Monday, 17 January 2011

O for a Bowl of Fat Canary!

Alexander the Great and Campaspe in the Studio of Apelles - Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1726 - public domain, via Wikimedia Commons From John Lyly's Campaspe (otherwise A tragical Comedie of Alexander and Campaspe), a song to liven a grey day in the Country of the Roundheads!

O for a Bowle of fatt Canary,
Rich Palermo, sparkling Sherry,
Some Nectar else, from Iuno's Daiery,
O these draughts would make vs merry.

O for a wench, (I deale in faces,
And in other dayntier things,)
Tickled am I with her Embraces,
Fine dancing in such Fairy Ringes.

O for a plump fat leg of Mutton,
Veale, Lambe, Capon, Pigge, & Conney,
None is happy but a Glutton,
None an Asse but who wants money.

Wines (indeed,) & Girles are good,
But braue victuals feast the bloud,
For wenches, wine, and Lusty cheere,
Ioue would leape down to surfet heere.

Unfortunately no details are provided as to what Iuno would leape down to surfet on, and the boozy duet between Iris and Ganymede when they go out on the pull can be found only in Morpheus's Library; but a sympathetic imagination will, no doubt, be inspired to achievement in the same riotous spirit.

Campaspe herself is one of those elusive characters who might be anything from hapless pawn to turner of worlds, for all we can hear of her voice over the rhubarb of ages. I wonder what she is really saying? My Muse suspects the lady finds this funny.

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