A1-The Great North Road

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George Meriton

The Praise of Yorkshire Ale

Wherein is enumerated several Sorts of Drinks, with a Discription of the Humors of most sorts of Drunkards.

1685

Bacchus having call'd a Parliament of late,

For to consult about some Things of State,

Nearly concerning the honour of his Court,

To'th Sun, behind'th Exchange, they did resort;

Where being met, and many things that time

Concerning the Adulterating Wine,

And other Liquors; Selling of Ale in Muggs,

Silver Tankards, Black-Pots, and little Juggs;

Strong Beer in Rabits, and cheating penny Cans,

Three Pipes for two pence, and such like Trepans;

Vintners small Bottles, Silver mouth'd black Jacks,

Papers of Sugar, with such like cheating knacks;

Biskets, Luke Olives, Anchovies, Caveare,

Neats Tongues, West-Phalia-Hambs, and such like Chear,

Crabs, Lobsters, Collar Beefe, Cold Pullets, Oysters,

And such like stuffe, which make young men turn Roysters.

 

And many other things were then debated,

And Bills past, upon the cases stated;

And all things ready for adjournment, then

Stood up one of the Northern Country men,

A Boon good fellow, and Lover of Strong Ale,

Whose Tongue well steep'd in Sack begun this Tale.

 

My Bully Rocks, I've been experienced long

In most of Liquors, which are counted Strong;

Of Claret, White-wine and Canary Sack,

Rhenish and Malago, I've had no lack;

Sider, perry, Metheglin, and Chocolet;

Rum and Tea, Azora wine, Mederry,

Vin-de-Paree, Brag, wine with Rosemary;

Stepony, Usquebath, besides all these,

Aqua Celestis Cinnamon, Heats-ease;

Brave Rosa Solis, and other Liquors fine,

Rasberry Wine, Pur-roayal, and Shamine

Malmfey, and Viper-wine, all these I pass;

Frontineack, with excellent Ipooras;

Lac'd Coffee, Twist, Old Pharoh, and Old Hoc

Juniper, Brandy and Wine de Langue-Dock

Mum, Cherry-wine Lngoon, and Lemonad,

Sherry, and Port a Port, both white and red,

Pomgranate, Mirtle, and Isope-wine I know,

Ipres and Orleance, Coos, and eke Anjew,

Burgundian-wine, Coecubum, Sage and Mint,

Fennel and Wormwood-wine have past my Gust,

Hydromel, Mulsom, wine boiled with Southerwood

Opimium, Smirna, and Biaeon good;

Temetum, Lora and brave Muskadel,

Rumney and Nectar too that doth excell

Sicilian, Naples and Lorain Wine,

Moravia,Malta and Corsica fine;

Tent, Muskatine, Brandy, and Alicant,

Of all these liquors I've had no scant,

And several others; but none do I find,

Like Humming Northern Ale to please my mind,

It's pleasant to the Taste, strong and mellow,

He that affects it not is no boon fellow.

 

He that in this drink doth let his Senses swim,

There's neither wind nor storms will pierce o him

It warms in Winter, in Summer opes the Pores,

@Twil make a Sovereign Salve 'gainst cuts and sores;

It ripens Wit, exhillerates the Mind,

Makes friends of foes, and foes of friends full kind;

It's Physical for old Men, warms their blood,

Its Spirits make the Coward's corage good;

The Tatter'd Beggar being warme'd with Ale,

Nor Rain, Hail, Frost, nor Snow can him Assail;

He's a good man with him can then compare,

It makes a Prentice great as the Lord Mayor;

The Labouring Man, that toils all day full sore,

A pot of Ale at Night, doth him Restore,

And makes him all his Toil and paines forget,

And for another day-work, hee's then fit;

There's more in drinking Ale, sure that we wot,

For most Ingenious Artists, love a Pot;

Nay amorous Ladyes it will pleasure too,

Make frozen Maids, and Nuns, and Virgins do

The thing you know; Soldiers and Gown-men,

Rich and poor, old and young, lame and sound men

May such advantage reap by drinking Ale,

As should I tell, You'd think 'twere but a Tale;

Miskate me not, Custom, I mean not tho,

Of excessive Drinking, as great Ranters do,

For that would turn a great Wit to a Sot,

I mean the merry Quibling o're a Pot,

Which makes dull Melancholy spirits be,

For Criticks and great Witts, good Company.

Oh the rare Virtues of the Barley Broth;

To rich and poor it's Meat and Drink and Cloth.

 

The Court here stopt him, and the Prince did say,

Where may we find this Nectar, I thee pray,

The Boon Fellow answer'd, I can tell,

North-Allerton, in Yorkshire doth excell

ASll England, nay all Europe for strong Ale,

If thither we adjourn, we shall not fail

To taste such humming Stuff, as, I dare say,

Your Highness never tasted to this day.

 

They hearing this, the House Agreed upon

All for Adjournment to North-Allerton.

 

 

 

 

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©Biff Vernon 2002