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Gwydion Stone

More from Mixer & Server, Bartenders Union Journal, early 1900s

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Absinthe Poem, 1904, Spoiler: It's pretty bad.

 

 

 

L'ABSINTHE

 

The sugar drips. See how the liquid green

Becomes a yellow, sickly-looking mess.

I fill the glass and drink the reeking slush

That brings forgetfulness

 

Forgetfulness of all a life misspent,

The thing I am, the man I might have been;

Forgetfulness of what the end must be,

And what must lie between;

 

Forgetfulness of what still stings me most,

The love I played with till it broke its thrall'

Past, present, future. Here's the stuff that brings

Nepenthe from them all.

 

"Garçon, another! That's it—half way up.

You are the Great High Priest, man, don't you see,

And this the temple where a sodden soul

Worships its Deity?

 

~ Reprinted from the London Sketch

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I imagine it would numb you up pretty well.

 

ABSINTHE FOR TOOTHACHE, Volume 20, 1911

 

He had just had a tooth out—one of those extractions that seem to go to the root of all things—and dashed into see his friend the bartender for solace.

 

He called for whiskey, and as he swallowed a toper's portion explained the reason for his haste. He had to drown the pain, he said, over the bar, and while he was about it guessed he would repeat the dose.

 

"I know a better way than that." said the barkeeper, forcibly removing the whisky bottle from the bar. "Absinthe is what you need. And he poured out about a thimbleful.

 

"All that?" inquired the toothless one. "Aren t you afraid it will lay me out?" " 'Sn'nough." said the bartender. Just put that in your mouth; don t swallow it; and let it soak in where the tooth was. It will fix you all right, stop the hemorrhage and the pain at the same time.

 

Credulously the customer obeyed and found almost instant relief.

 

"Dangerous stuff that," said the bartender' "even those who use it admit its wickedness, its treachery to its friends, its general cussedness. But it's a good friend to the man who's had a tooth out or who has an ache in a tooth that isn't out Don't know why—it isn't only the alcohol in it, but it's the best tooth dope I've found."

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'...here I drenched him then and there with a half-cup of waters, which I do not say cure the plague, but are excellent against heaviness of the spirits.'

 

'What were they?' said Dan.

 

'White brandy rectified, camphor, cardamoms, ginger, two sorts of pepper, and aniseed.'

 

'Whew!' said Puck. 'Waters you call 'em!' "

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"Dangerous stuff that," said the bartender' "even those who use it admit its wickedness, its treachery to its friends, its general cussedness.

 

What's a drink without general cussedness?

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