Poem of the day

Jolly Good Ale and Old
by William Stevenson (1530?-1575)
because today is National Beer Day

I cannot eat but little meat,
         My stomach is not good;
But sure I think that I can drink
         With him that wears a hood.
Though I go bare, take ye no care,
         I nothing am a-cold;
I stuff my skin so full within
         Of jolly good ale and old.
                     Back and side go bare, go bare;
                     Both foot and hand go cold;
                     But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
                     Whether it be new or old.

I love no roast but a nut-brown toast,
         And a crab laid in the fire;
A little bread shall do me stead;
         Much bread I not desire.
No frost nor snow, no wind, I trow,
         Can hurt me if I wold;
I am so wrapp’d and thoroughly lapp’d
         Of jolly good ale and old.
                     Back and side go bare, go bare;
                     Both foot and hand go cold;
                     But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
                     Whether it be new or old.

And Tib, my wife, that as her life
         Loveth well good ale to seek,
Full oft drinks she till ye may see
         The tears run down her cheek:
Then doth she trowl to me the bowl
         Even as a maltworm should,
And saith, ’Sweetheart, I took my part
         Of this jolly good ale and old.’
                     Back and side go bare, go bare;
                     Both foot and hand go cold;
                     But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
                     Whether it be new or old.

Now let them drink till they nod and wink,
         Even as good fellows should do;
They shall not miss to have the bliss
         Good ale doth bring men to;
And all poor souls that have scour’d bowls
         Or have them lustily troll’d,
God save the lives of them and their wives,
         Whether they be young or old.
                     Back and side go bare, go bare;
                     Both foot and hand go cold;
                     But, belly, God send thee good ale enough,
                     Whether it be new or old.

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