“MINGLE the sweet and useful,” says a sage,
Whose name, perchance, is lost in history’s page,
But whose advice withal is good and wise.
It caught a tavern-keeper’s busy eyes,
And he exclaimed, “Delightful! That’s for me!
I see the sense, I read the mystery;
This is its meaning, I can well divine:
‘Mix useful water with your luscious wine.’ ”
YOU may say your verses are of gold.
And how, my friend? I’d fain inquire.
But, no — I see the truth you’ve told:
They must be purified by fire.