Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. I. Chaucer to Donne
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. I. Early Poetry: Chaucer to Donne
 
Hollow Hospitality
By Joseph Hall (1574–1656)
 
[From Book iii. Sat. 3.]

THE COURTEOUS citizen bade me to his feast
With hollow words, and overly 1 request:
‘Come, will ye dine with me this holiday?’
I yielded, though he hop’d I would say nay:
For I had maiden’d it, as many use;        5
Loath for to grant, but loather to refuse.
‘Alack, sir, I were loath—another day,—
I should but trouble you;—pardon me, if you may.’
No pardon should I need; for, to depart
He gives me leave, and thanks too, in his heart.        10
Two words for money, Darbyshirian wise:
(That ’s one too many) is a naughty guise.
Who looks for double biddings to a feast,
May dine at home for an importune guest.
I went, then saw, and found the great expense;        15
The face and fashions of our citizens.
Oh, Cleopatrical! what wanteth there
For curious cost, and wondrous choice of cheer?
Beef, that erst Hercules held for finest fare;
Pork, for the fat Bœotian, or the hare        20
For Martial; fish for the Venetian;
Goose-liver for the licorous Roman;
Th’ Athenian’s goat; quail, Iolaus’ cheer;
The hen for Esculape, and the Parthian deer;
Grapes for Arcesilas, 2 figs for Pluto’s mouth,        25
And chestnuts fair for Amarillis’ tooth.
Hadst thou such cheer? wert thou ever there before?
Never,—I thought so: nor come there no more.
Come there no more; for so meant all that cost:
Never hence take me for thy second host.        30
For whom he means to make an often guest,
One dish shall serve; and welcome make the rest.
 
Note 1. Superficial. [back]
Note 2. Plutarch, Moralia 668 a, calls Arcesilaus [Greek]. [back]
 
 
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