Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE GYPSIES METAMORPHOSED: JACKMAN'S SONG (2), by BEN JONSON



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THE GYPSIES METAMORPHOSED: JACKMAN'S SONG (2), by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Cocklorrel woulds needs have the devil his guest
Last Line: From whence it was called the devil's arse.


Cocklorrel woulds needs have the devil his guest,
And bade him once into the Peak to dinner,
Where never the fiend had such a feast
Provided him yet at the charge of a sinner.

His stomach was queasy (he came hither coached)
The jogging had caused some crudities rise;
To help it he called for a puritan poached,
That used to turn up the eggs of his eyes.

And so recovered unto his wish,
He sat him down, and he fell to eat;
Promoter in plum broth was the first dish --
His own privy kitchen had no such meat.

Yet though with this he much were taken,
Upon a sudden he shifted his trencher,
As soon as he spied the bawd and the bacon,
By which you may note the devil's a wencher.

Six pickled tailors sliced and cut,
Sempsters and tirewomen, fit for his palate;
With feathermen and perfumers put
Some twelve in a charger to make a great sallet.

A rich fat usurer stewed in his marrow,
And by him a lawyer's head and green sauce:
Both which his belly took up like a barrow,
As if till then he had never seen sauce.

Then carbonadoed and cooked with pains,
Was brought up a cloven sergeant's face:
The sauce was made of his yeoman's brains,
That had been beaten out with his own mace.

Two roasted sherriffs came whole to the board;
(The feast had been nothing without 'em)
Both living and dead they were foxed and furred,
Their chains like sausages hung about 'em.

The very next dish was the mayor of a town,
With a pudding of maintenance thrust in his belly,
Like a goose in the feathers, dressed in his gown,
And his couple of hinch-boys boiled to a jelly.

A London cuckold hot from the spit,
And when the carver up had broken him,
The devil chopped up his head at a bit,
But the horns were very near like to choke him.

The chine of a lecher too there was roasted,
With a plump harlot's haunch and garlic,
A pandar's pettitoes, that had boasted
Himself for a captain, yet never was warlike.

A large fat pasty of a midwife hot;
And for a cold baked meat into the story,
A reverend painted lady was brought,
And coffined in crust till now she was hoary.

To these, an over-grown justice of peace,
With a clerk like a gizzard trussed under each arm;
And warrants for sippits, laid in his own grease,
Set over a chafing dish to be kept warm.

The jowl of a gaoler served for fish,
A constable soused with vinegar by;
Two aldermen lobsters asleep in a dish.
A deputy tart, a churchwarden pie.

All which devoured, he then for a close
Did for a full draught of Derby call;
He heaved the huge vessel up to his nose,
And left not till he had drunk up all.

Then from the table he gave a start,
Where banquet and wine were nothing scarce,
All which he flirted away with a fart,
From whence it was called the Devil's Arse.





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