Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > England
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
England: Vols. I–IV.  1876–79.
London Taverns
The Mermaid
Francis Beaumont (1586–1616)
(From Mr. Francis Beaumont’s Letter to Ben Jonson)

                    WHAT things have we seen
Done at the Mermaid! heard words that have been
So nimble, and so full of subtle flame,
As if that every one from whence they came
Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest,        5
And had resolved to live a fool the rest
Of his dull life; that when there hath been thrown
Wit able enough to justify the town
For three days past,—wit that might warrant be
For the whole city to talk foolishly        10
Till that were cancelled; and when that was gone,
We left an air behind us, which alone
Was able to make the two next companies
(Right witty, though but downright fools) more wise.

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