation is too much to bear!

Slave to the grape – worse fates there have been!

© Mick Cameron 2012



  1. This is very engaging!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: