Sunday, December 21, 2014

Twelfth Night, or King and Queen / Robert Herrick

Twelfth Night, or King and Queen

     Now, now the mirth comes
     With the cake full of plums,
Where Bean's the king of the sport here;
     Beside, we must know
     The Pea also
Must revel, as Queen in the court here.

     Begin then to choose,
     (This night, as ye use)
Who shall for the present delight here;
     Be a King by the lot,
     And who shall not
Be Twelve-day Queen for the night here.

     Which known, let us make
     Joy-sops with the cake;
And let not a man then be seen here,
     Who unurg'd will not drink
     To the base from the brink
A health to the King and the Queen here.

     Next crown the bowl full
     With gentle lamb's-wool;
Add sugar, nutmeg, and ginger,
     With store of ale, too;
     And this ye must do
To make the wassail a swinger.

     Give then to the King
     And Queen wassailing:
And though with ale ye be wet here,
     Yet part ye from hence,
     As free from offence
As when ye innocent met here.

Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
from Herrick's Hesperides & Noble Numbers, 1906

[Poem is in the public domain worldwide]

Robert Herrick biography

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