The Smoker

Original Text: 

Flowers of France: The Renaissance Period, from Ronsard to Saint-Amant, Representative Poems of the Sixteenth Century, trans. John Payne (London: Villon Society, 1907): 244.

1Upon a faggot set, with pipe in hand and pot.
2Loins 'gainst a chimney-back disconsolately leant,
3Soul in revolt and eyes to earth in sadness bent,
4I chew the cruel cud of my inhuman lot.
5Hope, till to-morrow's sun that, will I, will I not.
6Still puts me off, essays to temper my lament
7And promising me still my fortune's betterment,
8O'er th'emperor of Rome would raise me up, poor sot.
9But scarcely is the weed to ashes burned away
10Than needs forthright I must my high estate down-lay
11And all my old annoys pass over in my mind.
12Nay, when all's weighed, in fine, I find but little scope
13Of difference between tobaccoing and hope;
14The one is only smoke; the other is but wind.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
Data entry: Sharine Leung
RPO Edition: 
2012