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.
John and Jone
(From Merry Drollerie, 1661)

IF you will give ear,
And hearken a while what I shall tell,
I think I must come near,
Or else you cannot hear me well:
It was a maid, as I heard say,        5
That in her Master’s Chamber lay,
For maidens must it not refuse,
In Yeoman’s houses they it use
In a truckle bed to lie,
Or in a bed that stands thereby,        10
Her Master and Her Dame
Would have the maid do the same.
This maid she could not sleep
When as she heard the bedstead crack,
When Captain Standish stout        15
Made his Dame cry out you hurt my back,
Fie she said you do me wrong,
You lie so sure my breast upon.
But you are such another man,
You’d have me do more than I can;        20
Fie Master, then quoth honest Jone,
I pray you let my Dame alone;
Fie, quoth she, what a coyl you keep,
I cannot take no rest nor sleep.
This was enough to make        25
A Maiden sick and full of pain,
For she did fling and kick,
And swore she’d tear her smock in twain;
But now to let you understand,
They kept a man whose name was John,        30
To whom this Maiden went anon,
And unto him she made her moan:
Tell me John, tell me the same,
What doth my Master to my Dame?
Tell me John, and do not lie,        35
What ails my Dame to squeak and cry?
Quoth John, your Master he
Doth give your Dame a steel at night,
And though she find such fault,
It is her only heart’s delight:        40
And you Jone, for your part,
You would have one with all your heart;
Yes indeed, quoth honest Jone,
Therefore to thee I make my moan;
But John if I may be so bold,        45
Where is there any to be sold?
At London then quoth honest John,
Next market day I’ll bring thee one.
What is the price, quoth Jone,
If I should chance to stand in need?        50
Why twenty shillings, then quoth John
For twenty shillings you may speed;
The Maid then went unto her Chest,
And fetch’d him twenty shillings just:
There John, quoth she, here is the Coyn,        55
And prithee have me in thy mind,
And, honest John, out of my store
Ill give thee two odd shillings more.
To market then went John,
When he had the money in his purse,        60
He domineer’d and swore,
And was as stout as any horse:
Some he spent in Wine and Beer,
And some in Cakes and other good Cheer,
And some he carried home again        65
To serve his turn another time;
O John, quoth she, thou’t welcome home;
God-a-mercy, quoth he, gentle Jone;
But prithee John, do let me feel,
Hast thou brought me home a steel?        70
Yes, that I have, quoth John,
And then he took her by the hand,
He led her straight into a room
Where she could see nor Sun nor Moon,
The door to him he straight did clap,        75
He put the steel into her lap,
And then the Maid began to feel,
Cods foot, quoth she, ’tis a goodey steel:
But tell me, John, and do not lie,
What makes these two things hang here by?        80
O Jone, to let thee understand
They’re the two odd shillings thou putst in my hand
[If I had known so much before
I would have given thee two shillings more.]

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