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.
 
A Pleasant New Ballad
Roxburghe Ballads
 
Being a pleasant discourse between a country lass and a young tailor

(Anonymous; from Vol. III)

IN harvest-time I walked
  hard by a corn-close side;
I hearing people talk,
  I looked about, and spied
A young man and a maid,        5
  together they did lie;
When you hear it told,
  You’ll laugh full heartily.
 
She was as buxom a lass
  as any in our town;        10
She will not let you pass,
  but she’ll call you to sit down.
A tailor passing by,
  she hit him on the heel;
“You are very welcome, Sir,        15
  to sit you down and feel:
 
“What money’s in my purse
  at your command shall be,
If you will go along
  to Marston Wake with me.”        20
He hearing her say so,
  and seeing her to smile,
Was charmed with her, so
  he sat him down a while.
 
And having groped her purse,        25
  and taken all her money,
He groped again, and missed,
  and caught her by the coney.
“Where am I now?” quoth he,
  “another have I found;”        30
“It’s not the same,” quoth he,
  “for this is tufted round.
 
“If it be tufted round,” quoth she,
  “there is good reason for it,
Therein such treasure lies        35
  will make a tailor sport.”
He hearing her say so,
  being a frolicsome lad,
Was willing for to know
  more of the fringed bag.        40
 
With that he eagerly
  to feel put forth his hand.
“Nay, hold, good sir,” said she,
  “go not before you stand:
Except you take your yard        45
  the depth of it to measure,
You’ll find the purse so deep,
  you’ll hardly come to the treasure.”
 
He hearing her say so,
  it put him to a stand;        50
She seeing him dismayed,
  she took his yard in hand;
“Is this your yard,” quoth she,
  “is this your tailor’s measure?
It is too short for me,        55
  it is not standard measure.”
 
The tailor being abashed,
  she told him that it was
More fitter for a man,
  than such a puny ass.        60
She bids him now be gone,
  since he could make no sport,
And said, “thou art too dull
  to enter such a fort.”
 
Then looking fiercely at him,        65
  she said, “thou sneaking fool,
Go straight away to Vulcan
  and let him mend thy tool.
And tell him that Dame Venus
  at him is almost mad,        70
For sending to her school
  such an unfit lad.”
 
You tailors that attempt
  fringed bags to measure,
Be sure your yards be sealed,        75
  and of full Standard Measure.
 
 
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