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They tell whom it kills, but say not a word,
How many a man liveth both sound and hale, Though he drink no beer any day in the year,
By the radical humour of a pot of good ale.
But to speak of killing them am I not willing ;
For that in a manner were but to rail ; But beer hath its name, 'cause it brings to the bier,
Therefore well fare, say I, to a pot of good ale.
Too many (I wis) with their deaths prove this,
And therefore (if ancient records do not fail) He that first brew'd the hop* was rewarded with a rope,
And found his beer far more bitter than ale.
O ale ab alendo, the liquor of life!
That I had but a mouth as big as a whale ! For mine is but little, to touch the least tittle
That belongs to the praise of a pot of good ale.
Thus (I trow) some virtues I have mark’À you out,
And never a vice in all this long trail, But that after the pot, there cometh a shot,
And that's th’ only blot of a pot of good ale.”
With that my friend said,
" that blot will I bear, You have done very well, it is time to strike sail ; We'll have six pots more, though I die on the score,
To make all this good of a pot of good ale.” 0.
[Introduced into England about 1523, says Baker in his nicle: but Fuller, in bis Worthies, mentions a petition to Parliament in the reign of Henry VI. against that wicked weed called hops.']
O N A L E. *
Whilst some in epic strains delight,
As taste or whim prevail ;
tuneful nine !
To sing of nappy ale.
Some folks of cyder make a rout,
When better liquors fail ;
Must yield to nappy ale.
Rum, brandy, gin with choicest smack,
All these will naught avail ;
Like humming nappy ale.
Oh! whether thee I closely hug
Or in the tankard hail ;
* This ballad is printed as Mr. Gay's, in some editions of bis works: i, e. the spurious ones published by Mr. Bell, bookseller in the Strand.
+ So the copies : quære indite?
In barrel or in bottle pent,
I feast on ale,
But chief, when to the cheerful glass
Then most thy charms prevail ;
Was poor, compar'd to ale,
Give me a bumper, fill it up :
Oh! how shall I regale !
Or aught with nappy ale ?
Inspir'd by thee the warrior fights,
And pens the pleasing tale;
Like gen’rous nappy ale.
High church and low oft raise a strife,
Each studious to prevail;
In praise of nappy ale,
O blest potation ! still by thee,
Do health and mirth prevail ;
In quaffing nappy ale.
Ev'n while these stanzas I indite,
Where joy can never fail.
adieu ! I haste
With copious draughts of ale.
Backe and side go bare, go bare,
Whether it be newe or olde.
My stomacke is not good ;
With him that weares a hood.
* From 'A ryght pithy, pleasaunt and merie comedie ; intytuled Gammer Gurtou's Nedle.' London, 1575.--This very humorous ancient drama is preserved, amongst divers similar curiosities, in the excellent collection of old plays, published by Mr. Dodsley. [Also in vol. i. of the Origin of the English Drama by the Rev. T. Hawkins, who terms it the first regular comedy in our language, being (according to Mr. Oldys' manuscript tables,) printed in 15.51.]
Thoughe I go bare, take ye no care,
I am nothinge a colde ;
Of joly good ale and olde.
colde: But, belly, God send thee good ale inoughe,
Whether it be new or olde.
I love no rost, but a nut-browne toste,
And a crab* laid in the fyre ;
Much breade I not desyre.
Of joly good ale and olde. Backe and syde go bare, &c.
And Tyb my wyfe, that as her lyfe,
Loveth well good ale to seeke ; Full oft drynkes shee, tyll ye may see
The teares run downe her cheeke :
Even as a mault-worme shuld ;
Of this joly good ale and olde.
Now let them drynke, tyll they nod and winke,
Even as good felowes shoulde doe :