Drinking Song

Come along my good fellow
Let's sit and get mellow
For sorrow we haven’t got leisure
We've money and time
And that's just the prime
To enjoy it in comfort & pleasure
Call for ale or else wine
On roast beef we dine
And joy we shall have without measure

The parson may preach
Against ale, and beseech
His church folks to head no such liquor
But in neat sanded rooms
With young girls in their blooms
Pray who'd ever think of the vicar?
Then leave that dull dunce
Let's have sandwich for lunch
And pull at the tankard or pitcher

Let the dull parson think
Was he here but to drink
He would say beer was made for to please us
When man is a dry
A good sermon's my eye
The vicar?  His task is to tease us
Tankards foam o'er the rim
Where the fly loves to swim
And that is the lecture to please us

So come my old fellow
Let's go and get mellow
For care brings no hour of leisure
We've money and time
And just now in prime
To sit down enjoying our pleasure
'Tis summer's prime hours
And the room smells of flowers
Now boys, is the season for leisure

John Clare, Selected Poems,
ed. J.W. and Anne Tibble (Everyman, 1965)

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