Stuck for appropriate verses for Valentine’s Day? We can help! What about a few lines from this extremely bawdy ballad from the Halliwell-Phillips Collection, in which the lovelorn dreamer imagines the object of his affection in various guises ranging from a loaf of bread to a pot of chocolate. You will have to read the ballad itself to discover his lustful intentions – to which end we have thoughtfully transcribed it below. You may want to turn the shower on cold before beginning:
Last night a Dream came into my Head, Thou wert a fine white Loaf of Bread; Then if may Butter I could be, How I wou’d spread, Oh! How I wou’d spread myself on thee: This morning too my thoughts ran hard, That you were made a Cool Tankerd; Then cou’d I but a Lemmon be, How I would squeez, Oh! how I would squeez my Juice in thee.
Lately when fancy too did roam, Thou wert my Dear a Honney comb; And had I been a pretty Bee, How I would suck, Oh! How I would creep, creep into thee: A Vision too I had of Old, That thou a Morter wert of Gold; Then cou’d I but the Pestle be, How I wou’d pound, Oh! How I wou’d pound my spice in thee.
Once too my Dream did humour take, Thou wert a Bowl of Heffords Rack; Zoons cou’d I then the Ladle be, How wou’d I pour, Oh! How wou’d I pour out Joys from thee: Another time by Charm Divine, I Dreamt thou wert an Orchard fine; Then cou’d I but thy Farmer be, How I would plant, Oh! How I wou’d plant my Fruit in thee.
Soon after whims came in my Pate, Thou wert a Pot of Chocolate; And cou’d I but the Rowler be, How wou’d I rub, Oh! How wou’d I twirle and froth up thee: But since all Dreams are vain my Dear, Let now some Sollid Joy appear; My soul still thine is prov’d to be, Let Body now, Let Body now with Soul agree.
The ballad dates from c. 1715 and was written by Thomas d’Urfey, a prolific composer of ‘country songs’ and a great friend of the writers Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, whose portrait hangs in the Library Reading Room, providing the perfect scholarly connection and lifting this post far above any scurrilous allegation of gratuitous filth…