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About this Poem 

From Ballads and Songs (London: Cassell and Company, 1896).

 

Friar's Song

  Some love the matin-chimes, which tell
    The hour of prayer to sinner:
  But better far's the mid-day bell,
    Which speaks the hour of dinner;
  For when I see a smoking fish,
    Or capon drown'd in gravy,
  Or noble haunch on silver dish,
    Full glad I sing my ave.

  My pulpit is an alehouse bench,
    Whereon I sit so jolly;
  A smiling rosy country wench
    My saint and patron holy.
  I kiss her cheek so red and sleek,
    I press her ringlets wavy,
  And in her willing ear I speak
    A most religious ave.

  And if I'm blind, yet heaven is kind,
    And holy saints forgiving;
  For sure he leads a right good life
    Who thus admires good living.
  Above, they say, our flesh is air,
    Our blood celestial ichor:
  Oh, grant! mid all the changes there,
    They may not change our liquor!

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray, born July 18, 1811, was an English writer best known for his novels, particularly The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. (The Mershon Company Publishers, 1852) and Vanity Fair (Bradbury and Evans, 1848). While in school, Thackeray began writing poems, which he published in a number of magazines, chiefly Fraser and Punch. He died on December 24, 1863.

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