From Me, Dear Charles, inspir’d with Ale

First Line From Me, Dear Charles, inspir’d with Ale
Author William Tunstall
Date 1716

Ballad [Satire - political]. 

Transcribed from Tunstall, William. “From W.T. in the Marshalsea to C.W. in Newgate. Tune, To all ye Ladies,” Ballads and some other occasional poems: by W— T— in the Marshalsea, 1716. Eighteenth Century Collections Online, GALE|CW0111122160. 



From Me, Dear Charles, inspir’d with Ale,

To Thee this Letter comes,

To try if Scribling can prevail

To moderate Our Dooms:

Tho’ pent in Cage the Black-Bird swings,

Yet still he hops, and struts, and sings. 

With a fa, la, la, &c.


Perhaps you’ll wonder why I chose,

At this unlucky Time,

To quit the loose and easy Prose,

To tie my Thoughts in Rhime:

or why, you’ll say, since we’re confin’d,

[s]hould we lay Shackles on the Mind?

With a fa, la, la, &c.


But since, tho’ bound, on Barnet Tits,

So lately we astride,

Thro’ hir’d Shouts of wide-mouth’d Cits,

Without a Rein could ride;

Sure Pegasus, without a Bit,

To pinion’d Poets may submit.

With a fa, la, la, &c.


But if the winged Steed should rear,

And start into a Freak,

We’ll send for jolly Granadeer

To lead him by the Cheek.

Then We with Corded Arms may ride,

And sit, and think, and thump his Side.

With a fa, la, la, &c.


For Pegasus, whilst he could soar,

No Poets ever made,

He flew Boætia o’er and o’er,

Until he turn’d a Jade;

His tired Hoof, then spurn’d the Rock,

And Heinan pursu’d the Stroke.

With a fa, la, la, &c.


So, when from Highgate-Hill I came,

In Triumph thro’ the Town,

And jaded Palfrey, dull, and lame,

At Marshal’s set me down:

Without the Wings, he had the Heel;

[Quin]ce! Ale and Beer, and Beer and Ale!

With a fa, la, la, &c.


Thus, struting full of heavy Grout,

With Beich and Flegm replete,

I send my Muse to find Thee out

At Newgate, or the Fleet;

Such Eructations, sure demand

Some speedy Comfort from thy Hand.

With a fa, la, la, &c.


For now, Dear Charles, (my Freedom gone)

This Prison seems my Wife,

no Man see to aid my Moan,

Hear nought but Noise and Strife:

For (after all that can be said)

A Goal’s a Kind of being wed.

With a fa, la, la, &c.


Now I this Tale, to Thee, have told,

(Sure naught’s a greater Curse)

That I this Goal, must Have and Hold

For Better and for Worse;

Judge then, how bravely I shall quit

This Marriage Noose for Tyburn Twitt.

With a fa, la, la, &c.


Nay, if * Old Mopsa, who has lost

Her Love in Battle slain,

Should beg me from the Three-Leg’s Post,

To fix me to her Twain.

So long suspended! I should stand!

The Cart would drive—and I be hang’d!

With a fa, la, la, &c.


*Wid. H—by.