Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IX. Tragedy: Humor
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IX. Tragedy: Humor.  1904.
 
Humorous Poems: II. Miscellaneous
Good Ale
John Still (1543?–1608)
 
I CANNOT eat but little meat,—
  My stomach is not good;
But, sure, I think that I can drink
  With him that wears a hood.
Though I go bare, take ye no care;        5
  I nothing am a-cold,—
I stuff my skin so full within
  Of jolly good ale and old.
    Back and side go bare, go bare;
      Both foot and hand go cold;        10
    But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
      Whether it be new or old!
 
I love no roast but a nut-brown toast,
  And a crab laid in the fire;
A little bread shall do me stead,—        15
  Much bread I not desire.
No frost, nor snow, nor wind, I trow,
  Can hurt me if I wold,—
I am so wrapt, and thorowly lapt
  Of jolly good ale and old.
    Back and side, etc.
        20
 
And Tyb, my wife, that as her life
  Loveth well good ale to seek,
Full oft drinks she, till you may see
  The tears run down her cheek;
Then doth she trowl to me the bowl,        25
  Even as a malt-worm should;
And saith, “Sweetheart, I took my part
  Of this jolly good ale and old.”
    Back and side, etc.
 
Now let them drink till they nod and wink,
  Even as good fellows should do;        30
They shall not miss to have the bliss
  Good ale doth bring men to;
And all poor souls that have scoured bowls,
  Or have them lustily trowled,
God save the lives of them and their wives,        35
  Whether they be young or old!
    Back and side go bare, go bare;
      Both foot and hand go cold;
    But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
      Whether it be new or old!        40
 
 
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