Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IX. Tragedy: Humor
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IX. Tragedy: Humor.  1904.
Humorous Poems: II. Miscellaneous
Hollow Hospitality
Joseph Hall (1574–1656)
From “Satires,” Book III. Sat. 3.

THE COURTEOUS citizen bade me to his feast
With hollow words, and overly 1 request:
“Come, will ye dine with me this holiday?”
I yielded, though he hoped I would say nay:
For I had maidened it, as many use;        5
Loath for to grant, but loather to refuse.
“Alack, sir, I were loath—another day,—
I should but trouble you;—pardon me, if you may.”
No pardon should I need; for, to depart
He gives me leave, and thanks too, in his heart.        10
Two words for money, Darbyshirian wise:
(That ’s one too many) is a naughty guise.
Who looks for double biddings to a feast,
May dine at home for an importune guest.
I went, then saw, and found the great expense;        15
The face and fashions of our citizens.
Oh, Cleopatrical! what wanteth there
For curious cost, and wondrous choice of cheer?
Beef, that erst Hercules held for finest fare;
Pork for the fat Bœotian, or the hare        20
For Martial; fish for the Venetian;
Goose-liver for the licorous Roman;
Th’ Athenian’s goat; quail, Iolaus’ cheer;
The hen for Eseulape, and the Parthian deer;
Grapes for Arcesilas, figs for Pluto’s mouth,        25
And chestnuts fair for Amarillis’ tooth.
Hadst thou such cheer? wert thou ever there before?
Never,—I thought so: nor come there no more.
Come there no more; for so meant all that cost:
Never hence take me for thy second host.        30
For whom he means to make an often guest,
One dish shall serve; and welcome make the rest.
Note 1. Superficial. [back]

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