Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ALE, by JOHN STILL



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ALE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I cannot eat but little meat
Last Line: Whether it be new or old!
Variant Title(s): Good Ale;jolly Good Ale And Old
Subject(s): Alcoholism & Alcoholics; Beer; Drinks & Drinking; Drunkards; Alcohol Abuse; Ale; Wine


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.

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-worm should;
And saith, "Sweetheart, I took my part
Of this jolly good ale and old."
Back and side, etc.

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;
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 go bare, go bare;
Both foot and hand go cold;
But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
Whether it be new or old!




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