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Happy 450th Birthday to Ben Jonson, big eater and drinker

This is a perennial marker for me when thinking of the area around St. Paul's Cathedral, and this year happens to be the 450th anniversary, so let me remind us of a previous post mentioning Jonson:

and let me paste here a public domain poem of his about the joys of good dining (sorry about losing the line breaks):

Hymn to the Belly
by Ben Jonson

ROOM! room! make room for the bouncing Belly,
First father of sauce and deviser of jelly;
Prime master of arts and the giver of wit,
That found out the excellent engine, the spit,
The plough and the flail, the mill and the hopper,
The hutch and the boulter, the furnace and copper,
The oven, the bavin, the mawkin, the peel,
The hearth and the range, the dog and the wheel.
He, he first invented the hogshead and tun,
The gimlet and vice too, and taught 'em to run;
And since, with the funnel and hippocras bag,
He's made of himself that now he cries swag;
Which shows, though the pleasure be but of four inches,
Yet he is a weasel, the gullet that pinches
Of any delight, and not spares from his back
Whatever to make of the belly a sack.
Hail, hail, plump paunch! O the founder of taste,
For fresh meats or powdered, or pickle or paste!
Devourer of broiled, baked, roasted or sod!
And emptier of cups, be they even or odd!
All which have now made thee so wide i' the waist,
As scarce with no pudding thou art to be laced;
But eating and drinking until thou dost nod,
Thou break'st all thy girdles and break'st forth a god.

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Thanks for sharing Jonson's humorous poem. I studied him in university and knew he had quite a sense of humor, but I had not seen this poem until now. I think he enjoyed eating quite a bit.