To John Whiting on his 75 th birthday

Here’s to old John Whiting, the Republic’s fairest son, 
Whose fathers bled at Concord and the fields of Lexington; 
(Of today’s ignoble shambles we speak not a single word 
But refer you to George Pickett and his words at Gettysburg.)   
John, I've eaten at your table and have drunk of your good wine: 
You've the instinct of a gourmet and a palette most sublime. 
You have often graced old England with your fervor and your wit 
And even on occasion with the taxes you remit.   

So here’s to your survival, my tried and trusty friend! 
And to the Red, the White, the Blue, the colors we defend: 
To Red, the luminosity of France’s noble wine, 
To White of old Lancaster, relic of a courtly time, 
And to Blue for what is truest in your proudly beating heart, 
Where America still lingers (in the patriotic part).   

Warren Leming