Old Virginia Barbecue

A Virginia Barbecue, 1835

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By Robert Francis Astrop

Old Virginia Barbecue

Ye who love good eating, just go to a ‘Cue—
Ye’ll find and enjoy it there, I warrant you.

Who ever went there and ne’er got enough?
Who ever went there and found the meat tough?
Who ever went there and came mad away?
Who ever went there, and kept steady all day?

Who ever went there, discontent er distrest—
Who ever went tliere with sorrow opprest—
Who ever went there deep in love or in grief,
And did not immediately find some relief?

Enjoyment here presides as the host,
And he who’s least welcome is welcome the most.
Freedom and Frolic here hold their domain,
And good sense and wit all folly restrain.

Here, age may be youth and live o’er its days,
Here, virtue is honored and wisdom finds praise,
Here, wealth and poverty, meekness and pride,
Commingle in one and sit side and side.

Formality here, and modish nonsense
Is held in contempt, and banished hence;
Contention and strife must here have an end
While each is a neighbor and each is a friend.

Republican plainness and candor preside,
And all kind of precedence here is denied.
Here sweethearts are toasted and sweet wives are lov’d;
Virtue commended and vice is reproved.

Ye ball-room revels and parties of Lou,
Give me the Barbecue—Devil take you.

From: Original Poems, On a Variety of Subjects, Interspersed with Tales; Forming the Largest Miscellaneous Collection Ever Published by an American Author, by Robert Francis Astrop. Philadelphia: E. L. Carey & A. Hart, 1835.

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