The Maunder’s Praise Of His Strowling Mort

The Maunder’s Praise Of His Strowling Mort
From The Triumph of Wit, by J. SHIRLEY: “the King of the Gypsies’s Song, made upon his Beloved Doxy, or Mistress;” also in  New Canting Diet. (1725).


Doxy, oh! thy glaziers shine 1 mistress; eyes
  As glimmar; by the Salomon! 2 fire; mass
No gentry mort hath prats like thine, 3 lady; [Notes]
  No cove e’er wap’d with such a one. 4 [Notes]


White thy fambles, red thy gan, 5 hand; mouth
  And thy quarrons dainty is; 6 body
Couch a hogshead with me then, 7 sleep
  And in the darkmans clip and kiss. 8 night; [Notes]


What though I no togeman wear, 9 cloak
  Nor commission, mish, or slate; 10 shirt or sheet
Store of strammel we’ll have here, 11 straw
  And ith’ skipper lib in state. 12 in the barn; lie


Wapping thou I know does love, 13 Notes
  Else the ruffin cly the mort; 14 the devil take the woman otherwise
From thy stampers then remove, 15 feet
  Thy drawers, and let’s prig in sport. 16 stockings; revel


When the lightman up does call, 17 daylight
  Margery prater from her nest, 18 hen
And her Cackling cheats withal, 19 chickens
  In a boozing ken we’ll feast. 20 ale-house


There if lour we want; I’ll mill 21 Money; steal
  A gage, or nip for thee a bung; 22 pot; steal a purse
Rum booze thou shalt booze thy fill, 23 wine; drink
 And crash a grunting cheat that’s young. 24 eat; pig


The Triumph of Wit by J. Shirley is a curious piece of bookmaking—scissors and paste in the main—which ran through many editions. Divided into three parts, the first two are chiefly concerned with “the whole art and mystery of love in all its nicest intrigues”, “choice letters with their answers” and such like matters. Part III contains “the mystery and art of Canting, with the original and present management thereof, and the ends to which it serves, and is employed: Illustrated with poems, songs and various intrigues in the Canting language with the explanation, etc.” The songs were afterwards included in The New Canting Dict. (1725), and later on in Bacchus and Venus (1731).

Title. Strowling Mort = a beggar’s trull:—“pretending to be widows, sometimes travel the countries ... are light-fingered, subtle, hypocritical, cruel, and often dangerous to meet, especially when the ruffler is with them” (B. E., Dict. Cant. Crew, 1690).

Stanza I, line 1. Doxy—“These Doxes be broken and spoyled of their maydenhead by the upright men, and then they have their name of Doxes, and not afore. And afterwards she is commen and indifferent for any that wyll use her”.—Harman, Caveat, p. 73. Line 3. prats = buttocks or thighs. Line 4. wap = to copulate (also stanza IV, line i).

Stanza II, line 4. clip and kiss = to copulate.

Taken from Musa Pedestris, Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang Rhymes [1536―1896], collected and annotated by John S. Farmer.

previous * next


. . .
The Maunder’s Wooing
A Gage Of Ben Rom-Bouse
Bing Out, Bien Morts
The Song Of The Beggar
The Maunder’s Initiation
The High Pad’s Boast
The Merry Beggars
A Mort’s Drinking Song
A Beggar I’ll Be
A Budg And Snudg Song
The Maunder’s Praise Of His Strowling Mort
The Rum-Mort’s Praise Of Her Faithless Maunder
The Black Procession
Frisky Moll’s Song
The Canter’s Serenade
Retoure My Dear Dell
The Vain Dreamer
When My Dimber Dell I Courted
The Oath Of The Canting Crew
Come All You Buffers Gay
The Potato Man
. . .