To the Vagina by Gwerful Mechain

Every poet, drunken fool
Thinks he’s just the king of cool,
(Every one is such a boor,
He makes me sick, I’m so demure),
He always declaims fruitless praise
Of all the girls in his male gaze.
He’s at it all day long, by God,
Omitting the best bit, silly sod:
He praises the hair, gown of fine love,
And all the girl’s bits up above,
Even lower down he praises merrily
The eyes which glance so sexily;
Daring more, he extols the lovely shape
Of the soft breasts which leave him all agape,
And the beauty’s arms, bright drape,
Even her perfect hands do not escape.
Then with his finest magic
Before night falls, it’s tragic,
He pays homage to God’s might,
An empty eulogy: it’s not quite right:
For he’s left the girl’s middle unpraised,
That place where children are upraised,
The warm bright quim he does not sing,
That tender, plump, pulsating broken ring,
That’s the place I love, the place I bless,
The hidden quim below the dress.
You female body, you’re strong and fair,
A faultless, fleshy court plumed with hair.
I proclaim that the quim is fine,
Circle of broad-edged lips divine,
It’s a valley, longer than a spoon or hand,
A cwm to hold a penis strong and grand;
A vagina there by the swelling bum,
Two lines of red to song must come.
And the churchmen all, the radiant saints,
When they get the chance, have no restraints,
They never fail their chance to steal,
By Saint Beuno, to give it a good feel.
So I hope you feel well and truly told off,
All you proud male poets, you dare not scoff,
Let songs to the quim grow and thrive
Find their due reward and survive.
For it is silky soft, the sultan of an ode,
A little seam, a curtain on a hole bestowed,
Neat flaps in a place of meeting,
The sour grove, circle of greeting,
Superb forest, faultless gift to squeeze,
Fur for a fine pair of balls, tender frieze,
A girl’s thick glade, it is full of love,
Lovely bush, blessed be it by God above.

From: Gramich, Katie, Orality and Morality: Early Welsh Women’s Poetry, 2005, Cardiff University: Cardiff, pp. 8-9.
(http://www2.lingue.unibo.it/acume/acumedvd/Essays%20ACUME/AcumeGramichfinal.pdf)

Date: c1480 (original in Welsh); 2003 (translation in English)

By: Gwerful Mechain (?1462-1500)

Translated by: Katie Gramich (19??- )

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