A Ramble in St. James’s Park

By John Wilmot Earl of Rochester (1647 – 1680)


Much wine had passed with grave discourse

Of who fucks who, and who does worse

Such as you usually do hear

From those that diet at the Bear,

When I, who still take care to see

Drunkenness relieved by lechery,

Went out into St. James’s Park

To cool my head and fire my heart.

But though St. James has the honor on it,

‘Tis consecrate to prick and cunt.

There, by a most incestuous birth,

Strange woods spring from the teeming earth;

For they relate how heretofore,

When ancient Pict began to whore,

Deluded of his assignation,

(Jilting, it seems, was then in fashion),

Poor pensive lover, in this place

Would frig upon his mother’s face;

Whence rows of mandrakes tall did rise

Whose lewd tops fucked the very skies.

Each imitative branch does twine

In some loved fold of Aretine,

And nightly now beneath their shade

Are buggeries, rapes, and incests made.

Unto this all sin-sheltering grove

Whores of the bulk and the alcove,

Great ladies, chambermaids and drudges,

The ragpicker, and heiress trudges.

Carmen, divines, great lords and tailors,

Pimps, poets ‘pentices and jailers,

Footmen, fine fops do here arrive,

And here promiscuously they swive.


Along these hallowed walks it was

That I beheld Corinna pass.

Whoever had been by to see

The proud disdain she cast on me

Through charming eyes, he would have swore

She dropped from heaven that very hour,

Forsaking the divine abode

In scorn of some despairing God.

But mark what creatures women are,

How infinitely vile, and fair!


Three knights of the elbow and the slur

With wriggling tails made up to her.


The first was of your Whitehall blades,

Near kin to the mother of the maids;

Graced by whose favor he was able

To bring a friend to the waiter’s table,

Where he had heard Sir Edward Sutton

Say how the King loved Banstead Mutton;

Since when he’d ne’er be brought to eat

By’s good will any other meat.

In this, as well as all the rest,

He ventures to do like the best,

But wanting common sense, the ingredient

In choosing well not least expedient,

Converts abortive imitation

To universal affectation.

So he not only eats and talks

But feels and smells, sits down and walks,

Nay, looks and lives, and loves by rote,

In an old tawdry birthday coat.


The second was a Grays Inn wit,

A great inhabiter of the pit,

Where critic-like he sits and squints,

Steals pocket handkerchiefs and hints

From’s neighbour, and the comedy,

To court and pay his landlady.


The third, a Lady’s eldest son

Within few years of twenty-one

Who hopes from his propitious fate,

Against he comes to his estate,

By these two worthies to be made

A most accomplished tearing blade.


One, in a strain ‘twixt tune and nonsense,

Cries “Madam, I have loved you long since.

Permit me your fair hand to kiss”;

When at her mouth her cunt says “Yes!”


In short, without much more ado,

Joyful and pleased, away she flew,

And with these three confounded asses

From park to hackney coach she passes.


So a proud bitch does lead about

Of humble curs the amorous rout,

Who most obsequiously do hunt

The savory scent of salt-swollen cunt.

Some power more patient now relate

The sense of this surprising fate.

Gods! that a thing admired by me

Should taste so much of infamy.

Had she picked out, to rub her arse on,

Some stiff-pricked clown or well-hung parson,

Each job of whose spermatic sluice

Had filled her cunt with wholesome juice,

I the proceeding should have praised

In hope she’d quenched a fire I raised.

Such natural freedoms are but just:

There’s something generous in mere lust.

But to turn a damned abandoned jade

When neither head nor tail persuade;

To be a whore in understanding,

A passive pot for fools to piss in!

The devil played booty, sure, with thee

To bring a blot of infamy.


But why was I, of all mankind,

To so severe a fate designed?

Ungrateful! Why this treachery

To humble, fond, believing me,

Who gave you privileges above

The nice allowances of love?

Did ever I refuse to bear

The meanest part your lust could spare?

When your lewd cunt came spewing home

Drenched with the seed of half the town,

My dram of sperm was supped up after

For the digestive surfeit water.

Full gorged at another time

With a vast meal of nasty slime

Which your devouring cunt had drawn

From porter’s backs and footmen’s brawn,

I was content to serve you up

My ballock-full for your grace cup,

Nor ever thought it an abuse

While you had pleasure for excuse -

You that could make my heart away

For noise and colour, and betray

The secret of my tender hours

To such knight-errant paramours,

When leaning on your faithless breast,

Wrapped in security and rest,

Soft kindness all my powers did move,

And reason lay dissolved in love!


May stinking vapour choke your womb

Such as the men you dote upon

May your depraved appetite,

That could in whiffling fools delight,

Beget such frenzies in your mind

You may go mad for the north wind,

And fixing all your hopes upon it

To have him bluster in your cunt,

Turn up your long arse to the air

And perish in a wild despair.

But cowards shall forget to rant,

Schoolboys to frig, old whores to pant;

The Jesuits’ fraternity

Shall leave the use of buggery;

Crab-louse, inspired with grace divine,

From earthly cod to heaven shall climb;

Physicians shall believe in Jesus,

And disobedience cease to please us,

Ever I desist with all my power

To plague this woman and undo her.

But my revenge will best be timed

When she is married and is loined.

In that most lamentable state

I’ll make her feel my scorn and hate:

Pelt her with scandal, truth or lies,

And her poor cur with jealousies,

Till I have torn him from her breech,

While she whines like a dog-drawn bitch;

Loathed and deprived, kicked out of town

Into some dirty hole alone,

To chew the cud of misery

And know she owes it all to me.


And may no woman better thrive

Who dare profane the cunt I swive!


A Ramble in St. James’s Park by John Wilmot

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