Willum Accounts for the Price of Lamprey

‘Aye, sure, it’s pretty fish, but there’s no sale
Nowadays.’ ‘Why?’ ‘Well, the story that they tell
Is, as the king were fond on ’em,
And all the fashion ate and paid up well.
And then one day our king – so goes the tale –
Ate over-hearty-like and throwed – em up.
So all the fashion with him when he dined
Cut out their orders, – and the price cum down.
And maybe that be true, for still in town
Our council – scheming, likely to remind
His Majesty of joys he left behind –
Sends un the very prince o’lamprey pies
(I’ve seen un many a while in Fisher’s winder)
And so, God willing and if nothing hinder,
Some day he’ll taste again and prices rise.’

From F W Harvey: Selected Poems (Douglas McLean Publishing, 2011), © The Estate of F W Harvey 2011, used by permission of the F W Harvey Society for the Estate of the author, and the publishers. Recording © The Estate of F W Harvey 2011, used by permission of Douglas McLean Publishing and the BBC.

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