HYMN TO THE BELLY
by: Ben Jonson (1572-1637)
- OOM! room!
make room for the bouncing Belly,
- First father of sauce and deviser of jelly;
- Prime master of arts and the giver of wit,
- That found out the excellent engine, the spit,
- The plough and the flail, the mill and the hopper,
- The hutch and the boulter, the furnace and copper,
- The oven, the bavin, the mawkin, the peel,
- The hearth and the range, the dog and the wheel.
- He, he first invented the hogshead and tun,
- The gimlet and vice too, and taught 'em to run;
- And since, with the funnel and hippocras bag,
- He's made of himself that now he cries swag;
- Which shows, though the pleasure be but of four inches,
- Yet he is a weasel, the gullet that pinches
- Of any delight, and not spares from his back
- Whatever to make of the belly a sack.
- Hail, hail, plump paunch! O the founder of taste,
- For fresh meats or powdered, or pickle or paste!
- Devourer of broiled, baked, roasted or sod!
- And emptier of cups, be they even or odd!
- All which have now made thee so wide i' the waist,
- As scarce with no pudding thou art to be laced;
- But eating and drinking until thou dost nod,
- Thou break'st all thy girdles and break'st forth a god.
POEMS BY BEN JONSON
"Hymn to the Belly" is
reprinted from Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue (1618).