Old Parr of Shropshire
That green cheese was most welcome (with an onion),
Coarse maslin bread; and for his daily swig,
Milk, buttermilk, and water, whey and whig,
Sometimes metheglin, and by fortune happy,
He sometimes sipped a cup of ale most nappy.
Here is help decoding the poem:
Green cheese– doesn’t mean the cheese is green in color. Rather that the cheese is a ‘new cheese’ that hasn’t ripened. Or a cheese made from whey that is eaten without ripening such as cottage cheese, Neufchatel, mozzarella, or chevre.
Maslin: Medieval bread made from a wheat and rye mixture.
Whey: The liquid remaining after milk has curdled. Little Miss Muffet eats curds and whey which is the curdled milk and the liquid left afterwards.
Whig: Don’t know! Do you??
Metheglin: Is a flavored honey wine. Plain honey wine is called mead. If you flavor the mead with a fruit or a spice it is called a metheglin. It was originally a welsh word meaning medicinal liquor.
Nappy: is a shallow serving bowl. The word comes from the Middle English word nap, meaning bowl. Nappies used to be placed under a foamy beer to catch the overflow. In the case of the poem it means that the beer was foamy.