Lines on the Mermaid Tavern

  Souls of poets dead and gone,
  What elysium have ye known,
  Happy field or mossy cavern,
  Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?
  Have ye tippled drink more fine
  Than mine host's Canary wine?
  Or are fruits of Paradise
  Sweeter than those dainty pies
  Of venison? O generous food!
  Drest as though bold Robin Hood
  Would, with his maid Marian,
  Sup and bowse from horn and can.
  I have heard that on a day
  Mine host's sign-board flew away,
  Nobody knew whither, till
  An astrologer's old quill
  To a sheepskin gave the story,
  Said he saw you in your glory,
  Underneath a new old sign
  Sipping beverage divine,
  And pledging with contented smack
  The Mermaid in the zodiac.
  Souls of poets dead and gone,
  What elysium have ye known,
  Happy field or mossy cavern,
  Choicer than the Mermaid Tavern?