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HUMOROUS POEMS.

KING JOHN AND THE ABBOT OF | “O these are hard questions for my shallow witt CANTERBURY.

Nor I cannot answer your grace as yet :

But if you will give me but three weeks' space, FROM "PERCY'S RELIQUES."

Ile do my endeavor to answer your grace." An ancient story I'll tell you anon Of a notable prince that was called King John ; Now three weeks' space to thee will I give, And he ruled England with main and with might, | And that is the longest time thou hast to live : For he did great wrong, and maintained little For if thou dost not answer my questions three. right.

| Thy lands and thy livings are forfeit to mee." And I'll tell you a story, a story so merry,

Away rode the abbot all sad at that word, Concerning the Abbot of Canterbury ;

And he rode to Cambridge, and Oxenford ; How for his house-keeping and high renown,

But never a doctor there was so wise, They rode poste for him to fair London towne.

That could with his learning an answer devise. An hundred men the king did heare say,

Then home rode the abhot of comfort so cold, The abbot kept in his house every day;

And he met his shepheard a-going to fold : And fifty golde chaynes without any doubt,

“How now, my lord abbot, you are welcome In velvet coates waited the abbot about.

home ; “How now, father abbot, I heare it of thee,

What newes do you bring us from good King Thou keepest a farre better house than mee ;

John?"
And for thy house-keeping and high renowne,
I feare thou work'st treason against my crown.”

“Sad news, sad news, shepheard, I must give,

That I have but three days more to live ; “My liege," quo the abbot, “I would it were For if I do not answer him questions three, knowne

My head will be smitten from my bodie.
I never spend nothing, but what is my owne ;
And I trust your grace will doe me no deere,

“The first is to tell him, there in that stead, For spending of my owne true-gotten geere."

With his crowne of golde so fair on his head,

Among all his liege-men so noble of birth,
“Yes, yes, father abbot, thy fault it is highe, | To within one penny of what he is worth.
And now for the same thou needest must dye-;
For except thou canst answer me questions three,

“ The seconde, to tell him without any doubt, Thy head shall be smitten from thy bodie. How soone he may ride this whole world about ;

And at the third question I must not shrinke, “ And first," quo' the king, “ when I'm in this But tell him there truly what he does thinke."

stead, With my crowne of golde so faire on my head, “Now cheare up, sire abbot, did you never hear Among all my liege-men so noble of birthe,

yet, Thou must tell me to one penny what I am | That a fool he may learne a wise man witt? worthe.

Lend me horse, iud serving-men, and your ap

parel,

“Secondly, tell me, without any doubt,

And Ile ride to London to answers your quarrel. How soone I may ride the whole world about; And at the third question thou must not shrink, “Nay, frowne not, if it hath bin told unto me, But tell me here truly what I do think." I am like your lordship, as ever may be ;

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THE VICAR OF BRAY.

And they hae ta’en his very heart's blood,

And drank it round and round; And still the more and more they drank,

Their joy did more abound.

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,

Of noble enterprise ; For if you do but taste his blood,

'T will make your courage rise.

ĩ ("The Vicar of Bray in Berkshire, England, was Simon Alleyn

or Alen, and held his place from 1540 10 1588. He was a Papis: under the reign of Henry the Eighth, and a Protestant under Ed. ward the Sixth. He was a Papist again under Mary, and once more becaine a Protestant in the reign of Elizabeth. When this scandal to the gown was reproached for his versatility of religious creeds. and taxed for being a turn-coat and an inconstant changeling, as Fuller expresses it, he replied : Not so neither; for if I changed my religion, I am sure I kept true to my principle, which is to live and die the Vicar of Bray.'" — DISRAELI.)

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,

Each man a glass in hand ; And may his great posterity Ne'er fail in old Scotland !

ROBERT BURNS.

In good King Charles's golden days,

When loyalty no harm meant,
A zealous high-churchman was 1,

And so I got preferment.
To teach my flock I never missed :

Kings were by God appointed,
And lost are those that dare resist
Or touch the Lord's anointed.
And this is law that I'll maintain

Until my dying day, sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,

Still I'll be the Vicar of Bray, sir

OF A CERTAINE MAN. THERE was (not certaine when) a certaine

preacher, That never learned, and yet became a teacher, Who having read in Latine thus a text Of erat quidam homo, much perplext, He seemed the same with studie great to scan, In English thus, There was a certaine man. But now (quoth be), gooil people, note you this, He saith there was, he doth not say there is ; For in these daics of ours it is most plaine Of promise, oath, word, deed, no man's certaine; Yet by my text you see it comes to passe Thuu surely once a certaine man there was :

But yet, I think, in all your Bible no man Can finde this text. There was a certaine woman.

SIR JOHN HARRINGTON.

When royal James possessed the crown,

And popery came in fashion, The penal laws I hooted down,

And read the Declaration ;
The Church of Rome I found would fit

Full well my constitution ;
And I had been a Jesuit
But for the Revolution.

And this is law, etc.

When William was our king declared,

To ease the nation's grievance ; With this new wind about I steered,

And swore to him allegiance ;
Old principles I did revoke,

Set conscience at a distance ;
Passive obedience was a joke,
A jest was non-resistance.

And this is law, etc.

LOGIC OF HUDIBRAS.

FROM " HUDIBRAS," PART I. CANTO 1. He was in logic a great critic, profoundly skilled in analytic ; He could distinguish and divide A hair, 'twixt south and southwest side ; On either which he would dispute, Confute, change hands, and still confute ; He'l undertake to prove, by force Of argument, a man's no horse ; He'd prove a buzzard is no fowl, And that a lord may be an owl, A calf an alderman, a goose a justice, And rooks committee-men and trustees. He'd run in debt by disputation, And pay with ratiocination : All this by syllogism true, In mood and figure he would do.

When royal Anne became our queen,

The Church of England's glory, Another face of things was seen,

And I became a Tory ; Occasional conformists base,

I blamed their moderation ; And thought the Church in danger was, By such prevarication.

And this is law, etc.

When George in pudding-time came o'er,

And moderate men looked big, sir, My principles I changed once more,

And so became a Whig, sir ;

DR. SAMUEL BUTLER.

And thus preferment I procured

From our vew faith's-defender, And almost every day abjured The Pope and the Pretender.'

And this is law, etc.

And all poor souls that have scoured bowls,

Or have them lustily trowled, God save the lives of them and their wives, Whether they be young or old !

Back and side, etc.

JOHN STILL.

The illustrious house of Hanover,

And Protestant succession,
To these I do allegiance swear -

While they can keep possession :
For in my faith and loyalty

I nevermore will falter, And George my lawful king shall be -Until the times do alter,

And this is law, etc.

ANONYMOUS.

GOOD ALE.

I cannot eat but little meat,

My stomach is not good ; but, sure, I think that I can drink

With him that wears a hood.
Though I go bare, take ye no care ;

I nothing am a-cold, -
I stuff my skin so full within
Of jolly good ale and old.
Back and side go bare, go bare ;

Both foot and hand go cold :
But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,

Whether it be new or old! .

GLUGGITY GLUG.

FROM "THE MYRTLE AND THE VINE."
A JOLLY fat friar loved liquor good store,

And he had drunk stoutly at supper;
He mounted his horse in the night at the door,

And sat with his face to the crupper : "Some rogue,” quoth the friar, “ quite dead to

remorse, Some thief, whom a halter will throttle, Some scoundrel has cut off the head of my horse, While I was engaged at the bottle,

Which went gluggity, gluggity - glug

- glug - glug." The tail of the steed pointed south on the dale,

"T was the friar's road home, straight and level; But, when spurred, a horse follows his nose, not

his tail, So he scampered due north, like a devil : “This new mode of docking,” the friar then said,

“I perceive does n't make a horse trot ill; And 't is cheap, — for he never can eat off his head While I am engaged at the bottle,

Which goes gluggity, gluggity - glug

- glug- glug.” The steed made a stop, — in a pond he had got,

He was rather for drinking than grazing ; Quoth the friar, “ 'Tis strange headless horses

should trot, But to drink with their tails is amazing!” Turning round to see whence this phenomenon

rose, In the pond fell this son of a pottle ; Quoth he, “ The head 's found, for I'm under

his nose, — I wish I were over a bottle,

Which goes gluggity, gluggity – glug - glug - glug!"

GEORGE COLMAN, THE YOUNGER.

I love no roast but a nut-brown toast,

And a crab laid in the fire ;
A little bread shall do me stead, -

Much bread I not desire.
No frost, nor snow, nor wind, I trow,

Can hurt me if I wold, -
I am so wrapt, and thorowly lapt
Of jolly good ale and old.

Back and side, etc.

And Tyb, my wife, that as her life

Loveth well good ale to seek,
Full oft drinks she, till you may see

The tears run down her cheek;
Then doth she trowl to me the bowl,

Even as a malt-worin should ; And saith, “Sweetheart, I took my part Of this jolly good ale and old."

Buck and side, etc.

THE VIRTUOSO.*

"Videmus Nugari solitos," PERSIS

Now let them drink till they nod and wink,

Even as good fellows should do ;
They shall not miss to have the bliss.
Good ale doth bring men to ;

Whilom by silver Thames's gentle stream, į In London town there dwelt a subtle wight, | A wight of mickle wealth, and mickle fame,

Book-learned and quaint: a Virtuoso hight.

• In imitation of Spenser's style and stanza.

Uncommon things, and rare, were his delight; 1 THE SPLENDID SHILLING.*
From musings deep his brain ne'er gotten.
ease,

Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme;"

Things unattempted neavenly Muse. Nor ceased he from study, day or night,

A shilling, breeches, and chimeras dire, Until (advancing onward by degrees)

HAPPY the man, who, void of cares and strife, He knew whatever breeds on earth or air or

| In silken or in leathern purse retains seas

| A Splendid Shilling : he nor hears with pain

New oysters.cried, nor sighs for cheerful ale ; He many a creature did anatomize,

But with his friends, when nightly mists arise, - Almost un peopling water, air, and land ; | To Juniper's Magpie, or Town Hall repairs ; Beasts, fishes, birds, snails, caterpillars, flies, Where, inindful of the nymph, whose wanton eye

Were laid full low by his relentless hand, Transfixed his soul, and kindled amorous flames, That oft with gory crimson was distained ; Chloe or Phyllis, he each circling glass

He many a dog destroyed, and many a cat ; Wisheth her health and joy and equal love. Of Aleas his bed, of frogs the marshes drained, Meanwhile he smokes, and laughs at merry tale, Could tellen if a mite were lean or fat,

Or pun ambiguous or conundrum quaint. And read a lecture o'er the entrails of a But I, whom griping penury surrounds, gnat.

And hunger, sure attendant upon want,
With scanty offals, and small acid tiff

(Wretched repast !) my meagre corpse sustain : He knew the various modes of ancient times,

Then solitary walk, or doze at home Their arts and fashions of each different guise,

In garret vile, and with a warming puff Their weddings, funerals, punishments for

Regale chilled fingers ; or from tube as black crimes,

As winter-chimney or well-polished jet, Their strength, their learning eke, and rarities ;

Exhale mundungus, ill-perfuming scent. Of old habiliments, each sort and size,

Not blacker tube, nor of a shorter size, Male, female, high and low, to him were known;

Smokes Cambro-Briton (versed in pedigree, Each gladiator dress, and stage disguise ;

Sprung from Cadwallador and Arthur, kings With learned, clerkly phrase he could have

Full famous in romantic tale) when he shown

O’er many a craggy hill and barren cliff, How the Greek tunic differed from the Roman

Upon a cargo of famed Cestrian cheese, gown.

High overshadowing rides, with a design

To wend his wares at the Arvonian mart,
A curious medallist, I wot, he was,

Or Maridunum, or the ancient town
And boasted many a course of ancient coin ; Ycleped Brechinia, or where Vaga's stream
Well as his wife's he knewen every face,

Encircles Ariconium, fruitful soil !
From Julius Cæsar down to Constantine : Whence flow nectareous wines, that well may vie
For some rare sculpture he would oft ypine, With Massic, Setin, or renowned Falern,

(As green-sick damosels for husbands do ;) | Thus, while my joyless minutes tedious flow, And when obtained, with enraptured eyne, With looks demure, and silent pace, a Dun,

He'd run it o'er and o'er with greedy view, Horrible monster! hated by gods and men,
And look, and look again, as he would look it to my aerial citadel ascends. t
through.

With vocal heel thrice thundering at my gate,
With hideous accent thrice he calls ; I know

The voice ill-boding, and the solemn sound, His rich museum, of dimensions fair,

What should I do? or whither turn? Amazed, With goods that spoke the owner's mind was

Confounded, to the dark recess I fly fraught :

Of wood-hole ; straight my bristling hairs erect Things ancient, curious, value-worth, and rare,

Through sudden fear ; a chilly sweat bedews From sea and land, from Greece and Rome,

| My shuddering limbs, and (wonderful to tell !) were brought, Which he with mighty sums of gold had bought :

My tongue forgets her faculty of speech ;

So horrible he seems! His faded brow On these all tides with joyous eyes he pored ; Intrenched with many a frown, and conic bearil, And, sooth to say, himself he greater thought,

And spreading band, admired by modern saints, When he beheld his cabinets thus stored

Disastrous acts forebode ; in his right hand Than if he'd been of Albion's wealthy cities lord.

* A burlesque imitation of Milton's style. # To wit, his garret.

MARK AKENSIDE.

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