Friar's Song

  Some love the matin-chimes, which tell
    The hour of prayer to sinner:
  But better far's the mid-day bell,
    Which speaks the hour of dinner;
  For when I see a smoking fish,
    Or capon drown'd in gravy,
  Or noble haunch on silver dish,
    Full glad I sing my ave.

  My pulpit is an alehouse bench,
    Whereon I sit so jolly;
  A smiling rosy country wench
    My saint and patron holy.
  I kiss her cheek so red and sleek,
    I press her ringlets wavy,
  And in her willing ear I speak
    A most religious ave.

  And if I'm blind, yet heaven is kind,
    And holy saints forgiving;
  For sure he leads a right good life
    Who thus admires good living.
  Above, they say, our flesh is air,
    Our blood celestial ichor:
  Oh, grant! mid all the changes there,
    They may not change our liquor!

This poem is in the public domain. 

About this Poem

From Ballads and Songs (London: Cassell and Company, 1896).