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WOM

5

1.

CHAUCER.
OMEN ben full of Ragerie,

Yet swinken nat sans secresie.
Thilke moral shall

ye

understond,
From Schoole-boy's Tale of fayre Irelond:
Which to the Fennes hath him betake,
To filch the gray Ducke fro the Lake. .
Right then, there passen by the Way
His Aunt, and eke her Daughters tway.
Ducke in his Trowses hath he hent,
Not to be spied of Ladies gent.
“ But ho! our Nephew, (crieth one)
“ Ho! quoth another, Cozen John;
And stoppen, and lough, and callen out,-
This sely Clerk full low doth lout:

IO

15

They asken that, and talken this,
“Lo here is Coz, and here is Miss.
But, as he glozeth with Speeches foote,
The Ducke sore tickleth his Erse roote :
Fore-piece and buttons all-to-brest,
Forth thrust a white neck, and red crest.
Te-he, cry'd Ladies ; Clerke' nought spake:
Miss star'd; and gray Ducke crieth Quaake.
“ O Moder, Moder, (quoth the daughter)
“ Be thilke same thing Maids longer a’ter?
“ Bette is to pyne on coals and chalke,
“ Then trust on Mon, whofe yerde can talke.

2e

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IN ev'ry Town, where Thamis rolls his Tydo,

A narrow Pass there is, with Houses low ;
Where ever and anon, the Stream is ey'd,
And many a Boat soft sliding to and fro.
'There oft are heard the notes of Infant Woe, 5
The short thick Sob, loud Scream, and shriller Squall :
How can ye, Mothers, vex your Children fo?
Some play, some eat, some cack against the wall,
And as they crouchen low, for bread and butter call.

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II.
And on the broken pavement, here and there, 10
Doth many a stinking sprat and herring lie;
A brandy and tobacco shop is near,
And hens, and dogs, and hogs are feeding by;
And here a sailor's jacket hangs to dry.
At ev'ry door are sun-burnt matrons seen, 15
Mending old nets to catch the scaly fry;
Now singing fhrill, and scolding eft between ;
Scolds answer foul-mouth'd scolds; bad neighbour-

hood I ween.

20

III.
The snappish cur, (the passengers annoy)
Close at my heel with yelping treble Aies ;
The whimp’ring girl, and hoarser-screaming boy,
Join to the yelping treble, shrilling cries ;
The scolding Quean to louder notes doth rise,
And her full pipes those shrilling cries confound ; .
To her full pipes the grunting hog replies ;
The'grunting hogs alarm the neighbours round,
And curs, girls, boys, and scolds, in the deep base are
drown'd.

IV.
Hard by a Sty, beneath a roof of thatch,
Dwelt Obloquy, who in her early days.
Baskets of fish at Billinsgate did watch,

30 Cod, whiting, oyster, mackrel, sprat, or plaice : There learn’d she {peech from tongues that never

cease.
Slander beside her, like a Mag-pie, chatters,
With Envy, (spitting Cat) dread foe to peace;
Like a curs'd Cur, Malice before her clatters,

33 And vexing ev'ry wight; tears clothes and all to tatters,

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V.

Her dugs were mark’d by ev'ry Collier's hand,
Her mouth was black as bull-dogs at the stall :
She scratched, bit, and spar'd ne lace ne band,
And bitch and rogue her answer was to all ; 40
Nay, c'en the parts of shame by name would call :

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