페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Giving me caution, no lie should escape me,
For if I should trip, he should certainly trap me.
I answer'd, my country was fam'd Staffordshire ;
That in deeds, bills and bonds, I was ever writ

squire; That of land, I had both sorts, some good, and

some evil, But that a great part on't was pawn’d to the Devil; That as for my parts, they were such as he saw; That, indeed, I had a small smatt'ring of law, Which I lately had got more by practice than

reading By sitting o’ th’ bench, whilst others were plead

ing; But that arms I had ever more study'd than arts, And was now to a captain rais'd by my deserts; That the business which led me through Palatine

ground Into Ireland was, whither now I was bound; Where his worship’s great favour I loud will pro

claim, And in all other places wherever I came. He said, as to that, I might do what I list, But that I was welcome, and gave me his fist; When having my fingers made crack with his

gripes, He call’d to his man for some bottles and pipes.

To trouble you here with a longer narration Of the several parts of our confabulation, Perhaps would be tedious; l'll therefore remit ye Even to the most rev'rend records of the city, Where, doubtless, the acts of the may’rs are re

corded, And if not more truly, yet much better worded.

In short, then, we pip'd, and we tippled Canary, Till my watch pointed one in the circle horary; When thinking it now was high time to depart, His worship I thank'd with a most grateful heart; And because to great men presents are acceptable, I presented the may’r, ere I rose from the table, With a certain fantastical box and a stopper; And he having kindly accepted my offer, I took my fair leave, such my visage adorning, And to bed, for I was to rise early i' th’ morning.

CANTO III.

The Sun in the morning disclosed his light,
With complexion as ruddy as mine over night;
And o’er th' eastern mountains peeping up's head,
The casement being open, espy'd me in bed ;
With his rays he so tickled my lids that I wak’d,
And was half asham'd, for I found myself nak'd;
But up I soon start, and was dress'd in a trice,
And call'd for a draught of ale, sugar, and spice;
Which having turn’d off, I then call to pay,
And packing my wawls, whipp'd to horse, and away.
A guide I had got, who demanded great vails,
For conducting me over the mountains of Wales :
Twenty good shillings, which sure very large is ;
Yet that would not serve, but I must bear his

charges;
And yet for all that, rode astride on a beast,
The worst that e'er went on three legs, I protest;
It certainly was the most ugly of jades,
His hips and his rump made a right ace of spades;

His sides were two ladders, well spur-galld withal;
His neck was a helve, and his head was a mall;
For his colour, my pains and your trouble I'll spare,
For the creature was wholly denuded of hair;
And, except for two things, as bare as my nail,
A tuft of a mane, and a sprig of a tail;
And by these the true colour one can no more

know,
Than by mouse-skins above stairs, the merkin below.
Now such as the beast was, even such was the rider,
With a head like a nutmeg, and legs like a spider;
A voice like a cricket, a look like a rat,
The brains of a goose, and the heart of a cat :
Even such was my guide and his beast; let them

pass, The one for a horse, and the other an ass. But now with our horses, what sound and what

rotten, Down to the shore, you must know, we were got

ten; And there we were told, it concern'd us to ride, Unless we did mean to encounter the tide; And then my guide lab’ring with heels and with

hands, With two up and one down, hopp'd over the sands, Till his horse, finding th’ labour for three legs too

sore, Fold out a new leg, and then he had four : And now by plain dint of hard spurring and whip

ping, Dry-shod we came where folks sometimes take

shipping; And where the salt sea, as the Devil were in't, Came roaring, t have hinder'd our journey to

Flint;

But we, by good luck, before him got thither,
He else would have carried us, no man knows

whither.
And now her in Wales is, saint Taph be her

speed, Gott splutter her taste, some Welch ale her had

need; For her ride in great haste, and was like shit her

breeches, For fear of her being catch'd up by the fishes: But the lord of Flint castle's no lord worth a louse, For he keeps ne’er a drop of good drink in his

house; But in a small house near unto 't there was store Of such ale as (thank God) I ne'er tasted before ; And surely the Welch are not wise of their fuddle, For this had the taste and complexion of puddle. From thence then we march'd full as dry as we

came, My guide before prancing, his steed no more lame, O’er hills and o’er vallies uncouth and uneven, Until 'twixt the hours of twelve and eleven, More hungry and thirsty than tongue can well

tell, We happily came to St. Winifred's well: I thought it the pool of Bethesda had been By the cripples lay there; but I went to my inn To speak for some meat, for so stomach did motion, Before I did farther proceed in devotion : I went into th’ kitchen, where victuals I saw, Both beef, veal, and mutton, but all on't was raw; And some on't alive, but it soon went to slaughter, For four chickens were slain by my dame and her

daughter

of which to saint Win. ere my vows I had paid,
They said I should find a rare fricasée made :
I thank'd them, and straight to the well did repair,
Where some I found cursing, and others at pray’r;
Some dressing, some stripping, some out and some

in, Some naked, where botches and boils might be

seen ; Of which some were fevers of Venus l'm sure, And therefore unfit for the virgin to cure : But the fountain, in truth, is well worth the sight, The beautiful virgin's own tears not more bright; Nay, none but she ever shed such a tear, Her conscience, her name, nor herself, were more

clear, In the bottom there lie certain stones that look

white, But streak'd with pure red, as the morning with

light, Which they say is her blood, and so it may be, But for that, let who shed it look to it for me. Over the fountain a chapel there stands, Which I wonder has 'scap'd master Oliver's hands; The foor's not ill pav'd, and the margin o'th'

spring Is enclos'd with a certain octagonal ring; From each angle of which a pillar does rise, Of strength and of thickness enough to suffice To support and uphold from falling to ground A cupola wherewith the virgin is crown'd. Now 'twixt the two angles that fork to the north, And where the cold nymph does her basin pour

forth,

« 이전계속 »