On Receipt of a Punch Bowl


(with apologies to Oliver Wendell Holmes)

This antique silver bowl you gave
to me one Christmas time,
still tells the myths of olden days and haunting, ancient rhyme;
They were a free and fiesty bunch
who stood above its brim,
and sipped from ladles filled with punch inside this bowl of sin.

A Spanish pirate bought the urn,
so goes the ancient tale,
and dranketh in the spirits strong straight from the silver pail;
While staggering on wooden leg–inebriated, he,
became confused and walked the plank and fell into the sea.

Then purchased by an Englishman,
to please his portly spouse,
who saw the cherubs on its rim and craved it for their house
to entertain; then filled it deep with candies, nuts and bows-
Alas! It fell and tripped the wife, who sadly broke her nose.

In changing hands, it reached the home
of Puritan divine,
who filled and drank, then filled again it’s emptiness with wine;
And when becoming giddy from this nectar of the gods,
to free him from temptation, he then sold it to three clods;
Upon a merry winter’s eve,
the night was bitter cold,
this motley crew of musketeers did range from weak to bold;
They filled it fast and plenty with intoxicating rum,
and guzzled with such fury that come morning they were done.

The bowl became the property
of Pilgrims on a boat;
The Mayflower, a sturdy ship would not remain afloat;
for after brimming goblet with a brew of potency,
their leader, Miles Standish, sunk the vessel in the sea;
Before the deck was flooded with the water rising fast,
he grabbed the silver bowl and took the sip which was his last;
and thrust with such a force the silver token overboard,
he never saw it land before the sea became his ward.

And hence, before too long it fell
into the working hands,
of good, ol’ John while digging deep a trench upon the land,
who drank with glee the liquid fire to keep away the chill;
too plastered to recall events occured at Bunker Hill!

I will admit, there is a warmth
in festive English cheer,
And yes, ’twas most a pleasant thought to bring this symbol here;
And ’tis a fool who drinks excess–he is a drunken soul
whose weakness lies inside the brain–not in the silver bowl.
I love the memories of the past
and of this bowl, unique,
but fear the spell it does possess is not for mild nor meek;
For eerie is the curse that looms inside it’s metal girth,
I think I best unload this jinx–
and question…what’s its worth?!?

© Terry Lerdall-Fitterer 2015