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William Blake (1757–1827).  The Poetical Works.  1908.
 
Songs from ‘An Island in The Moon’
XI. This city and this country has brought forth many mayors
 
THIS 1 city and this country has brought forth many mayors
To sit in state, and give forth laws out of their old oak chairs,
With face as brown as any nut with drinking of strong ale—
Good English hospitality, O then it did not fail!
 
With scarlet gowns and broad gold lace, would make a yeoman sweat;        5
With stockings roll’d above their knees and shoes as black as jet;
With eating beef and drinking beer, O they were stout and hale—
Good English hospitality, O then it did not fail!
 
Thus sitting at the table wide the mayor and aldermen
Were fit to give law to the city; each ate as much as ten:        10
The hungry poor enter’d the hall to eat good beef and ale—
Good English hospitality, O then it did not fail!
 
Note 1. XI] Sung by Steelyard the Lawgiver, MS., chap. ix. Cp. ‘Old English hospitality is long since deceased’, in Chatterton’s ‘Antiquity of Christmas Games’, an essay reprinted in the Miscellanies of 1778, with which work Blake appears to have been familiar. [back]
 
 
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