[Milton-L] PL and the Sabbath and classical myth
cbcox at ilstu.edu
Mon Dec 20 10:19:10 EST 2004
Kate Frost wrote:
> I'm told that the Sabbatical cessation of work--among American
> Puritans anyway--had to do with more than liturgical worship. That is,
> it provided an opportunity for procreation. During the working week,
> folks were just too tuckered out.
Only the first 15 of the following stanzas are included in Selden
Rodman's _100 American Poems_, where it is entitled, "The Whore on the
Snow Crust: A New England Broadside in Defense of Bundling." A few of
the first 15 may not be in Rodman either; I haven't checked his text but
am writing from memory.
Adam at first was formed of dust
As we find on record;
And did receive a wife call'd Eve,
By a creative word.
>From Adam's side a crooked bride,
We find complete in form;
Ordained that they in bed might lay,
And keep each other warm.
To court indeed they had no need
She was his wife at first,
And she was made to be his aid,
Whose origin was dust.
This new made pair full happy were,
And happy might remained,
If his helpmeet had never eat
The fruit that was restrained.
Tho' Adam's wife destroyed his life
In manner that is awful;
Yet marriage now we all allow
To be both just and lawful.
And now a days there is two ways,
Which of the two is right:
To lie between sheets sweet and clean
Or sit up all the night.
But some suppose bundling in clothes
The good and wise doth vex;
Then let me know which way to go
To court the fairer sex.
Whether they must be hugg'd and buss'd
When sitting up all night;
Or whether they in bed may lay,
Which doth reason invite?
Nature's request, is give me rest,
Our bodies seek repose;
Night is the time, and 'tis no crime
To bundle in our clothes.
Since in a bed a man and maid
May bundle and be chaste;
It doth no good to burn up wood
It is a needless waste.
Let coat and shift be turned adrift,
And breeches take their flight,
An honest man and virgin can
Lay quiet all the night.
But if there be dishonesty
Implanted in the mind,
Breeches nor smocks, nor scarce padlock
The rage of lust can bind.
Kate, Nance and Sue proved just and true,
Tho' bundling did practice;
But Ruth [was] beguil'd and proved with child
Who bundling did despise.
Whores will be whores, and on the floor
Where many has been laid
To sit and smoke and ashes poke
Won't keep awake a maid.
Bastards are not at all times got
In feather beds we know
The strumpet's oath convinces both
Oft times it is not so.
One whorish dame, I fear to name
Lest I should give offense
But in this town she was took down
Not more than eight months since.
She was the first that on snow crust
I ever knew to gender;
I'll hint no more about this whore
For fear I should offend her.
'Twas on the snow when Sol was low,
And was in Capricorn
A child was got, and it will not
Be long ere it is born.
Now onto those who do oppose
The bundling trade, I say
Perhaps there's more got on the floor
Than any other way.
In ancient books no knowledge is
Of these things to be got;
Whether young men did bundle then,
Or whether they did not.
Since ancient book says wife they took,
It don't say how they courted;
Whether young men did bundle then,
Or by the fire sported.
They only meant to say they sent
A man to choose a bride;
Isaac was so, but let me know,
If any one beside.
Men don't pretend to trust a friend
To choose him sheep or cows;
Much more a wife whom all his life
He does expect to house.
Since it doth stand each one in hand
To happyfy his life;
I would advise each to be wise,
And choose a prudent wife.
Since bundling is not a thing
That judgment will procure;
Go on young men and bundle then
But keep your bodies pure.
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