The Wandering Pilgrim

A poem by Matthew Prior

Will Piggot must to Coxwould go,
To live, alas! in want,
Unless Sir Thomas say, No, no,
Th' allowance is too scant.

The gracious knight full well does weet
Ten farthings ne'er will do
To keep a man each day in meat;
Some bread to meat is due.

A Rechabite poor Will must live,
And drink of Adam's ale;
Pure element no life can give,
Or mortal soul regale.

Spare diet and spring-water clear
Physicians hold are good:
Who diets thus need never fear
A fever in the blood.

Gramercy, Sirs, ye're in the right;
Prescriptions all can sell,
But he that does not eat can't sh*
Or piss if good drink fail.

But pass, The Aesculapian crew,
Who eat and quaff the best,
They seldom miss to bake and brew,
Or lin to break their fast.

Could Yorkshire tyke but do the same,
Then he like them might thrive;
But Fortune, Fortune, cruel Dame,
To starve thou dost him drive.

In Will's old master's plenteous days
His memory e'er be bless'd,
What need of speaking in his praise?
His goodness stands confess'd.

At his famed gate stood Charity
In lovely sweet array;
Ceres and Hospitality
Dwelt there both night and day.

But to conclude, and be concise,
Truth must Will's voucher be;
Truth never yet went in disguise,
For naked still is she.

There is but one, but one alone,
Can set the pilgrim free,
And make him cease to pine and moan
O Frankland, it is thee.

Oh! save him from a dreary way;
To Coxwould he must hie,
Bereft of thee he wends astray,
At Coxwould he must die.

Oh! let him in thy hall but stand,
And wear a porter's gown,
Duteous to what thou may'st command,
Thus William's wishes crown.

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