The Eighth Sin/Ballade of Mr. Pepys

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BALLADE OF MR. PEPYS.

"Among the others pretty Mrs. Margaret, who indeed is a very pretty lady; and, though by my vow it costs me 12d. a kiss, yet I did adventure upon a couple."—Pepys' Diary, Feb. 3, 1665.

Good Mr. Peeps or Peps or Pips
(However he should be yclept),
Clerk of the King's Bureau of Ships,
A very spicy journal kept.
He knew a lemon from a peach,
And, among other things, he knew
When kisses are a shilling each
We should adventure on a few!

He was a connoisseur of lips,
And though I cannot quite accept
Some of his rather shady tips
(I grant he often overstepped
The bounds of taste)—still he can teach
Misogynists a thing or two—
When kisses are a shilling each
We should adventure on a few!


He drank the wine of life by sips,
He roundly ate and soundly slept,
His spirits suffered no eclipse,
But Lord! how sore he would have wept
To see his private linen bleach
And flutter in the public view . . .
Well, kisses are a shilling each,
Let us adventure on a few!

Envoy.


O Ballad-monger, I beseech,
Consider his advice anew
When kisses are a shilling each
Why not adventure on a few?