Stabat mater

Among my workmen early and then along with my wife and Pall to my Father’s by coach there to have them lie a while till my house be done. I found my mother alone weeping upon my last night’s quarrel and so left her, and took my wife to Charing Cross and there left her to see her mother who is not well. So I into St. James’s Park, where I saw the Duke of York playing at Pelemele, the first time that ever I saw the sport.
Then to my Lord’s, where I dined with my Lady, and after we had dined in comes my Lord and Ned Pickering hungry, and there was not a bit of meat left in the house, the servants having eat up all, at which my Lord was very angry, and at last got something dressed. Then to the Privy Seal, and signed some things, and so to White-fryars and saw “The Little Thiefe,” which is a very merry and pretty play, and the little boy do very well.
Then to my Father’s, where I found my mother and my wife in a very good mood, and so left them and went home.
Then to the Dolphin to Sir W. Batten, and Pen, and other company; among others Mr. Delabar; where strange how these men, who at other times are all wise men, do now, in their drink, betwitt and reproach one another with their former conditions, and their actions as in public concernments, till I was ashamed to see it.
But parted all friends at 12 at night after drinking a great deal of wine. So home and alone to bed.

The mother weeping
on her cross,
the mother who is hungry,
not a bit of meat left
in the house, having
signed things to a thief—
the little mother
is not ashamed
to drink alone.


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Tuesday 2 April 1661.

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