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.
The Slow Men of London
(From Pills to Purge Melancholy, 1709)

THERE dwelt a Widow in this Town,
  That was both Fair and Lovely;
Her Face was comely neat and brown,
  To Pleasure she would move thee:
Her lovely Tresses shined like Gold,        5
  Most neat is her Behaviour;
For truth it has of late been told,
  There’s many strove to have her.
There were three Young Men of this Town;
  Slow Men of London;        10
And they’d go Woo the Widow Brown,
  Because they would be undone.
The one a Taylor was by Trade,
  An excellent Occupation;
But Widows’ Love doth waste and fade,        15
  I find by observation:
The second was a Farrier bold,
  A Man of excellent Metal;
His Love to her was never cold,
  So firm his Thoughts did settle,
There were, etc.
The third a Weaver was that came,
  A Suitor to this Widow;
Her Beauty did his Heart inflame,
  Her Thoughts deceit doth shadow,
Widows can dissemble still,        25
  When Young Men come a Wooing;
Yet they were guided by her Will,
  That proved to their undoing.
There were three, etc.
This Widow had a dainty Tongue,
  And Words as sweet as Honey;        30
Which made her Suitors to her throng,
  Till they had spent their Money:
The Taylor spent an Hundred Pound,
  That he took up on Credit;
But now her Knavery he hath found,        35
  Repents that are he did it.
There were three, etc.
Threescore Pounds the Farrier had,
  Left him by his Father;
To spend this Money he was mad,
  His Dad so long did gather:        40
This Widow often did protest,
  She loved him best of any;
Thus would she swear, when she did least,
  To make them spend their Money.
There were three, etc.
The Weaver spent his daily gains,        45
  That he got by his Labour;
Some thirty Pounds he spent in vain,
  He borrowed of his Neighbour:
She must have Sack and Muscadine,
  And Claret brewed with Sugar:        50
Each Day they feed her chops with Wine,
  For which they all might hug her.
There were three, etc.
She went Apparelled neat and fine,
  People well might wonder;
To see how she in Gold did shine,        55
  Her fame abroad did thunder:
A watered Camlet Gown she had,
  A Scarlet Coat belaced
With Gold, which made her Suitors glad,
  To see how she was graced.
There were three, etc.
The Taylor was the neatest Lad,
  Her Clothes were oft Perfumed;
  Kind Entertainment still he had,
  Till he his ’state consumed:
The Farrier likewise spent his ’state,        65
  The Weaver often kissed her:
But when that they in ’state were Poor,
  They sought but still they missed her.
There were three, etc.
The Farrier and the Weaver too,
  Were fain to fly the City:        70
The Widow did them quite undo,
  In faith more was the pity:
She of her Suitors being rid,
  A Welchman came unto her:
By Night and Day his suit he plied,        75
  Most roughly he did Woo her;
For wooing tricks he quite put down,
  The Slow-men of London;
He over-reached the Widow Brown,
  That had so many undone.        80
He swore he was a Gentleman,
  Well landed in the Country:
And lived in Reputation there,
  His Name Sir Rowland Humphry.
The Widow did believe him then,        85
  And Love unto him granted;
Thus he her Favour did obtain,
  Welchmen will not be daunted.
By cunning tricks he quite put down,
  The Slow-men of London:        90
That came to Woo this Widow Brown,
  Because they would be undone.
The Welchman plied her Night and Day,
  Till to his Bow he brought her;
And bore away the Widow quite,        95
  From all that ever sought her:
She thought to be a Lady gay,
  But she was sore deceived:
Thus the Welchman did put down,
  The Slow-men of London:        100
For they would Woo the Widow Brown,
  Because they would be undone.
Thus she was fitted in her kind,
  For all her former Knavery;
The Welchman did deceive her Mind,        105
  It had been better she had ta’en,
  The Weaver, Smith, or Taylor;
For when she sought for State and Pomp,
  The Welchman quite did fail her:
Then learn you Young Men of this Town,        110
  You Slow-men of London:
Which way to take the Widow Brown,
  For least you all be undone.

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