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 Worcestershire Wedding, Or, Joy after Sorrow
(From Collection of Old Ballads, 1723)

AN OLD Woman clothed in gray,
Her Daughter was charming and Young,
Who chanced to be nudled astray,
By Roger’s false flattering Tongue,
With whom she’d so often been,        5
Abroad in the Meadows and Fields,
Her Belly got up to her Chin,
And her Spirits quite down to her Heels.
At length she began for to puke,
Her Mother possessed with a fear,        10
Then gave her a gentle Rebuke,
And said, Child, a Word in thy Ear,
I fear thou hast been playing the Fool,
Which many call high ding a ding:
Why didst thou not follow my Rule,        15
And tie thy two Toes in a String.
Dear Mother your Counsel I took,
But yet it was never the near,
He got to my Conjuring Book,
And broke all the Paltry Geer:        20
’Twas Thread of two Shillings an Ounce,
He broke it and would have his scope;
It is but a Folly to flounce,
’Tis done and it cannot be hope.
But who is the Father of it,        25
Tell me without longer delay,
For now I am just in the Fit,
To go and hear what he will say;
’Twas Roger the Damsel replied,
Who called me his dear pretty Bird,        30
And told me I should be his Bride
But he’s not so good as his Word.
What, Roger that lives in Mill?
Yes, verily, Mother the same,
Of me he has had his Will;        35
I’ll hop to him tho’ I am Lame;
Go fetch me my Crutches with speed,
And bring me my Spectacles too
A Lecture to him I will read,
Shall ring his Ears thro’ and thro’.        40
This said she went hopping away,
And came to young Hodge in the Mill,
On whom she her Crutches did lay,
And cried you have ruined poor Gill,
In getting her dear Maidenhead;        45
This Truth you can no Ways deny;
With her I advise you to wed,
And make her as honest as I.
But what will you give me, quoth Hodge,
If I take her off of your Hands;        50
You shall make me Heir of your Lodge,
Your Houses, your Money and Lands;
Your Barns, your Cattle and Plows,
With every Weather and Yew;
This done I will make her my Spouse        55
Speak up, are you willing or no?
She said, taking Hodge by the Hand,
Let it come to Have and to Hold,
You shall have my Houses and Land,
My Cattle, my Silver and Gold:        60
Make her but thy honoured Wife,
And thou shalt be Lord of my Store,
Whene’er I surrender my Life,
In case it was Forty times more.
The Bargain was presently struck;        65
The Marriage and this being done,
The old Woman wished them good luck,
Being proud of her Daughter and Son:
Then hye for a Girl or a Boy,
Young Siss looked as great as a Dutchess:        70
The old Woman capered for Joy,
And danced a Jigg in her Crutches.

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