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 Jolly Trades-men
(From Pills to Purge Melancholy, c. 1720)

SOMETIMES I am a Tapster new,
And skilful in my Trade Sir,
I fill my Pots most duly,
Without deceit or froth Sir:
A Spicket of two Handfuls long,        5
I use to Occupy Sir:
And when I set a Butt abroach,
Then shall no Beer run by Sir.
Sometimes I am a Butcher,
And then I feel fat Ware Sir;        10
And if the Flank be fleshed well,
I take no farther care Sir:
But in I thrust my Slaughtering-Knife,
Up to the Haft with speed Sir;
For all that ever I can do,        15
I cannot make it bleed Sir.
Sometimes I am a Baker,
And Bake both white and brown Sir;
I have as fine a Wrigling-Pole,
As any is in all this Town Sir:        20
But if my Oven be over-hot,
I dare not thrust it in Sir;
For burning of my Wrigling-Pole,
My Skill’s not worth a Pin Sir.
Sometimes I am a Glover,        25
And can do passing well Sir;
In dressing of a Doe-skin,
I know I do excel Sir:
But if by chance a Flaw I find,
In dressing of the Leather;        30
I straightway whip my Needle out,
And I tack ’em close together.
Sometimes I am a Cook,
And in Fleet-Street I do dwell Sir:
At the sign of the Sugar-loaf,        35
As it is known full well Sir:
And if a dainty Lass comes by,
And wants a dainty bit Sir;
I take four Quarters in my Arms,
And put them on my Spit Sir.        40
In Weavering and in Fulling,
I have such passing Skill Sir;
And underneath my Weavering-Beam,
There stands a Fulling-Mill Sir:
To have good wives’ displeasure,        45
I would be very loath Sir;
The Water runs so near my Hand,
It over-thicks my Cloth Sir.
Sometimes I am a Shoe-maker,
And work with silly Bones Sir;        50
To make my Leather soft and moist,
I use a pair of Stones Sir:
My Lasts for and my lasting Sticks,
Are fit for every size Sir;
I know the length of Lasses Feet,        55
By handling of their Thighs Sir.
The Tanner’s Trade I practice,
Sometimes amongst the rest Sir;
Yet I could never get a Hair,
Of any Hide I dress’d Sir;        60
For I have been tanning of a Hide,
This long seven Years and more Sir;
And yet it is as hairy still,
As ever it was before Sir.
Sometimes I am a Tailor,        65
And work with Thread that’s strong Sir;
I have a fine great Needle,
About two handfuls long Sir:
The finest Sempster in this Town,
That works by line or leisure;        70
May use my Needle at a pinch,
And do themselves great Pleasure.

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