It is impossible, said Pantagruel to Panurge, to speak more to the purpose than does this true priestess; you may remember I told you as much when you first spoke to me about it.
Trinc then: what says your heart, elevated by Bacchic enthusiasm?
With this quoth Panurge:
Trinc, trinc; by Bacchus, let us tope,
And tope again; for, now I hope
To see some brawny, juicy rump
Well tickled with my carnal stump.
Ere long, my friends, I shall be wedded,
Sure as my trap-stick has a red-head;
And my sweet wife shall hold the combat
Long as my baws can on her bum beat.
O what a battle of a— fighting
Will there be, which I much delight in!
What pleasing pains then shall I take
To keep myself and spouse awake!
All heart and juice, I’ll up and ride,
And make a duchess of my bride.
Sing Io paean! loudly sing
To Hymen, who all joys will bring.
Well, Friar John, I’ll take my oath,
This oracle is full of troth;
Intelligible truth it bears,
More certain than the sieve and shears.
How Panurge and the rest rhymed with poetic fury.
What a pox ails the fellow? quoth Friar John. Stark staring mad, or bewitched, o’ my word! Do but hear the chiming dotterel gabble in rhyme. What o’ devil has he swallowed? His eyes roll in his loggerhead just for the world like a dying goat’s. Will the addle-pated wight have the grace to sheer off? Will he rid us of his damned company, to go shite out his nasty rhyming balderdash in some bog-house? Will nobody be so kind as to cram some dog’s-bur down the poor cur’s gullet? or will he, monk-like, run his fist up to the elbow into his throat to his very maw, to scour and clear his flanks? Will he take a hair of the same dog?
Pantagruel chid Friar John, and said:
Bold monk, forbear! this, I’ll assure
Proceeds all from poetic fury;
Warmed by the god, inspired with wine,
His human soul is made divine.
For without jest,
His hallowed breast,
With wine possessed,
Could have no rest
Till he’d expressed
Some thoughts at least
Of his great guest.
Then straight he flies
Above the skies,
And since divinely he’s inspired,
Adore the soul by wine acquired,
And let the tosspot be admired.
How, quoth the friar, the fit rhyming is upon you too? Is’t come to that? Then we are all peppered, or the devil pepper me. What would I not give to have Gargantua see us while we are in this maggotty crambo-vein! Now may I be cursed with living on that damned empty food, if I can tell whether I shall scape the catching distemper. The devil a bit do I understand which way to go about it; however, the spirit of fustian possesses us all, I find. Well, by St. John, I’ll poetize, since everybody does; I find it coming. Stay, and pray pardon me if I don’t rhyme in crimson; ’tis my first essay.