Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Catawba Wine

Poem By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Catawba Wine is a poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1854, written in praise of a gift of Nicholas Longworth's Catawba wine, a wine which was made in Cincinnati, on the banks of the Ohio river.

This Poem appeared in Birds Of Passage (Collection), Flight The First, 1847 and also in The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 1, Number 3, Published January 1858.

Cincinnati was chartered as a town in 1802, and then incorporated as a city in 1819, when it was first called "Queen of the West" in the Inquisitor and Cincinnati Advertiser.

Related Scottish Country Dances

The Queen City Salute

Catawba Wine By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This song of mine
Is a Song of the Vine,
To be sung by the glowing embers
Of wayside inns,
When the rain begins
To darken the drear Novembers.

It is not a song
Of the Scuppernong,
From warm Carolinian valleys,
Nor the Isabel
And the Muscadel
That bask in our garden alleys.

Nor the red Mustang,
Whose clusters hang
O'er the waves of the Colorado,
And the fiery flood
Of whose purple blood
Has a dash of Spanish bravado.

For richest and best
Is the wine of the West,
That grows by the Beautiful River;
Whose sweet perfume
Fills all the room
With a benison on the giver.

And as hollow trees
Are the haunts of bees,
For ever going and coming;
So this crystal hive
Is all alive
With a swarming and buzzing and humming.

Very good in its way
Is the Verzenay,
Or the Sillery soft and creamy;
But Catawba wine
Has a taste more divine,
More dulcet, delicious, and dreamy.

There grows no vine
By the haunted Rhine,
By Danube or Guadalquivir,
Nor on island or cape,
That bears such a grape
As grows by the Beautiful River.

Drugged is their juice
For foreign use,
When shipped o'er the reeling Atlantic,
To rack our brains
With the fever pains,
That have driven the Old World frantic.

To the sewers and sinks
With all such drinks,
And after them tumble the mixer;
For a poison malign
Is such Borgia wine,
Or at best but a Devil's Elixir.

While pure as a spring
Is the wine I sing,
And to praise it, one needs but name it;
For Catawba wine
Has need of no sign,
No tavern-bush to proclaim it.

And this Song of the Vine,
This greeting of mine,
The winds and the birds shall deliver
To the Queen of the West,
In her garlands dressed,
On the banks of the Beautiful River.

Catawba Wine Song Video

Catawba Wine Song - Information Video
Cincinnati in the year 1800, population 750, when only about 30 structures had been built
Cincinnati, Lithograph Based On A Painting By A.J. Swing, 1800

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Catawba_Wine article on Wikipedia.
Text from this original History_of_Cincinnati article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright, via Wikimedia Commons.

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