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Poem by John Gay

A Ballad on Ale

Whilst some in Epic strains delight, 
Whilst others Pastorals invite, 
	As taste or whim prevail; 
Assist me, all ye tuneful Nine, 
Support me in the great design, 
	To sing of nappy Ale.

Some folks of Cyder make a rout, 
And Cyders well enough, no doubt, 
	When better liquors fail; 
But Wine, thats richer, better still, 
Evn Wine itself (denyt who will) 
	Must yield to nappy Ale.

Rum, Brandy, Gin with choicest smack 
From Holland brought, Batavia Arrack, 
	All these will nought avail 
To chear a truly British heart, 
And lively spirits to impart, 
	Like humming, nappy Ale.

Oh! whether thee I closely hug 
In honest can, or nut-brown jug, 
	Or in the tankard hail; 
In barrel, or in bottle pent, 
I give the genrous spirit vent, 
	Still may I feast on Ale.

But chief, when to the chearful glass 
From vessel pure thy streamlets pass 
	Then most thy charms prevail; 
Then, then, Ill bett, and take odds, 
That nectar, drink of heathen gods, 
	Was poor, compard to Ale.

Give me a bumper, fill it up. 
See how it sparkles in the cup, 
	O how shall I regale! 
Can any taste this drink divine, 
And then compare Rum, Brandy, Wine, 
	Or aught with nappy Ale?

Inspird by thee, the warrior fights, 
The lover wooes, the poet writes, 
	And pens the pleasing tale; 
And still in Britains isle confessd 
Nought animates the patriots breast 
	Like genrous, nappy Ale.

High Church and Low oft raise a strife, 
And oft endanger limb and life, 
	Each studious to prevail; 
Yet Whig and Tory opposite 
In all things else, do both unite 
	In praise of nappy Ale.

Inspird by thee shall Crispin sing, 
Or talk of freedom, church, and king, 
	And balance Europes scale; 
While his rich landlord lays out schemes 
Of wealth, in golden South Sea dreams, 
	Theffects of nappy Ale.

O blest potation! still by thee, 
And thy companion Liberty, 
	Do health and mirth prevail; 
Then let us crown the can, the glass, 
And sportive bid the minutes pass 
	In quaffing nappy Ale.

Evn while these stanzas I indite, 
The bar-bells grateful sounds invite 
	Where joy can never fail! 
Adieu! my Muse, adieu! I haste 
To gratify my longing taste 
	With copious draughts of Ale.

John Gay

John Gay's other poems:
  1. Prediction
  2. An Elegy on a Lap-dog
  3. The Quidnunckis
  4. To a Young Lady, with Some Lampreys
  5. A Ballad

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