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
 
A Coxcomb
By Joseph Hall (1574–1656)
 
[From Book iii. Sat. 5.]

LATE travelling along in London way
Me met, as seen by his disguised array,
A lusty courtier, whose curled head
With abron 1 locks was fairly furnished.
I him saluted in our lavish wise;        5
He answers my untimely courtesies:
His bonnet vailed, ere ever he could think
The unruly wind blows off his periwinke.
He lights and runs and quickly hath him sped
To overtake his overrunning head.        10
The sportful wind, to mock the headless man,
Tosses apace his pitched Rogerian: 2
And straight it to a deeper ditch hath blown;
There must my yonker fetch his waxen crown.
I looked and laughed, whiles in his raging mind        15
He cursed all courtesy and unruly wind.
I looked and laughed, and much I marvelled
To see so large a causeway on his head,
And me bethought, that when it first begon
’Twas some shrewd autumn that so bared the bone.        20
Is ’t not sweet pride, when men their crowns must shade
With that which jerks the hams of every jade,
Or floor-strewed locks from off the Barber’s shears?
But waxen crowns well ’gree with borrowed hairs.
 
Note 1. Auburn. [back]
Note 2. A nickname for a false scalp. [back]
 
 
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