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 Long Vocation
(From Pills to Purge Melancholy, c. 1707)

IN the long Vocation,
  When Business was scanty,
But Cherries, and Whores,
  Extraordinary Plenty.
When News came to England,        5
  The best e’er was known,
All our Armies Victorious,
  The French overthrown.
When Quality withdrew
  To their Grottos of Pleasure,        10
And Ladies to the Wells,
  To spend their Lord’s Treasure.
When decrepit old Sinners,
  To the Bath did resort,
For venereal Distempers,        15
  As well as the Sport.
When the Red Robe was gone,
  To the Country Assizes,
And Butchers, and Carmen,
  Were fighting of Prizes.        20
When Orthodox also,
  From the Pulpit did roar;
’Twas the Sins of the Nation,
  Made our Taxes so sore.
When young Golden Captains,        25
  Did walk the Parade;
But a draught once in motion,
  Were always afraid.
When the Cits did retire,
  To their Country-Houses;        30
Leaving Servants at home,
  To lie with their Spouses.
When Wives too would junket,
  While their Cuckolds did sleep:
And spend more in a Night,        35
  Than they got in a Week.
When high topping Merchants,
  Were daily beset;
And Statutes of Bankrupts,
  Filled half our Gazette.        40
When Lawyers had not Money;
  Nor Shop-keepers Trade;
And our Nation preparing
  Another to invade.
When the Season was too hot,        45
  For the goggle-eyed Jews;
To exercise their Faculties,
  In Drury-Lane Stews.
When Inns of Court-Rakes,
  And Quill-driving Prigs,        50
Flocked to St. James’s,
  To show their long Whigs.
When Sodomites were so impudent,
  To ply on the Exchange;
And by Day-light the Piazza’s        55
  Of Covent-Garden to range.
When the Theatre Jilts,
  Would Shove for a Crown;
And for want of brisk Trading,
  Patrolled round the Town.        60
When Debauchees of both Sexes,
  From Hospitals crept;
Where Nine Months at least,
  In Flannel they slept.
When Drapers smugg’d Prentices,        65
  With Exchange Girls most jolly;
After Shop was shut up,
  Could Sail to the Folly.
When the Amorous Thimberkins,
  In Pater-noster-Row;        70
With their Sparks on an Evening,
  Could Coach it to Bow.
When Poets and Players,
  Were so damnable poor;
That a Three-penny Ordinary,        75
  They often would Score.
When De Foe and the Devil,
  At Leap-Frog did play;
And huffing proud Vintners,
  Broke every Day.        80
When Chamber-maids dressed,
  In their Mistresses Clothes;
Walked in all Public places,
  To Ogle the Beaus.
When Tally-men had no Faith,        85
  With Strumpets and Whores;
But nabbed them in the Streets,
  By Dozens and Scores.
When Informers were Rogues,
  And took double pay;        90
Much worse than the Persons,
  They are hired to betray.
When Serjeants were so vigilant,
  ’Twas impossible to shame ’em;
But whip see Jethro’, immediately,        95
  G—— Eternally D—— ’em.
When Brewers to the Victuallers
  Was so cursed severe,
They scarce would give Credit,
  For a Barrel of Beer.        100
Thus it is not evident,
  Tap-lashes don’t thrive;
Since they swarm in most Prisons,
  Like Bees in a Hive?
But you Blue Apron Tribe,        105
  Let this caution prevail;
Be not too Saucy,
  Lest you Rot in a Gaol.
At this Juncture of time,
  I strolled to Moor-Fields;        110
Much used by the Mob,
  To exercise their Heels.
Also famed for a Conjurer,
  The Devil’s head Proctor;
Where a little below him,        115
  Dwells the never born Doctor.
Two such Impudent Rascals,
  For Lying and Prating;
That the Series of their Lives,
  Is not worth my Relating.        120
My Pockets being lined well,
  With Rhino good store;
And Inclinations much bent,
  After a thing called a Whore.
To gratify my Lust,        125
  I went to the Star;
Where immediately I espied,
  A Whore in the Bar.
Whose Phiz was most charming,
  And as demure as a Saint;        130
But confoundedly bedaubed,
  With Patches and Paint.
Sweet Lady, cried I,
  I vow and protest;
The Sight of your Charms,        135
  Have so wounded my Breast.
That I am downright in Love,
  And my Life shall Destroy;
If you do not admit me,
  Your Favour to enjoy.        140
Cringing in her A——
  The B—— then replied;
My favour, kind Sir,
  Shall never be denied.
Will you please to walk up,        145
  Or be private below;
Here Boy, with a Bed in’t,
  The Gentleman show.
Then backwards he went,
  To a Cavern behind;        150
But such an intricate Place,
  The Devil could not find.
Where Wine being brought,
  And the Fellow withdrawn;
I caressed her with Love,        155
  She made a return.
No Pigs in a Stye,
  Or Goats in Bad Weather;
E’er nussled so close,
  Or more Amorous together.        160
We Kissed and we billed,
  We tickled and toyed;
And more than once,
  Our selves we Enjoyed.
But the Reckoning grew high,        165
  Which would make my Pocket low;
So how for to Bilk ’em,
  I did not well know.
But at last by a Stratagem,
  Pretending to rally;        170
While she went for more Wine,
  I whipped into an Ally.
And was so dexterous nimble,
  They could not pursue;
So got rid of my Mistress,        175
  And D—— Reckoning too.
Recovering the Fields,
  I was void of all Fear;
And the next place to Bedlam,
  My Course I did steer.        180
Where was such amphibious Crowds,
  I ne’er saw before;
Harlots for the Water,
  As well as the Shore.
But one above the rest,        185
  So wond’rous Trim;
You would swear she was a Hick,
  And no common Brim.
Accosted me presently,
  And called me her Love;        190
But I soon did dismiss her,
  With a Kick and a Shove.
For the Jade was so homely,
  The Devil would not touch her;
Fit only for a Dray-man,        195
  Or White-Chapel Butcher.
But had not walked long,
  Before a rare one I espied;
Bright as a Goddess,
  And adorned like a Bride.        200
With a rich Furbelow Scarf,
  Worth at least Forty Shilling;
And when I asked her a Question,
  Was extraordinary willing.
So to the Tavern we went,        205
  A Curse on the Place;
For her Love was so hot,
  It soon fired my A——.
Where after a Flask,
  Which I swore she should pay;        210
We took both our leaves,
  And went straight away.
The Plague of my Sins,
  Made me damnable sore;
That my Wife soon concluded,        215
  I’d been with a Whore.
She scolded so loud,
  And continued her Clamour;
I could not forbear,
  But to C—— her and D—— her.        220
We made such a Noise,
  And confounded a Racket;
My Landlady knew,
  I’d been searching the Placket.
And being good natured,        225
  To make up the Matter;
Came down in her Smock,
  With Jenny her Daughter.
Ah! Tennant (quoth She,)
  Let this fault be remitted;        230
If he’ll beg but your Pardon,
  He shall be acquitted.
For to speak by the by,
  And I’m sure ’tis fact;
You and I have been guilty,        235
  Of many such Act.

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