A Bill of Fare

Expect no strange, or puzzling Meat, no Pye

Built by Confusion, or Adultery

Of forced Nature; No mysterious dish

Requiring an Interpreter, no Fish

Found out by modern Luxury: Our Corse Board

Press'd with no spoyls of Elements, doth aford

Meat, like our Hunger, without Art, each Mess

Thus differing from it only, that 'tis less.

Imprimis some Rice Porredge, sweet, and hot,

Three knobs of Sugar season the whole Pot.

Item , one pair of Eggs in a great dish,

So Ordered that they Cover all the Fish.

Item , one gaping Haddocks Head, which will

At least afright the Stomach, if not fill.

Item , one thing in Circles, which we take

Some for an Eele, but th'Wiser for a Snake.

We have not still the same, sometimes we may

Eat muddy Plaise, or Wheate; perhaps next day

Red, or White, Herrings, or an Apple Pye:

There's some variety in Misery.

To this come Twenty Men, and though apace,

We bless these Gifts, the Meal's as short as Grace.

Nor eat we yet in Tumult; but the Meat

Is broke in Order; Hunger here is neat;

Division, subdivision, yet two more

Members, and they divided, as before.

O what a fury would your Stomach feel

To see us vent our Logick on an Eele?

And in one Herring to revive the Art

Of Keckerman , and shew the Eleventh part?

Hunger in Armes is no great wonder, we

Suffer a Siedge without an Enemy.

On Midlent-Sunday , when the Preacher told

The Prodigal's return, and did unfold

His tender welcome, how the good old man

Sent for new Rayment, how the Servant ran

To kill the Fatling Calf. O how each Ear

List ned unto him, greedy ev'n to hear

The bare Relation; how was every Eye

Fixt on the Pulpit; how did each man pry,

And watch, if, whiles he did this word dispence,

A Capon, or a Hen would fly out thence?

Happy the Jews cry we, when Quailes came down

In dry and wholsome Showers, though from the frown

Of Heaven sent, though bought at such a Rate;

To perish full is not the worst of Fate;

We fear we shall dye Empty, and enforce

The Grave to take a Shaddow for a Corse:

For, if this Fasting hold, we do despair

Of life; all needs must vanish into Air;

Air, which now only feeds us, and so be

Exhal'd, like Vapours to Eternity.

W'are much refin'd already, that dull house

Of Clay (our Body) is Diaphanous;

And if the Doctor would but take the pains

To read upon us, Sinnews, Bones, Guts, Veines,

All would appear, and he might shew each one,

Without the help of a Dissection.

In the aboundance of this want, you will

Wonder perhaps how I can use my Quill?

Troth I am like small Birds, which now in Spring,

When they have nought to Eat do sit and Sing.

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