390. Pipe and Can

Ballads and Songs By Unknown Authors. 17th Cent.


THE Indian weed withered quite;
Green at morn, cut down at night;
Shows thy decay: all flesh is hay:
    Thus think, then drink Tobacco.

And when the smoke ascends on high,
Think thou behold'st the vanity
Of worldly stuff, gone with a puff:
    Thus think, then drink Tobacco.

But when the pipe grows foul within,
Think of thy soul defiled with sin,
And that the fire doth it require:
    Thus think, then drink Tobacco.

The ashes, that are left behind,
May serve to put thee still in mind
That unto dust return thou must:
    Thus think, then drink Tobacco.


WHEN as the chill Charokko blows,
  And Winter tells a heavy tale;
When pyes and daws and rooks and crows
Sit cursing of the frosts and snows;
        Then give me ale.

Ale in a Saxon rumkin then,
  Such as will make grimalkin prate;
Bids valour burgeon in tall men,
Quickens the poet's wit and pen,
        Despises fate.

Ale, that the absent battle fights,
  And frames the march of Swedish drum,
Disputes with princes, laws, and rights,
What 's done and past tells mortal wights,
        And what 's to come.

Ale, that the plowman's heart up-keeps
  And equals it with tyrants' thrones,
That wipes the eye that over-weeps,
And lulls in sure and dainty sleeps
        Th' o'er-wearied bones.

Grandchild of Ceres, Bacchus' daughter,
  Wine's emulous neighbour, though but stale,
Ennobling all the nymphs of water,
And filling each man's heart with laughter--
        Ha! give me ale!

The Oxford Book of English Verse, HTML edition