Character of a Mistress

Source: Coeur d'Ennui Letchers Guild Songbook Edited by William Coeur du Boeuf;
Thomas D'Urfey's Songs of Wit and Mirth, or Pills to purge Melancholy
Note from Letchers Guild Songbook:
The singer realizes that he doesn't have to use poetic language to describe his mistress--he can do it in two words. Many of the songs in PTPM are full of the "my mistress is..." similes, but their comparisons are very sedate and modest; this song has to have been written as a "topper." The tune is still in use today as "The Unfortunate Miss Bailey."

My mistress is a shuttle cock
Composed of cork and feathers,
Each battledove sits on her deck
And bumps her on the leather.
But cast her off which way you will,
She recoils to another still.

Fa la la la la la-la-la,
Fa la la la la la la.

My mistress is a tennis ball
Composed of cotton fine,
She's often struck against the wall
And banded underline.
But if you would her wish fulfill
You'd pop her in the hazard still.

My mistress is a virginal,
And little cost will string her.
She's often reared against the wall
For everyone to finger.
But if you would your mistress please,
You'd run division on her keys.

My mistress is a cunny fine,
And of the finest skin.
But if you care to open her,
The best part lies within.
For in her cunny burrow may
Two tumblers and a ferret play.

My mistress is a tinder box
Would I had such a one.
Her steel endureth many a knock
Both by the flint and stone,
But if you stir the tinder much
The match will fire at the touch.

But why should I my mistress call
A shuttlecock or bauble,
A virginal or tennis ball,
Which things are variable.
But to commend, I'll say no more,
My mistress is an errant whore.

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