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EBBA 35653

Beinecke Library - Broadsides By6
Ballad XSLT Template
The Wish.
Corrected and augmented with
a Second Part.
Licensed December 11th. 1691.


IF I live to be old, for I find I go down,
Let this be my Fate in a Country Town;
May I have a Warm house, with a Stone at the Gate
And a Cleanly young Girl to rub my Bald-Pate.

May I govern my Passions with an Absolute Sway,
And grow wiser, and better, as my Strength wears away,
Without Gout or Stone, by a gentle Decay.

In a Country Town, by a Murmuring brook
With the Ocean at distance, whereon I may look,
With a spatious Plain, without Hedge, or Stile,
And an easie Pad-Nagg to ride out a Mile.
May I, etc.

With Horace, and Petrarch, and two or three more
Of the best Wits, that Reign'd in the Ages before,
With Roast Mutton, rather then Venison, or Teal,
And Clean, tho' Coarse Linnen, at every Meal.
May I, etc.

With a Pudding on Sundays, and Stout humming Liquor,
And Remnants of Latine to Welcome the Vicar,
With Monte Fiascone, and Burgundy Wine
To drink the Kings-health in, as oft as I Dine;
May I, etc.

If to Sixty and odd, I should draw out my life,
May I not play the Fool then, and steal a Young Wife.
Least when I can't please, I grow Jealous, and hate her,
Nor thrice a Week Spit out a Crude Observator.*
May I, etc.

* Estimet
Responsum non dic-
tum esse quia laesit
Prior. Ter. in
Prolog. Eun.
Vide Observat
Vol. 3. N. 126.

May I be neither Observator, or Trimmer,
Nor against the laws stream an obstinate Swimmer;
May I mind what I speak, what I write, and hear read,
But with matters of State, nere trouble my old head.
May I, etc.

Nor Preside in a Coffee Convention of Wits
Made up of Conceited, Pragmatical Cits.
Who greedily lick my Oraculous Spaul,
While I row to St. Peters with my face towards St. Paul.
May I, etc.

The Second Part.


Tho' I care not for Riches, may I not be so poor,
That the Rich without shame, cannot enter my Door:
May they Court my converse, may they take much Delight
My old Stories to hear, in a Winters long Night.
May I, etc.

My small Stock of Wit may I not misapply
To Flatter Ill men, be they never so High,
Nor mispend the few Moments I Steal from the Grave
In Fawning, and Cringing, like a Dog, or a Slave.
May I, etc.

May none whom I love, to so great Riches rise
As to slight their Acquaintance, and their old Friends despise,
So Low, or so High may none of them be,
As to move either Pity, or Envy in me.
May I, etc.

A Friendship I wish for, but alas 'tis in Vain,
Joves Storehouse is Empty, and can't it supply
So firm, that no Change of Times, Envy, or Gain,
Or Flattery, or Woman, should have power to Unty.
May I, etc.

But if Friends prove Unfaithful, and Fortune a Whore,
Still may I be Vertuous, tho' I am Poor;
My life then as useless, may I freely Resign,
When no longer I Relish true Wit, and good Wine.
May I, etc.

For those who profess Soul or Body to mend,
Tho' I hope I shall have no Occasion to send,
When I have eat All my Bread, and drunk my Last Glass,
May they come then, and set their Seals to my Pass.
May I, etc.

With a Courage Undaunted, may I Face my last day,
And when I am Dead, may the Better sort say,
In the Morning when Sober, in the Evening when Mellow,
He's Gone, and Left not behind him his Fellow.

For he govern'd his Passions with an Absolute Sway,
And grew wiser, and better, as his Strength wore away,
Without Gout, or Stone by a gentle Decay.


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