Wednesday, November 26, 2014

How to Make Your Way in a Crowd

Robert Herrick (1591-1674), "Way in a crowd," The Complete Poetry of Robert Herrick, edd. Tom Cain and Ruth Connolly, Vol. I (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 189:
Once on a Lord-Mayors day, in Cheapside, when
Skulls co'd not well passe through that scum of men,
For quick dispatch, Sculls made no longer stay,
Then but to breath, and every one gave way:
For as he breath'd, the People swore from thence                5
A Fart flew out, or a Sir-reverence.
6 Sir-reverence: "Human excrement" (Oxford English Dictionary, s.v., sense 2.a)