Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EPIGRAM, by WILLIAM BROWNE (1591-1643)

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

EPIGRAM, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: It happen'd lately at a fair, or wake
Last Line: If I had had but any brains at all.
Alternate Author Name(s): Browne, William Of Tavistock
Subject(s): Fights

IT happen'd lately at a fair, or wake,
After a pot or two or such mistake,
Two iron-soled clowns, and bacon-sided,Grumbled: then left the forms which they
And with their crab-tree cudgels, as appears,
Thresh'd, as they use, at one another's ears:
A neighbour near both to their house and drink,
Who, though he slept at sermons, could not wink
At this dissension, with a spirit bold
As was the ale that arm'd them, strong and old,
Stepp'd in and parted them; but Fortune's frown
Was such that there our neighbour was knock'd down.
For they, to recompense his pains at full,
Since he had broke their quarrel, broke his skull.
People came in, and rais'd him from his swound;
A chirurgeon then was call'd to search the wound,
Who, op'ning it, more to endear his pains,
Cried out, Alas! look, you may see his brains.
Nay, quoth the wounded man, I tell you free,
Good Mr. Surgeon, that can never be;
For I should ne'er have meddled with this brawl
If I had had but any brains at all.

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