"the rude answer which Lord Rochester once gave to a man, who had seen many things"

John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (1647-1680), provides his rude answer in his poem, below:

Ship in stormy sea
Public DomainShip in stormy sea - Credit: Ivan Aivazovsky
To all curious Critics and Admirers of Meeter

Have you seen the raging stormy main

Toss a ship up, then cast her down again?

Sometimes she seems to touch the very skies,

And then again upon the sand she lies.

Or have you seen a bull, when he is jealous,

How he does tear the ground, and roars and bellows?

Or have you seen the pretty turtle-dove,

When she laments the absence of her love?

Or have you seen the fairies, when they sing

And dance with mirth together in a ring?

Or have you seen our gallants make a pudder,

With Fair and Grace, and Grace and Fair Anne Strudder?

Or have you seen the daughters of Apollo

Pour down their rhyming liquors in a hollow cane?

In spongy brain, congealing into verse?

If you have seen all this - then kiss mine arse