POrtsmouth, a place by Nature, and by Art,
That need not care for any Foe a fart:
Well Garison'd, well Gunn'd, well Fortifi'd;
Seas wait on her every flowing Tide:
Stretching their Arms for to embrace the Waste
Of Portsmouth, (kind as Seas, and just as chaste).
Its Harbour's large, Convenient and Safe;
Brave Lakes and Roads, as any Town can have.
Royal Wood Castles here, and dayly seen,
And here King Charles, God bless Him, woo'd the Queen.
Thus far all's good you hear; but yet, because
Sweet meats oft-times do meet with sowr Sawce;
I'le turn it inside out, and you shall view
It like a Pilgrim scarcely worth a q:
Do not believe me (for perhaps I lye;)
Seeing's believing, come your selves and try.
An Egg a penny, that is cheap and good,
Respecting rates here paid for Country food.
Here take a tast, and by this Bill of fare,
Judg how Tarpallings entertained are;
Two silly Widgins, that a Shilling cost,
Are reckoned to us half a Crown when Rost.
A pair of Brand-Geese (big as Mallards just)
Shall cost four Shilling, when on Spit they'r trust.
And a poor Country Calves head cannot be
Boil'd, Dish'd, and Garnish'd, under three-times three:
A little Crows nest (which they Fagots name,
Shall one poor Reck'ning above a Crown inflame.
These (and the like) are causes that I swear,
Flesh, Fish, and every thing we eat is dear,
Besides the Sawce (and there's the Devil and all:
Beer's puddle thick, and Wine is woful small.
What the Women be (in faith I tell no lye)
I cannot tell, because I ne'r did try.
The Airs unwholsome, Barren as the Sand;
The People slothful, nothing understand,
But sacred thirst of Gold, and that they love
Better than Life, or Soul, or God above.
For I must tell you, Their Religion is
Of Argentora, that's their only bliss.
Of Flesh here's plenty, and Friends if you please,
I will describe them, they are such as these:
Of Rationals, here's Cheats, Bawds, and a trade
Of men call'd Cuckolds (such as God ne're made).
Pardon me Masters, if my Muse be sharp,
Gall'd Jades will kick, and none but Momes will carp.
Of Bruits here's Foxes, Wolfs, and Asses store,
Fat Oxen, Calfs, why not a Bull and Boar?
Of Fowl here's also choice, the Gripe, the Gull,
The Cormorant that would Humber and Hull;
Swallow at once; the Woodcock and the Owl,
The Goose, the Buzzard, and of lesser Fowl.
The Jay, the Parrot, and the Nightingale,
That sings full sweetly (but they often quail,)
With hundreds more; but if you ask what Fish
Is here; draw near I pray, and chuse your Dish.
Here's a Monstrous great Voracious Whale,
That lives on Money, swallows the Devil and all.
A shole of Sharks, great Cod, poor Jack, Old-Ling,
Maids, (but they'r small) and Syrens sometimes sing.
If Portsmouth for its Plenty reck'ned be
A Heaven to any, 'tis a Hell to me.
God bless me hence, and keep hence every Friend:
Then as I did begin, I'le sweetly end;
Portsmouth is strong, so nature first did make it;
Art made it stronger; But the Devil take it.

LONDON: Printed for Randall Taylor, near Stationers Hall, 1684.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.