Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
Street Songs
By Francis Beaumont (1584–1616) and John Fletcher (1579–1625)
(From The Loyal Subject, Act 3, Scene V.)

ANCIENT.  Broom, broom, the bonny broom!
Come, buy my birchen broom!
I’ th’ wars we have no more room,
Buy all my bonny broom!
For a kiss take two;        5
If those will not do,
For a little, little pleasure,
Take all my whole treasure:
If all these will not do’t,
Take the broom-man to boot.        10
  Broom, broom, the bonny broom!
  1 Soldier.  The wars are done and gone,
And soldiers, now neglected, pedlars are.
  Come, maidens, come along,
For I can shew your handsome, handsome ware;        15
  Powders for the head,
  And drinks for your bed,
To make ye blithe and bonny;
  As well in the night
  We soldiers can fight,        20
And please a young wench as any.
  2 Soldier.  I have fine potatoes,
        Ripe potatoes!
  3 Soldier.  Will ye buy any honesty? come away,
  I sell it openly by day;        25
  I bring no forced light, nor no candle
  To cozen ye; come buy and handle:
  This will shew the great man good,
    The tradesman where he swears and lies,
  Each lady of a noble blood,        30
    The city dame to rule her eyes.
Ye’re rich men now: Come buy, and then
I’ll make ye richer, honest men.
  4 Soldier.  Have ye any crack’d maidenheads, to new leach or mend?
Have ye any old maidenheads to sell or to change?        35
Bring ’em to me, with a little pretty gin,
I’ll clout ’em, I’ll mend ’em, I’ll knock in a pin,
    Shall make ’em as good maids again,
    As ever they have been.
*        *        *        *        *
1 Soldier.  If your daughters on their beds,        40
Have bowed or crack’d their maidenheads;
If, in a coach, with too much tumbling,
They chance to cry, fy, fo, what fumbling!
If her foot slip, and down fall she,
And break her leg above the knee;        45
The one and thirtieth of February let this be ta’en,
And they shall be arrant maids again.

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