John Taylor

(24 August 1578 – 1653 / Gloucester, England)

The Olde, Olde, very Olde Man; or The Age and Long Life of Thomas Parr


Good wholesome labour was his exercise,
Down with the lamb, and with the lark would rise:
In mire and toiling sweat he spent the day,
And to his team he whistled time away:
The cock his night-clock, and till day was done,
His watch and chief sun-dial was the sun.
He was of old Pythagoras' opinion,
That green cheese was most wholesome with an onion;
Coarse meslin bread, and for his daily swig,
Milk, butter-milk, and water, whey and whig:
Sometimes metheglin, and by fortune happy,
He sometimes sipped a cup of ale most nappy,
Cycler or perry, when he did repair
T' Whitson ale, wake, wedding, or a fair;
Or when in Christmas-time he was a guest
At his good landlord's house amongst the rest:
Else he had little leisure-time to waste,
Or at the ale-house huff-cap ale to taste;
His physic was good butter, which the soil
Of Salop yields, more sweet than candy oil;
And garlick he esteemed above the rate
Of Venice treacle, or best mithridate.
He entertained no gout, no ache he felt,
The air was good and temperate where he dwelt;
While mavisses and sweet-tongued nightingales
Did chant him roundelays and madrigals.
Thus living within bounds of nature's laws,
Of his long-lasting life may be some cause.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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