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POEM OF THE DAY

A WEDDING

I tell thee, Dick, where I have been;
Where I the rarest things have seen;
    Oh, things without compare!
Such sights again can not be found
    In any place on English ground,
    Be it at wake or fair.

At Charing Cross, hard by the way
Where we (thou know'st) do sell our hay,
    There is a house with stairs;
And there did I see coming down
Such folks as are not in our town;
    Vorty at least, in pairs.

Amongst the rest one pest'lent fine
(His beard no bigger tho' than thine)
    Walk'd on before the rest;
Our landlord looks like nothing to him;
The King (God bless him!) 'twould undo him
    Should he go still so drest.

At Course-a-park, without all doubt,
He should have first been taken out
    By all the maids i' th' town:
Though lusty Roger there had been,
Or little George upon the green,
    Or Vincent of the crown.

But wot you what? The youth was going
To make an end of all his woing;
    The parson for him staid:
Yet by his leave, for all his haste,
He did not so much wish all past,
    Perchance as did the maid.

The maid (and thereby hangs a tale)
For such a maid no Whitson-ale
    Could ever yet produce;
No grape that's kindly ripe, could be
So round, so plump, so soft, as she
    Nor half so full of juyce.

Her finger was so small, the ring
Would not stay on which they did bring;
    It was too wide a peck:
And, to say truth (for out it must),
It look'd like the great collar (just)
    About our young colt's neck.

Her feet beneath her petticoat,
Like little mice, stole in and out,
    As if they fear'd the light:
But oh! she dances such a way;
No sun upon an Easter day
    Is half so fine a sight.

Her cheeks so rare a white was on,
No daisie makes comparison
    (Who sees them is undone);
For streaks of red were mingled there,
Such as are on a Cath'rine pear,
    The side that's next the Sun.

Her lips were red; and one was thin,
Compared to that was next her chin
    (Some bee had stung it newly);
But, Dick, her eyes so guard her face,
I durst no more upon them gaze,
    Than on a Sun in July.

Her mouth so small, when she does speak,
Thou'dst swear her teeth her words did break,
    That they might passage get;
But she so handled still the matter,
They came as good as ours, or better,
    And are not spent a whit.

Passion, oh me! how I run on!
There's that that would be thought upon,
    I trow, besides the bride.
The business of the kitchen's great;
For it is fit that men should eat,
    Nor was it there denied.

Just in the nick the Cook knock'd thrice,
And all the waiters in a trice
    His summons did obey;
Each serving man, with dish in hand,
March'd boldly up like our train'd band,
    Presented, and away.

When all the meat was on the table,
What man of knife, or teeth, was able
    To stay to be entreated?
And this the very reason was,
Before the parson could say grace
    The company was seated.

Now hats fly off, and youths carouse;
Healths first go round, and then the house,
    The bride's came thick and thick;
And when 'twas named another's health,
Perhaps he made it hers by stealth,
    (And who could help it, Dick?)

O' th' sudden, up they rise and dance;
Then sit again, and sigh, and glance:
    Then dance again, and kiss:
Thus sev'ral ways the time did pass,
Till ev'ry woman wish'd her place,
    And ev'ry man wish'd his.

By this time all were stol'n aside
To counsel and undress the bride;
    But that he must not know:
But yet 'twas thought he guest her mind,
And did not mean to stay behind
    Above an hour or so.

                     Sir John Suckling.

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