Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
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T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
 
The Winchester Wedding
Anonymous
 
Or, Ralph of Redding, and Black Bess of the Green

(From Pills to Purge Melancholy, 1719)

AT Winchester was a Wedding,
  The like was never seen,
Twixt lusty Ralph of Redding,
  And bonny black Bess of the Green:
The Fiddlers were Crowding before,        5
  Each Lass was as fine as a Queen;
There was a Hundred and more,
  For all the Country came in:
Brisk Robin led Rose so fair,
  She looked like a Lilly o’ the Vale;        10
And Ruddy Faced Harry led Mary,
  And Roger led bouncing Nell.
 
With Tommy came smiling Katy,
  He helped her over the Stile;
And swore there was none so pretty,        15
  In forty, and forty long Mile:
Kit gave a Green-Gown to Betty,
  And lent her his Hand to rise;
But Jenny was jeered by Watty,
  For looking blue under the Eyes:        20
Thus merrily Chatting all,
  They passed to the Bride-house along;
With Johnny and pretty faced Nanny,
  The fairest of all the throng.
 
The Bride came out to meet ’em,        25
  Afraid the Dinner was spoiled;
And ushered ’em in to treat ’em,
  With Baked, and Roasted, and Boiled:
The Lads were so frolic and jolly,
  For each had his Love by his side;        30
But Willy was Melancholy,
  For he had a Mind to the Bride:
Then Philip begins her Health,
  And turns a Beer Glass on his Thumb;
But Jenkin was reckoned for Drinking,        35
  The best in Christendom.
 
And now they had Din’d, advancing
  Into the midst of the Hall;
The Fiddlers struck up for Dancing,
  And Jeremy led up the Brawl:        40
But Margery kept a quarter,
  A Lass that was proud of her Pelf,
Cause Arthur had stolen her Garter,
  And swore he would tie it himself:
She struggled, and blushed, and frowned,        45
  And ready with Anger to cry;
’Cause Arthur with tying her Garter,
  Had slipped his Hand too high.
 
And now for throwing the Stocking,
  The Bride away was led;        50
The Bridegroom got Drunk and was knocking,
  For Candles to light ’em to Bed:
But Robin that found him Silly,
  Most friendly took him aside;
The while that his Wife with Willy,        55
  Was playing at Hoopers-hide;
And now the warm Game begins,
  The Critical Minute was come;
And chatting, and Billing, and Kissing,
  Went Merrily round the Room.        60
 
Pert Stephen was kind to Betty,
  And blithe as a Bird in the Spring;
And Tommy was so to Katy,
  And Wedded her with a Rush Ring:
Sukey that Danc’d with the Cushion,        65
  An Hour from the Room had been gone;
And Barnaby knew by her Blushing,
  That some other Dance had been done:
And thus of Fifty fair Maids,
  That came to the Wedding with Men;        70
Scarce Five of the Fifty was left ye,
  That so did return again.
 
Brisk Dolly and pretty-faced Kate
  This merriment they did adore;
Each Lass had been pleased with her Mate,        75
  As they never had been before;
Nay, Susan was pleased at heart,
  She said it, and said it again,
The young Men have played their part,
  And no one has cause to complain.        80
The day was in merriment spent,
  The Pipes and the Fiddlers they play,
Before all the throng as they went;
  Thus they made an end of the day.
 
 
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