Footnote to Southey, etc.

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Tue Oct 17 14:07:36 MDT 2000

The original John Ball was a better and pithier poet than the "John Ball"
whose lines were written for him by Southey.

When Adam dove and Eve span,
Who was then the gentleman.


"Dove" -- cf. delve
"span" -- cf. spin / spun (as in producing thread)

The rhyme of plebian "span" with patrician "gentleman" makes the point.

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