Wednesday, June 30, 2010


An Epigram by Thomas More

Thomas More (1478-1535), Epigram 254 (Medicinae ad tollendos foetores anhelitus provenientes a cibis quibusdam,i.e. Cures to remove bad breath arising from certain foods):
Sectile ne taetros porrum tibi spiret odores,
  protinus a porro fac mihi caepe vores.
Denuo foetorem si vis depellere caepae,
  hoc facile efficient allia mansa tibi.
Spiritus at si post etiam gravis allia restat,
  aut nihil, aut tantum tollere merda potest.
Translated by John Harington (1560-1612) as Of Garlick. To my Ladie Rogers:
If Leekes you like, and doe the smell disleeke,
Eate Onions, and you shall not smell the Leeke:
If you of Onions would the sent expell,
Eate Garlick, that will drowne th' Onyons smell.
  But sure, gainst Garlicks sauour, at one word,
  I know but one receit, what's that? (go looke).
As others have noted, "go looke" is the equivalent of a series of asterisks. In order to rhyme with the preceding line, "a turd" must be read (which matches More's "merda").


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