The Invitation

A poem by Robert Herrick

To sup with thee thou didst me home invite,
And mad'st a promise that mine appetite
Should meet and tire, on such lautitious meat,
The like not Heliogabalus did eat:
And richer wine would'st give to me, thy guest,
Than Roman Sylla pour'd out at his feast.
I came, 'tis true, and look'd for fowl of price,
The bastard Phoenix; bird of Paradise;
And for no less than aromatic wine
Of maidens-blush, commix'd with jessamine.
Clean was the hearth, the mantle larded jet,
Which, wanting Lar and smoke, hung weeping wet;
At last i' th' noon of winter, did appear
A ragg'd soused neats-foot, with sick vinegar;
And in a burnish'd flagonet, stood by
Beer small as comfort, dead as charity.
At which amazed, and pond'ring on the food,
How cold it was, and how it chill'd my blood,
I curst the master, and I damn'd the souce,
And swore I'd got the ague of the house.
Well, when to eat thou dost me next desire,
I'll bring a fever, since thou keep'st no fire.

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