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• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


 

The Choise of Valentines, Or the Merie Ballad of Nash His Dildo

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My little dilldo shall suply their kinde:
A knaue, that moues as light as leaues by winde;
That bendeth not, nor fouldeth anie deale,
But stands as stiff as he were made of steele;

A salacious post for chocolate-and-roses day. There’s a degree of confusion around this work and its author, an Elizabethan poet, playwright and pamphleteer. The poem, which was distributed privately, dates from around 1593 and has a variety of titles, while its author is variously credited as Thomas Nashe or Thomas Nash. Despite the bawdy reputation of the Elizabethan era Nash’s contemporaries were sufficiently scandalised by the poem for it to remain unpublished, with the result that it survives imperfectly in a few handwritten copies. It’s a lengthy piece so let’s go to Wikipedia for a précis:

It describes the visit of a young man named “Tomalin” to the brothel where his girlfriend Frances (“Frankie”) is employed. Having paid ten gold pieces for her favours, Tomalin is embarrassed to find that merely lifting her skirts makes him lose his erection. She perseveres in arousing him however and they make love, but to her disappointment he has an orgasm before her. Frankie then decides to take matters into her own hands: hence the informal title by which the poem was known, Nashe’s Dildo.

The Oxford English Dictionary credits Nash with the first appearance in English of the word “dildo”, a term “of obscure origin” we’re told, whose usage here predates John Florio’s Worlde of Wordes (1598), Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist (1610), and Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale (1611). Nash’s achievement is something of a cheat since his poem wasn’t actually published until 1899, and then in a private edition. As usual the Internet Archive has the book in question, and it’s their version which follows, albeit without the copious footnotes.

The Renaissance English Literature site has more about Thomas Nash (or Nashe), his life and his work.

THE CHOOSING OF VALENTINES.

It was the merie moneth of Februarie,
When yong men, in their iollie roguerie,
Rose earelie in the morne fore breake of daie,
To seeke them valentines soe trimme and gaie;

With whom they maie consorte in summer sheene,
And dance the haidegaies on our toune-greene,
As alas at Easter, or at Pentecost,
Perambulate the fields that flourish most;

And goe to som village abbordring neere,
To taste the creame and cakes and such good cheere;
Or see a playe of strange moralitie,
Shewen by Bachelrie of Maningtree.

Where to, the contrie franklins flock-meale swarme,
And Jhon and Jone com marching arme in arme.
Euen on the hallowes of that blessed Saint
That doeth true louers with those ioyes acquaint,

I went, poore pilgrime, to my ladies shrine,
To see if she would be my valentine;
But woe, alass, she was not to be found,
For she was shifted to an upper ground:

Good Justice Dudgeon-haft, and crab-tree face,
With bills and staues had scar’d hir from the place;
And now she was compel’d, for Sanctuarie,
To flye unto a house of venerie.

Thither went I, and bouldlie made enquire
If they had hackneis to lett-out to hire,
And what they crau’d, by order of their trade,
To lett one ride a iournie on a iade.

Therwith out stept a foggy three-chinnd dame,
That us’d to take yong wenches for to tame,
And ask’t me if I ment as I profest,
Or onelie ask’t a question but in iest.

“In iest?” quoth I; “that terme it as you will;
I com for game, therefore give me my Jill.”
“Why Sir,” quoth shee, “if that be your demande,
Com, laye me a Gods-pennie in my hand;

For, in our oratorie siccarlie,
None enters heere, to doe his nicarie,
But he must paye his offertorie first,
And then, perhaps, wee’le ease him of his thirst.”

I, hearing hir so ernest for the box,
Gave hir hir due, and she the dore unlocks.
In am I entered: “venus be my speede!
But where’s this female that must do this deed”?

By blinde meanders, and by crankled wayes,
Shee leades me onward, (as my Aucthor saies),
Vntill we came within a shadie loft
Where venus bounsing vestalls skirmish oft;

And there shee sett me in a leather chaire,
And brought me forth, of prettie Trulls, a paire,
To chuse of them which might content myne eye;
But hir I sought, I could nowhere espie.

I spake them faire, and wisht them well to fare—
“Yet soe yt is, I must haue fresher ware;
Wherefore, dame Bawde, as daintie as you bee,
Fetch gentle mistris Francis forth to me.”

“By Halliedame,” quoth she, “and Gods oune mother,
I well perceaue you are a wylie brother;
For if there be a morsell of more price,
You’ll smell it out, though I be nare so nice.

As you desire, so shall you swiue with hir,
But think, your purse-strings shall abye-it deare;
For, he that will eate quailes must lauish crounes,
And Mistris Francis, in her veluett gounes,

And ruffs and perwigs as fresh as Maye,
Can not be kept with half a croune a daye.”
“Of price, good hostess, we will not debate,
Though you assize me at the highest rate;

Onelie conduct me to this bonnie bell.
And tenne good gobbs I will unto thee tell,
Of golde or siluer, which shall lyke thee best,
So much doe I hir companie request.”

Awaie she went: so sweete a thing is golde,
That (mauger) will inuade the strongest holde.
“Hey-ho! she coms, that hath my hearte in keepe
Sing Lullabie, my cares, and falle a-sleepe.”

Sweeping she coms, as she would brush the ground;
Hir ratling silkes my sences doe confound.
“Oh, I am rauisht: voide the chamber streight;
For I must neede’s upon hir with my weight.”

“My Tomalin,” quoth shee, and then she smilde.
“I, I,” quoth I, “soe more men are beguild
With smiles, with flatt’ring wordes, and fained cheere,
When in their deedes their falsehood doeth appeare.”

“As how, my lambkin,” blushing, she replide,
“Because I in this dancing schoole abide?
If that it be, that breede’s this discontent,
We will remoue the camp incontinent:

For shelter onelie, sweete heart, came I hither,
And to auoide the troblous stormie weather;
But now the coaste is cleare, we will be gonne,
Since, but thy self, true louer I haue none.”

With that she sprung full lightlie to my lips,
And fast about the neck me colle’s, and clips;
She wanton faints, and falle’s vpon hir bedd,
And often tosseth too and fro hir head;

She shutts hir eyes, and waggles with her tongue:
“Oh, who is able to abstaine so long?”
“I com! I com! sweete lyning be thy leaue:”
Softlie my fingers up theis curtaine heaue,

And make me happie, stealing by degreese.
First bare hir leggs, then creepe up to hir kneese;
From thence ascend unto her mannely thigh—
(A pox on lingring when I am so nighe!).

Smock, climbe a-pace, that I maie see my ioyes;
Oh heauen and paradize are all but toyes
Compar’d with this sight I now behould,
Which well might keepe a man from being olde.

A prettie rysing wombe without a weame,
That shone as bright as anie siluer streame;
And bare out like the bending of an hill,
At whose decline a fountaine dwelleth still;

That hath his mouth besett with uglie bryers,
Resembling much a duskie nett of wyres;
A loftie buttock, barrd with azure veines,
Whose comelie swelling, when my hand distreines,

Or wanton checketh with a harmlesse stype,
It makes the fruites of loue oftsoone be rype,
And pleasure pluckt too tymelie from the stemme
To dye ere it hath seene Jerusalem.

O Gods! that euer anie thing so sweete,
So suddenlie should fade awaie, and fleete!
Hir armes are spread, and I am all unarm’d,
Lyke one with Ouid’s cursed hemlocke charm’d;

So are my Limms unwealdlie for the fight
That spend their strength in thought of hir delight.
What shall I doe to shewe my self a man?
It will not be for ought that beawtie can.

I kisse, I clap, I feele, I view at will,
Yett dead he lyes, not thinking good or ill.
“Unhappie me,” quoth shee, “and wilt’ not stand?
Com, lett me rubb and chafe it with my hand!

Perhaps the sillie worme is labour’d sore,
And wearied that it can doe noe more;
If it be so, as I am greate a-dread,
I wish tenne thousand times that I were dead.

How ere it is, no meanes shall want in me,
That maie auaile to his recouerie.”
Which saide, she tooke and rould it on hir thigh,
And when she look’t on’t, she would weepe and sighe;

She dandled it, and dancet it up and doune,
Not ceasing till she rais’d it from his swoune.
And then he flue on hir as he were wood,
And on hir breeche did hack and foyne a-good;

He rub’d, and prickt, and pierst her to the bones,
Digging as farre as eath he might for stones;
Now high, now lowe, now stryking shorte and thicke;
Now dyuing deepe, he toucht hir to the quicke;

Now with a gird he would his course rebate,
Straite would he take him to a statlie gate;
Plaie while him list, and thrust he neare so hard,
Poore pacient Grissill lyeth at hir warde,

And giue’s, and takes, as blythe and free as Maye,
And ere-more meete’s him in the midle waye.
On him hir eyes continualy were fixt;
With hir eye-beames his melting looke’s were mixt,

Which, like the Sunne, that twixt two glasses plaies,
From one to th’ other cast’s rebounding rayes.
He, lyke a starre that, to reguild his beames
Sucks-in the influence of Phebus streames,

Imbathes the lynes of his descending light
In the bright fountaines of hir clearest sight.
She, faire as fairest Planet in the skye,
Hir puritie to noe man doeth denye;

The verie chamber that enclouds her shine
Lookes lyke the pallace of that God deuine,
Who leades the daie about the Zodiake,
And euerie euen discends to th’oceane lake;

So fierce and feruent is her radiance,
Such fyrie stakes she darts at euerie glance
As might enflame the icie limmes of age,
And make pale death his seignedrie to aswage;

To stand and gaze upon her orient lamps,
Where Cupid all his chiefest ioyes encamps,
And sitts, and playes with euery atomie
That in hir Sunne-beames swarme aboundantlie.

Thus gazing, and thus striuing, we perseuer:
But what so firme that maie continue euer?
“Oh not so fast,” my rauisht Mistriss cryes,
“Leaste my content, that on thy life relyes,

Be brought too-soone from his delightfull seate,
And me unwares of hoped bliss defeate.
Together lett us marche unto content,
And be consumed with one blandishment.”

As she prescrib’d so kept we crotchet-time,
And euerie stroake in ordre lyke a chyme,
Whilst she, that had preseru’d me by hir pittie,
Unto our musike fram’d a groaning dittie.

“Alass! alass! that loue should be a sinne!
Euen now my blisse and sorrowe doeth beginne.
Hould wyde thy lapp, my louelie Danae,
And entretaine the golden shoure so free,

That trikling falles into thy treasurie.
As Aprill-drops not half so pleasant be,
Nor Nilus overflowe to Ægipt plaines
As this sweet-streames that all hir ioints imbaynes.

With “Oh!” and “Oh!” she itching moues hir hipps,
And to and fro full lightlie starts and skips:
She ierkes hir leggs, and sprauleth with hir heeles;
No tongue maie tell the solace that she feeles,

“I faint! I yeald! Oh, death! rock me a-sleepe!
Sleepe! sleepe desire! entombed in the deepe!”
“Not so, my deare,” my dearest saint replyde,
“For, from us yett, thy spirit maie not glide

Untill the sinnowie channels of our blood
Without their source from this imprisoned flood;
And then will we (that then will com too soone),
Dissolued lye, as though our dayes were donne.”

The whilst I speake, my soule is fleeting hence,
And life forsakes his fleshie residence.
Staie, staie sweete ioye, and leaue me not forlorne
Why shouldst thou fade that art but newelie borne?

“Staie but an houre, an houre is not so much:
But half an houre; if that thy haste is such,
Naie, but a quarter—I will aske no more—
That thy departure (which torments me sore),

Maie be alightned with a little pause,
And take awaie this passions sudden cause.”
He heare’s me not; hard-harted as he is,
He is the sonne of Time, and hates my blisse.

Time nere looke’s backe, the riuers nere returne;
A second springe must help me or I burne.
No, no, the well is drye that should refresh me,
The glasse is runne of all my destinie:

Nature of winter learneth nigardize
Who, as he ouer-beares the streame with ice
That man nor beaste maie of their pleasance taste,
So shutts she up hir conduit all in haste,

And will not let hir Nectar ouer-flowe,
Least mortall man immortall ioyes should knowe.
Adieu! unconstant loue, to thy disporte
Adieu! false mirth, and melodie too short;

Adieu! faint-hearted instrument of lust;
That falselie hath betrayde our equale trust.
Hence-forth no more will I implore thine ayde,
Or thee, or man of cowardize upbrayde.

My little dilldo shall suply their kinde:
A knaue, that moues as light as leaues by winde;
That bendeth not, nor fouldeth anie deale,
But stands as stiff as he were made of steele;

And playes at peacock twixt my leggs right blythe,
And doeth my tickling swage with manie a sighe.
For, by saint Runnion! he’le refresh me well;
And neuer make my tender bellie swell.

Poore Priapus! whose triumph now must falle,
Except thou thrust this weakeling to the walle.
Behould! how he usurps, in bed and bowre
And undermines thy kingdom euerie howre;

How slye he creepes betwixt the barke and tree,
And sucks the sap, whilst sleepe detaineth thee.
He is my Mistris page at euerie stound,
And soone will tent a deepe intrenched wound.

He wayte’s on Courtlie Nimphs that be so coye,
And bids them skorne the blynd-alluring boye.
He giues yong guirls their gamesome sustenance,
And euerie gaping mouth his full sufficeance.

He fortifies disdaine with forraine artes,
And wanton-chaste deludes all loving hartes.
If anie wight a cruell mistris serue’s,
Or, in dispaire, (unhappie) pines and staru’s,

Curse Eunuke dilldo, senceless counterfet
Who sooth maie fill, but never can begett.
But, if revenge enraged with dispaire,
That such a dwarf his wellfare should empaire,

Would faine this womans secretarie knowe,
Lett him attend the markes that I shall showe:
He is a youth almost two handfulls highe,
Streight, round, and plumb, yett hauing but one eye,

Wherein the rhewme so feruentlie doeth raigne,
That Stigian gulph maie scarce his teares containe;
Attired in white veluet, or in silk,
And nourisht with whott water, or with milk,

Arm’d otherwhile in thick congealed glasse,
When he, more glib, to hell be lowe would passe.
Vpon a charriot of five wheeles he rydes,
The which an arme strong driuer stedfast guides,

And often alters pace as wayes growe deepe,
(For who, in pathes unknowne, one gate can keepe?)
Sometimes he smoothlie slideth doune the hill;
Another while, the stones his feete doe kill;

In clammie waies he treaddeth by and by,
And plasheth and sprayeth all that be him nye.
So fares this iollie rider in his race,
Plunging and sousing forward in lyke case,

He dasht, and spurted, and he plodded foule,
God giue thee shame, thou blinde mischapen owle!
Fy-fy, for grief: a ladies chamberlaine,
And canst not thou thy tatling tongue refraine?

I reade thee beardles blab, beware of stripes,
And be aduised what thou vainelie pipes;
Thou wilt be whipt with nettles for this geare
If Cicelie shewe but of thy knauerie heere.

Saint Denis shield me from such female sprites!
Regarde not, Dames, what Cupids Poete writes:
I pennd this storie onelie for my selfe,
Who, giuing suck unto a childish Elfe,

And quitte discourag’d in my nurserie,
Since all my store seemes to hir penurie.
I am not as was Hercules the stout,
That to the seaventh iournie could hould out;

I want those hearbe’s and rootes of Indian soile,
That strengthen wearie members in their toile—
Druggs and Electuaries of new devise,
Doe shunne my purse, that trembles at the price.

Sufficeth all I haue, I yeald hir hole
Which, for a poore man, is a princelie dole,
I paie our hostess scott and lott at moste,
And looke as leane and lank as anie ghoste;

What can be added more to my renowne?
She lyeth breathlesse; I am taken doune;
The waves doe swell, the tydes climbe or’e the banks;
Judge, gentlemen! if I deserue not thanks?

And so, good night! unto you euer’ie one;
For loe, our thread is spunne, our plaie is donne.

_Claudito iam vinos Priapa, sat prata biberunt_ [sic[j]].

Tho. Nash.

Previously on { feuilleton }
The fascinating phallus
The Triumph of the Phallus
Le Phallus phénoménal
Phallic bibelots
The New Love Poetry
Phallic worship
The art of ejaculation

 


 

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5 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by matthew brandi

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    That put a smile on my face. I particularly liked:

    And often alters pace as ways grow deep,
    (For who, in paths unknown, one gait can keep?)
    Sometimes he smoothly slideth down the hill;
    Another while, the stones his feet do kill;

    I wonder whether modern spelling would be possible throughout, or whether Sixteenth century pronunciation (more alien to our ears than the page would indicate, I understand) & vocabulary would trip one up in trickier passages.

  2. #2 posted by matthew brandi

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    Oops!

    Apologies for the botched end of quote.

  3. #3 posted by John

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    No problem, I added an end tag.

    I thought about updating the poem but laziness got the better of me. I like the Elizabethan style, it’s good to have a reminder of that when it’s been cleaned from his more famous contemporaries.

  4. #4 posted by matthew brandi

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    I think you were wise not to hack it about.

    I had a go (see below), but it needs to be done better than I have done it: I’ve maybe gone too far with spelling; I’ve “fixed” apostrophes to modern (non-greengrocer) tastes, where I’ve spotted “misuse” (was all the use here ever right?); I’ve not even started on capitalisation.

    “Antique” vocabulary has to stay, of course. Modern tongues won’t find all the rhymes, I fear.

    It was the merry month of February,
    When young men, in their jolly roguery,
    Rose early in the morn for break of day,
    To seek them valentines so trim and gay;

    With whom they may consort in summer sheen,
    And dance the high degrees on our town green,
    As alas at Easter, or at Pentecost,
    Perambulate the fields that flourish most;

    And go to some village abord’ring near,
    To taste the cream and cakes and such good cheer;
    Or see a play of strange morality,
    Shewn by Bachelry of Manningtree.

    Whereto, the country franklins flock-meal swarm,
    And John and Joan come marching arm in arm.
    Even on the hallows of that blessed Saint
    That doeth true lovers with those joys acquaint,

    I went, poor pilgrim, to my lady’s shrine,
    To see if she would be my valentine;
    But woe, alas, she was not to be found,
    For she was shifted to an upper ground:

    Good Justice Dudgeon-haft, and crab-tree face,
    With bills and staves had scared her from the place;
    And now she was compelled, for Sanctuary,
    To fly unto a house of venery.

    Thither went I, and boldly made enquire
    If they had hackneys to let-out to hire,
    And what they craved, by order of their trade,
    To let one ride a journey on a jade.

    Therewith out stepped a foggy three-chinned dame,
    That used to take young wenches for to tame,
    And asked me if I meant as I professed,
    Or only asked a question but in jest.

    “In jest?” quoth I; “that term it as you will;
    I come for game, therefore give me my Jill.”
    “Why Sir,” quoth she, “if that be your demand,
    Come, lay me a Gods-penny in my hand;

    For, in our oratory siccarly,
    None enters here, to do his nickery,
    But he must pay his offertory first,
    And then, perhaps, we’ll ease him of his thirst.”

    I, hearing her so earnest for the box,
    Gave her her due, and she the door unlocks.
    In am I entered: “venus be my speed!
    But where’s this female that must do this deed”?

    By blind meanders, and by crankled ways,
    She leads me onward, (as my Author says),
    Until we came within a shady loft
    Where venus bouncing vestals skirmish oft;

    And there she set me in a leather chair,
    And brought me forth, of pretty Trulls, a pair,
    To choose of them which might content mine eye;
    But her I sought, I could nowhere espy.

    I spake them fair, and wished them well to fare—
    “Yet so it is, I must have fresher ware;
    Wherefore, dame Bawd, as dainty as you be,
    Fetch gentle mistress Francis forth to me.”

    “By Holy Dame,” quoth she, “and Gods own mother,
    I well perceive you are a wily brother;
    For if there be a morsel of more price,
    You’ll smell it out, though I be ne’er so nice.

    As you desire, so shall you swive with her,
    But think, your purse-strings shall abide it dear;
    For, he that will eat quails must lavish crowns,
    And Mistress Francis, in her velvet gowns,

    And ruffs and perwigs as fresh as May,
    Cannot be kept with half a crown a day.”
    “Of price, good hostess, we will not debate,
    Though you assize me at the highest rate;

    Only conduct me to this bonny belle.
    And ten good gobs I will unto thee tell,
    Of gold or silver, which shall like thee best,
    So much do I her company request.”

    Away she went: so sweet a thing is gold,
    That (maugre) will invade the strongest hold.
    “Hey-ho! she comes, that hath my heart in keep
    Sing Lullaby, my cares, and fall asleep.”

    Sweeping she comes, as she would brush the ground;
    Her rattling silks my senses do confound.
    “Oh, I am ravished: void the chamber straight;
    For I must needs upon her with my weight.”

    “My Tomalin,” quoth she, and then she smiled.
    “I, I,” quoth I, “so more men are beguiled
    With smiles, with flatt’ring words, and feigned cheer,
    When in their deeds their falsehood doth appear.”

    “As how, my lambkin,” blushing, she replied,
    “Because I in this dancing school abide?
    If that it be, that breeds this discontent,
    We will remove the camp incontinent:

    For shelter only, sweetheart, came I hither,
    And to avoid the troublous stormy weather;
    But now the coast is clear, we will be gone,
    Since, but thyself, true lover I have none.”

    With that she sprung full lightly to my lips,
    And fast about the neck me culls, and clips;
    She wanton faints, and falls upon her bed,
    And often tosseth to and fro her head;

    She shuts her eyes, and waggles with her tongue:
    “Oh, who is able to abstain so long?”
    “I come! I come! sweet lyning by thy leave:”
    Softly my fingers up this curtain heave,

    And make me happy, stealing by degrees.
    First bare her legs, then creep up to her knees;
    From thence ascend unto her manly thigh—
    (A pox on ling’ring when I am so nigh!).

    Smock, climb apace, that I may see my joys;
    Oh heaven and paradise are all but toys
    Compar’d with this sight I now behold,
    Which well might keep a man from being old.

    A pretty rising womb without a weame,
    That shone as bright as any silver stream;
    And bare out like the bending of an hill,
    At whose decline a fountain dwelleth still;

    That hath his mouth beset with ugly briers,
    Resembling much a dusky net of wires;
    A lofty buttock, barred with azure veins,
    Whose comely swelling, when my hand distrains,

    Or wanton checketh with a harmless stype,
    It makes the fruits of love oftsoon be ripe,
    And pleasure plucked too timely from the stem
    To dye ere it hath seen Jerusalem.

    O Gods! that ever anything so sweet,
    So suddenly should fade away, and fleet!
    Her arms are spread, and I am all unarm’d,
    Like one with Ovid’s cursed hemlock charm’d;

    So are my Limbs unwieldy for the fight
    That spend their strength in thought of her delight.
    What shall I do to shew myself a man?
    It will not be for ought that beauty can.

    I kiss, I clap, I feel, I view at will,
    Yet dead he lies, not thinking good or ill.
    “Unhappy me,” quoth she, “and wilt’ not stand?
    Come, let me rub and chafe it with my hand!

    Perhaps the silly worm is laboured sore,
    And wearied that it can do no more;
    If it be so, as I am great adread,
    I wish ten thousand times that I were dead.

    How ere it is, no means shall want in me,
    That may avail to his recovery.”
    Which said, she took and rolled it on her thigh,
    And when she look’d on’t, she would weep and sigh;

    She dandled it, and danced it up and down,
    Not ceasing till she raised it from his swoon.
    And then he flew on her as he were wood,
    And on her breech did hack and foyne agood;

    He rub’d, and pricked, and pierced her to the bones,
    Digging as far as eath he might for stones;
    Now high, now low, now striking short and thick;
    Now diving deep, he touched her to the quick;

    Now with a gird he would his course rebate,
    Straight would he take him to a stately gait;
    Play while him list, and thrust he ne’er so hard,
    Poor patient Grissill lieth at her ward,

    And gives, and takes, as blithe and free as May,
    And ere-more meets him in the middle way.
    On him her eyes continually were fixed;
    With her eye-beams his melting looks were mixed,

    Which, like the Sun, that twixt two glasses plays,
    From one to th’ other casts rebounding rays.
    He, like a star that, to re-gild his beams
    Sucks in the influence of Phoebus’ streams,

    Imbathes the lines of his descending light
    In the bright fountains of her clearest sight.
    She, fair as fairest Planet in the sky,
    Her purity to no man doeth deny;

    The very chamber that enclouds her shine
    Looks like the palace of that God divine,
    Who leads the day about the Zodiac,
    And every even descends to th’ ocean lake;

    So fierce and fervent is her radiance,
    Such fiery stakes she darts at every glance
    As might enflame the icy limbs of age,
    And make pale death his seignedrie to assuage;

    To stand and gaze upon her orient lamps,
    Where Cupid all his chiefest joys encamps,
    And sits, and plays with every atomy
    That in her Sunbeams swarm abundantly.

    Thus gazing, and thus striving, we persevere:
    But what so firm that may continue ever?
    “Oh not so fast,” my ravished Mistress cries,
    “Least my content, that on thy life relies,

    Be brought too soon from his delightful seat,
    And me un’wares of hoped bliss defeat.
    Together let us march unto content,
    And be consumed with one blandishment.”

    As she prescrib’d so kept we crotchet-time,
    And every stroke in order like a chime,
    Whilst she, that had preserved me by her pity,
    Unto our music framed a groaning ditty.

    “Alas! alas! that love should be a sin!
    Even now my bliss and sorrow doth begin.
    Hold wide thy lap, my lovely Danae,
    And entertain the golden shower so free,

    That trickling falls into thy treasury.
    As April-drops not half so pleasant be,
    Nor Nilus overflow to Egypt plains
    As this sweet-streams that all her joints imbaynes.

    With “Oh!” and “Oh!” she itching moves her hips,
    And to and fro full lightly starts and skips:
    She jerks her legs, and sprawleth with her heels;
    No tongue may tell the solace that she feels,

    “I faint! I yield! Oh, death! rock me asleep!
    Sleep! sleep desire! entombed in the deep!”
    “Not so, my dear,” my dearest saint replied,
    “For, from us yet, thy spirit may not glide

    Until the sinewy channels of our blood
    Without their source from this imprisoned flood;
    And then will we (that then will come too soon),
    Dissolved lye, as though our days were done.”

    The whilst I speak, my soul is fleeting hence,
    And life forsakes his fleshy residence.
    Stay, stay sweet joy, and leave me not forlorn
    Why shouldst thou fade that art but newly born?

    “Stay but an hour, an hour is not so much:
    But half an hour; if that thy haste is such,
    Nay, but a quarter—I will ask no more—
    That thy departure (which torments me sore),

    May be alight’ned with a little pause,
    And take away this passion’s sudden cause.”
    He hears me not; hard-hearted as he is,
    He is the son of Time, and hates my bliss.

    Time ne’er looks back, the rivers ne’er return;
    A second spring must help me or I burn.
    No, no, the well is dry that should refresh me,
    The glass is run of all my destiny:

    Nature of winter learneth nigardize
    Who, as he overbears the stream with ice
    That man nor beast may of their pleasance taste,
    So shuts she up her conduit all in haste,

    And will not let her Nectar overflow,
    Least mortal man immortal joys should know.
    Adieu! unconstant love, to thy disport
    Adieu! false mirth, and melody too short;

    Adieu! faint-hearted instrument of lust;
    That falsely hath betrayed our equal trust.
    Henceforth no more will I implore thine aid,
    Or thee, or man of cowardice upbraid.

    My little dilldo shall supply their kind:
    A knave, that moves as light as leaves by wind;
    That bendeth not, nor fouldeth any deal,
    But stands as stiff as he were made of steel;

    And plays at peacock twixt my legs right blithe,
    And doth my tickling suage with many a sigh.
    For, by saint Runnion! he’ll refresh me well;
    And never make my tender belly swell.

    Poor Priapus! whose triumph now must fall,
    Except thou thrust this weakling to the wall.
    Behold! how he usurps, in bed and bower
    And undermines thy kingdom every hour;

    How sly he creeps betwixt the bark and tree,
    And sucks the sap, whilst sleep detaineth thee.
    He is my Mistress’ page at every stound,
    And soon will tent a deep intrenched wound.

    He waits on Courtly Nymphs that be so coy,
    And bids them scorn the blind-alluring boy.
    He gives young girls their gamesome sustenance,
    And every gaping mouth his full sufficience.

    He fortifies disdain with foreign arts,
    And wanton-chaste deludes all loving hearts.
    If any wight a cruel mistress serves,
    Or, in despair, (unhappy) pines and starves,

    Curse Eunuch dildo, senseless counterfeit
    Who sooth may fill, but never can beget.
    But, if revenge enraged with dispair,
    That such a dwarf his welfare should impair,

    Would fain this woman’s secretary know,
    Let him attend the marks that I shall show:
    He is a youth almost two handfuls high,
    Straight, round, and plumb, yet having but one eye,

    Wherein the rheum so fervently doth reign,
    That Stygian gulf may scarce his tears contain;
    Attired in white velvet, or in silk,
    And nourished with what water, or with milk,

    Arm’d otherwhile in thick congealed glass,
    When he, more glib, to hell be low would passe.
    Upon a chariot of five wheels he rides,
    The which an arm strong driver stedfast guides,

    And often alters pace as ways grow deep,
    (For who, in paths unknown, one gait can keep?)
    Sometimes he smoothly slideth down the hill;
    Another while, the stones his feet do kill;

    In clammy ways he treadeth by and by,
    And plasheth and sprayeth all that be him nigh.
    So fares this jolly rider in his race,
    Plunging and sousing forward in like case,

    He dashed, and spurted, and he plodded foul,
    God give thee shame, thou blind misshapen owl!
    Fie-fie, for grief: a lady’s chamberlain,
    And canst not thou thy tattling tongue refrain?

    I rede thee beardless blab, beware of stripes,
    And be advised what thou vainly pipes;
    Thou wilt be whipped with nettles for this gear
    If Cicely shew but of thy knavery here.

    Saint Denis shield me from such female sprites!
    Regard not, Dames, what Cupids Poet writes:
    I penned this story only for myself,
    Who, giving suck unto a childish Elf,

    And quite discouraged in my nursery,
    Since all my store seems to her penury.
    I am not as was Hercules the stout,
    That to the seventh journey could hold out;

    I want those herbs and roots of Indian soil,
    That strengthen weary members in their toil—
    Drugs and Electuaries of new devise,
    Doe shun my purse, that trembles at the price.

    Sufficeth all I have, I yield her hole
    Which, for a poor man, is a princely dole,
    I pay our hostess scot and lot at most,
    And look as lean and lank as any ghost;

    What can be added more to my renown?
    She lieth breathless; I am taken down;
    The waves do swell, the tides climb o’er the banks;
    Judge, gentlemen! if I deserve not thanks?

    And so, good night! unto you every one;
    For lo, our thread is spun, our play is done.

    Any experts out there to do this well?

  5. #5 posted by John

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    It’s odd, that makes it easier to read yet it also seems to deprive it of something. Probably if the poem was more familiar it wouldn’t matter so much. Everyone is used to Shakespeare’s sonnets and plays being modernised.

 




 

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“feed your head”