Nay, be you pardoner or cheat,
Or cogger keen, or mumper shy,
You’ll burn your fingers at the feat,
And howl like other folks that fry.
All evil folks that love a lie!
And where goes gain that greed amasses,
By wile, and trick, and thievery?
‘Tis all to taverns and to lasses!
Rhyme, rail, dance, play the cymbals sweet,
With game, and shame, and jollity,
Go jigging through the field and street,
Win gold at GLEEK,–and that will fly,
Where all you gain at PASSAGE passes, -
And that’s? You know as well as I,
‘Tis all to taverns and to lasses!
Nay, forth from all such filth retreat,
Go delve and ditch, in wet or dry,
Turn groom, give horse and mule their meat,
If you’ve no clerkly skill to ply;
You’ll gain enough, with husbandry,
But–sow hempseed and such wild grasses,
And where goes all you take thereby? -
‘Tis all to taverns and to lasses!
Your clothes, your hose, your broidery,
Your linen that the snow surpasses,
Or ere they’re worn, off, off they fly,
‘Tis all to taverns and to lasses!



Other Poems by Andrew Lang

Andrew Lang’s page