HotFreeBooks.com
Poems (Volume II.)
by Jonathan Swift
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

RIDDLES BY DR. SWIFT AND HIS FRIENDS. WRITTEN IN OR ABOUT THE YEAR 1724

The following notice is subjoined to some of these riddles, in the Dublin edition: "About nine or ten years ago, (i.e. about 1724,) some ingenious gentlemen, friends to the author, used to entertain themselves with writing riddles, and send them to him and their other acquaintance; copies of which ran about, and some of them were printed, both here and in England. The author, at his leisure hours, fell into the same amusement; although it be said that he thought them of no great merit, entertainment, or use. However, by the advice of some persons, for whom the author hath a great esteem, and who were pleased to send us the copies, we have ventured to print the few following, as we have done two or three before, and which are allowed to be genuine; because we are informed that several good judges have a taste for such kind of compositions."



PETHOX THE GREAT. 1723

FROM Venus born, thy beauty shows; But who thy father, no man knows: Nor can the skilful herald trace The founder of thy ancient race; Whether thy temper, full of fire, Discovers Vulcan for thy sire, The god who made Scamander boil, And round his margin singed the soil: (From whence, philosophers agree, An equal power descends to thee;) Whether from dreadful Mars you claim The high descent from whence you came, And, as a proof, show numerous scars By fierce encounters made in wars, Those honourable wounds you bore From head to foot, and all before, And still the bloody field frequent, Familiar in each leader's tent; Or whether, as the learn'd contend, You from the neighbouring Gaul descend; Or from Parthenope[1] the proud, Where numberless thy votaries crowd; Whether thy great forefathers came From realms that bear Vespuccio's name,[2] For so conjectures would obtrude; And from thy painted skin conclude; Whether, as Epicurus[3] shows, The world from justling seeds arose, Which, mingling with prolific strife In chaos, kindled into life: So your production was the same, And from contending atoms came. Thy fair indulgent mother crown'd Thy head with sparkling rubies round: Beneath thy decent steps the road Is all with precious jewels strew'd, The bird of Pallas,[4] knows his post, Thee to attend, where'er thou goest. Byzantians boast, that on the clod Where once their Sultan's horse hath trod, Grows neither grass, nor shrub, nor tree: The same thy subjects boast of thee. The greatest lord, when you appear, Will deign your livery to wear, In all the various colours seen Of red and yellow, blue and green. With half a word when you require, The man of business must retire. The haughty minister of state, With trembling must thy leisure wait; And, while his fate is in thy hands, The business of the nation stands. Thou darest the greatest prince attack, Canst hourly set him on the rack; And, as an instance of thy power, Enclose him in a wooden tower, With pungent pains on every side: So Regulus[5] in torments died. From thee our youth all virtues learn, Dangers with prudence to discern; And well thy scholars are endued With temperance and with fortitude, With patience, which all ills supports, And secrecy, the art of courts. The glittering beau could hardly tell, Without your aid, to read or spell; But, having long conversed with you, Knows how to scroll a billet-doux. With what delight, methinks, I trace Your blood in every noble race! In whom thy features, shape, and mien, Are to the life distinctly seen! The Britons, once a savage kind, By you were brighten'd and refined, Descendants to the barbarous Huns, With limbs robust, and voice that stuns: But you have moulded them afresh, Removed the tough superfluous flesh, Taught them to modulate their tongues, And speak without the help of lungs. Proteus on you bestow'd the boon To change your visage like the moon; You sometimes half a face produce, Keep t'other half for private use. How famed thy conduct in the fight With Hermes, son of Pleias bright! Outnumber'd, half encompass'd round, You strove for every inch of ground; Then, by a soldierly retreat, Retired to your imperial seat. The victor, when your steps he traced, Found all the realms before him waste: You, o'er the high triumphal arch Pontific, made your glorious march: The wondrous arch behind you fell, And left a chasm profound as hell: You, in your capitol secured, A siege as long as Troy endured.

[Footnote 1: Naples, anciently called Parthenope, from the name of the siren who threw herself into the sea for grief at the departure of Ulysses, and was cast up and buried there.—Ovid, "Met.," xiv, 101.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: Americus Vespuccius, the discoverer of America in 1497. See Hakluyts "Navigations, Voyages, etc.," vii, 161; viii, 449.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: See Lucretius, "De Rer. Nat.," lib. i.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 4: Bubo, the owl.—Dublin Edition.]

[Footnote 5: Taken prisoner by the Carthaginians in the first Punic war, and ultimately tortured to death. See the story in Cicero, "De Officiis," i, 13; Hor., "Carm.," iii, 5.—W. E. B.]



ON A PEN. 1724

In youth exalted high in air, Or bathing in the waters fair, Nature to form me took delight, And clad my body all in white. My person tall, and slender waist, On either side with fringes graced; Till me that tyrant man espied, And dragg'd me from my mother's side: No wonder now I look so thin; The tyrant stript me to the skin: My skin he flay'd, my hair he cropt: At head and foot my body lopt: And then, with heart more hard than stone, He pick'd my marrow from the bone. To vex me more, he took a freak To slit my tongue and make me speak: But, that which wonderful appears, I speak to eyes, and not to ears. He oft employs me in disguise, And makes me tell a thousand lies: To me he chiefly gives in trust To please his malice or his lust. From me no secret he can hide; I see his vanity and pride: And my delight is to expose His follies to his greatest foes. All languages I can command, Yet not a word I understand. Without my aid, the best divine In learning would not know a line: The lawyer must forget his pleading; The scholar could not show his reading. Nay; man my master is my slave; I give command to kill or save, Can grant ten thousand pounds a-year, And make a beggar's brat a peer. But, while I thus my life relate, I only hasten on my fate. My tongue is black, my mouth is furr'd, I hardly now can force a word. I die unpitied and forgot, And on some dunghill left to rot.



ON GOLD

All-ruling tyrant of the earth, To vilest slaves I owe my birth, How is the greatest monarch blest, When in my gaudy livery drest! No haughty nymph has power to run From me; or my embraces shun. Stabb'd to the heart, condemn'd to flame, My constancy is still the same. The favourite messenger of Jove, And Lemnian god, consulting strove To make me glorious to the sight Of mortals, and the gods' delight. Soon would their altar's flame expire If I refused to lend them fire.

By fate exalted high in place, Lo, here I stand with double face: Superior none on earth I find; But see below me all mankind Yet, as it oft attends the great, I almost sink with my own weight.

At every motion undertook, The vulgar all consult my look. I sometimes give advice in writing, But never of my own inditing. I am a courtier in my way; For those who raised me, I betray; And some give out that I entice To lust, to luxury, and dice. Who punishments on me inflict, Because they find their pockets pickt. By riding post, I lose my health, And only to get others wealth.



ON THE POSTERIORS

Because I am by nature blind, I wisely choose to walk behind; However, to avoid disgrace, I let no creature see my face. My words are few, but spoke with sense; And yet my speaking gives offence: Or, if to whisper I presume, The company will fly the room. By all the world I am opprest: And my oppression gives them rest. Through me, though sore against my will, Instructors every art instil. By thousands I am sold and bought, Who neither get nor lose a groat; For none, alas! by me can gain, But those who give me greatest pain. Shall man presume to be my master, Who's but my caterer and taster? Yet, though I always have my will, I'm but a mere depender still: An humble hanger-on at best; Of whom all people make a jest. In me detractors seek to find Two vices of a different kind; I'm too profuse, some censurers cry, And all I get, I let it fly; While others give me many a curse, Because too close I hold my purse. But this I know, in either case, They dare not charge me to my face. 'Tis true, indeed, sometimes I save, Sometimes run out of all I have; But, when the year is at an end, Computing what I get and spend, My goings-out, and comings-in, I cannot find I lose or win; And therefore all that know me say, I justly keep the middle way. I'm always by my betters led; I last get up, and first a-bed; Though, if I rise before my time, The learn'd in sciences sublime Consult the stars, and thence foretell Good luck to those with whom I dwell.



ON A HORN

The joy of man, the pride of brutes, Domestic subject for disputes, Of plenty thou the emblem fair, Adorn'd by nymphs with all their care! I saw thee raised to high renown, Supporting half the British crown; And often have I seen thee grace The chaste Diana's infant face; And whensoe'er you please to shine, Less useful is her light than thine: Thy numerous fingers know their way, And oft in Celia's tresses play. To place thee in another view, I'll show the world strange things and true; What lords and dames of high degree May justly claim their birth from thee! The soul of man with spleen you vex; Of spleen you cure the female sex. Thee for a gift the courtier sends With pleasure to his special friends: He gives, and with a generous pride, Contrives all means the gift to hide: Nor oft can the receiver know, Whether he has the gift or no. On airy wings you take your flight, And fly unseen both day and night; Conceal your form with various tricks; And few know how or where you fix: Yet some, who ne'er bestow'd thee, boast That they to others give thee most. Meantime, the wise a question start, If thou a real being art; Or but a creature of the brain, That gives imaginary pain? But the sly giver better knows thee; Who feels true joys when he bestows thee.



ON A CORKSCREW

Though I, alas! a prisoner be, My trade is prisoners to set free. No slave his lord's commands obeys With such insinuating ways. My genius piercing, sharp, and bright, Wherein the men of wit delight. The clergy keep me for their ease, And turn and wind me as they please. A new and wondrous art I show Of raising spirits from below; In scarlet some, and some in white; They rise, walk round, yet never fright. In at each mouth the spirits pass, Distinctly seen as through a glass: O'er head and body make a rout, And drive at last all secrets out; And still, the more I show my art, The more they open every heart. A greater chemist none than I Who, from materials hard and dry, Have taught men to extract with skill More precious juice than from a still. Although I'm often out of case, I'm not ashamed to show my face. Though at the tables of the great I near the sideboard take my seat; Yet the plain 'squire, when dinner's done, Is never pleased till I make one; He kindly bids me near him stand, And often takes me by the hand. I twice a-day a-hunting go; Nor ever fail to seize my foe; And when I have him by the poll, I drag him upwards from his hole; Though some are of so stubborn kind, I'm forced to leave a limb behind. I hourly wait some fatal end; For I can break, but scorn to bend.



THE GULF OF ALL HUMAN POSSESSIONS 1724

Come hither, and behold the fruits, Vain man! of all thy vain pursuits. Take wise advice, and look behind, Bring all past actions to thy mind. Here you may see, as in a glass, How soon all human pleasures pass; How will it mortify thy pride, To turn the true impartial side! How will your eyes contain their tears, When all the sad reverse appears! This cave within its womb confines The last result of all designs: Here lie deposited the spoils Of busy mortals' endless toils: Here, with an easy search, we find The foul corruptions of mankind. The wretched purchase here behold Of traitors, who their country sold. This gulf insatiate imbibes The lawyer's fees, the statesman's bribes. Here, in their proper shape and mien, Fraud, perjury, and guilt are seen. Necessity, the tyrant's law, All human race must hither draw; All prompted by the same desire, The vigorous youth and aged sire. Behold the coward and the brave, The haughty prince, the humble slave, Physician, lawyer, and divine, All make oblations at this shrine. Some enter boldly, some by stealth, And leave behind their fruitless wealth. For, while the bashful sylvan maid, As half-ashamed and half-afraid, Approaching finds it hard to part With that which dwelt so near her heart; The courtly dame, unmoved by fear, Profusely pours her offering here. A treasure here of learning lurks, Huge heaps of never-dying works; Labours of many an ancient sage, And millions of the present age. In at this gulf all offerings pass And lie an undistinguish'd mass. Deucalion,[1] to restore mankind, Was bid to throw the stones behind; So those who here their gifts convey Are forced to look another way; For few, a chosen few, must know The mysteries that lie below. Sad charnel-house! a dismal dome, For which all mortals leave their home! The young, the beautiful, and brave, Here buried in one common grave! Where each supply of dead renews Unwholesome damps, offensive dews: And lo! the writing on the walls Points out where each new victim falls; The food of worms and beasts obscene, Who round the vault luxuriant reign. See where those mangled corpses lie, Condemn'd by female hands to die; A comely dame once clad in white, Lies there consign'd to endless night; By cruel hands her blood was spilt, And yet her wealth was all her guilt. And here six virgins in a tomb, All-beauteous offspring of one womb, Oft in the train of Venus seen, As fair and lovely as their queen; In royal garments each was drest, Each with a gold and purple vest; I saw them of their garments stript, Their throats were cut, their bellies ript, Twice were they buried, twice were born, Twice from their sepulchres were torn; But now dismember'd here are cast, And find a resting-place at last. Here oft the curious traveller finds The combat of opposing winds; And seeks to learn the secret cause, Which alien seems from nature's laws; Why at this cave's tremendous mouth, He feels at once both north and south; Whether the winds, in caverns pent, Through clefts oppugnant force a vent; Or whether, opening all his stores, Fierce AEolus in tempest roars. Yet, from this mingled mass of things, In time a new creation springs. These crude materials once shall rise To fill the earth, and air, and skies; In various forms appear again, Of vegetables, brutes, and men. So Jove pronounced among the gods, Olympus trembling as he nods.

[Footnote 1: Ovid, "Metam.," i, 383.]



LOUISA[1] TO STREPHON. 1724

Ah! Strephon, how can you despise Her, who without thy pity dies! To Strephon I have still been true, And of as noble blood as you; Fair issue of the genial bed, A virgin in thy bosom bred: Embraced thee closer than a wife; When thee I leave, I leave my life. Why should my shepherd take amiss, That oft I wake thee with a kiss? Yet you of every kiss complain; Ah! is not love a pleasing pain? A pain which every happy night You cure with ease and with delight; With pleasure, as the poet sings, Too great for mortals less than kings. Chloe, when on thy breast I lie, Observes me with revengeful eye: If Chloe o'er thy heart prevails, She'll tear me with her desperate nails; And with relentless hands destroy The tender pledges of our joy. Nor have I bred a spurious race; They all were born from thy embrace. Consider, Strephon, what you do; For, should I die for love of you, I'll haunt thy dreams, a bloodless ghost; And all my kin, (a numerous host,) Who down direct our lineage bring From victors o'er the Memphian king; Renown'd in sieges and campaigns, Who never fled the bloody plains: Who in tempestuous seas can sport, And scorn the pleasures of a court; From whom great Sylla[2] found his doom, Who scourged to death that scourge of Rome, Shall on thee take a vengeance dire; Thou like Alcides[3] shalt expire, When his envenom'd shirt he wore, And skin and flesh in pieces tore. Nor less that shirt, my rival's gift, Cut from the piece that made her shift, Shall in thy dearest blood be dyed, And make thee tear thy tainted hide.

[Footnote 1: The solution is, _phtheirhiasis_ morbus pedicularis. With this piece may be read Peter Pindar's epic, "The Lousiad."—W. E. B_.]

[Footnote 2: Plutarch tells how Sylla's body was so corrupted with these vermin, that they streamed from him into every place: pasan estheta kai loutron kai aponimma kai sition anapimplasthai tou reumatos ekeinon kai tes phthoras. tosouton exenthei. "Vita Syllae," xxxvi.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: Hercules, who died from wearing the shirt (given him by his wife as a charm against his infidelities) stained with the blood of Nessus, the centaur, whom Hercules had slain with a poisoned arrow. Ovid, "Epist. Heroid. Deianira Herculi," and "Metam.," lib. ix, 101.—W. E. B.]



A MAYPOLE. 1725

Deprived of root, and branch and rind, Yet flowers I bear of every kind: And such is my prolific power, They bloom in less than half an hour; Yet standers-by may plainly see They get no nourishment from me. My head with giddiness goes round, And yet I firmly stand my ground: All over naked I am seen, And painted like an Indian queen. No couple-beggar in the land E'er join'd such numbers hand in hand. I join'd them fairly with a ring; Nor can our parson blame the thing. And though no marriage words are spoke, They part not till the ring is broke; Yet hypocrite fanatics cry, I'm but an idol raised on high; And once a weaver in our town, A damn'd Cromwellian, knock'd me down. I lay a prisoner twenty years, And then the jovial cavaliers To their old post restored all three— I mean the church, the king, and me.

ON THE MOON

I with borrow'd silver shine What you see is none of mine. First I show you but a quarter, Like the bow that guards the Tartar: Then the half, and then the whole, Ever dancing round the pole.

What will raise your admiration, I am not one of God's creation, But sprung, (and I this truth maintain,) Like Pallas, from my father's brain. And after all, I chiefly owe My beauty to the shades below. Most wondrous forms you see me wear, A man, a woman, lion, bear, A fish, a fowl, a cloud, a field, All figures Heaven or earth can yield; Like Daphne sometimes in a tree; Yet am not one of all you see.



ON A CIRCLE

I'm up and down, and round about, Yet all the world can't find me out; Though hundreds have employ'd their leisure, They never yet could find my measure. I'm found almost in every garden, Nay, in the compass of a farthing. There's neither chariot, coach, nor mill, Can move an inch except I will.



ON INK

I am jet black, as you may see, The son of pitch and gloomy night: Yet all that know me will agree, I'm dead except I live in light.

Sometimes in panegyric high, Like lofty Pindar, I can soar; And raise a virgin to the sky, Or sink her to a pocky whore.

My blood this day is very sweet, To-morrow of a bitter juice; Like milk, 'tis cried about the street, And so applied to different use.

Most wondrous is my magic power: For with one colour I can paint; I'll make the devil a saint this hour, Next make a devil of a saint.

Through distant regions I can fly, Provide me but with paper wings; And fairly show a reason why There should be quarrels among kings:

And, after all, you'll think it odd, When learned doctors will dispute, That I should point the word of God, And show where they can best confute.

Let lawyers bawl and strain their throats: 'Tis I that must the lands convey, And strip their clients to their coats; Nay, give their very souls away.



ON THE FIVE SENSES

All of us in one you'll find, Brethren of a wondrous kind; Yet among us all no brother Knows one tittle of the other; We in frequent councils are, And our marks of things declare, Where, to us unknown, a clerk Sits, and takes them in the dark. He's the register of all In our ken, both great and small; By us forms his laws and rules, He's our master, we his tools; Yet we can with greatest ease Turn and wind him where we please. One of us alone can sleep, Yet no watch the rest will keep, But the moment that he closes, Every brother else reposes. If wine's brought or victuals drest, One enjoys them for the rest. Pierce us all with wounding steel, One for all of us will feel. Though ten thousand cannons roar, Add to them ten thousand more, Yet but one of us is found Who regards the dreadful sound. Do what is not fit to tell, There's but one of us can smell.



FONTINELLA[1] TO FLORINDA

When on my bosom thy bright eyes, Florinda, dart their heavenly beams, I feel not the least love surprise, Yet endless tears flow down in streams; There's nought so beautiful in thee, But you may find the same in me.

The lilies of thy skin compare; In me you see them full as white: The roses of your cheeks, I dare Affirm, can't glow to more delight. Then, since I show as fine a face, Can you refuse a soft embrace?

Ah! lovely nymph, thou'rt in thy prime! And so am I, while thou art here; But soon will come the fatal time, When all we see shall disappear. 'Tis mine to make a just reflection, And yours to follow my direction.

Then catch admirers while you may; Treat not your lovers with disdain; For time with beauty flies away, And there is no return again. To you the sad account I bring, Life's autumn has no second spring.

[Footnote 1: A fountain.]



AN ECHO

Never sleeping, still awake, Pleasing most when most I speak; The delight of old and young, Though I speak without a tongue. Nought but one thing can confound me, Many voices joining round me; Then I fret, and rave, and gabble, Like the labourers of Babel. Now I am a dog, or cow, I can bark, or I can low; I can bleat, or I can sing, Like the warblers of the spring. Let the lovesick bard complain, And I mourn the cruel pain; Let the happy swain rejoice, And I join my helping voice: Both are welcome, grief or joy, I with either sport and toy. Though a lady, I am stout, Drums and trumpets bring me out: Then I clash, and roar, and rattle, Join in all the din of battle. Jove, with all his loudest thunder, When I'm vext, can't keep me under; Yet so tender is my ear, That the lowest voice I fear; Much I dread the courtier's fate, When his merit's out of date, For I hate a silent breath, And a whisper is my death.



ON A SHADOW IN A GLASS;

By something form'd, I nothing am, Yet everything that you can name; In no place have I ever been, Yet everywhere I may be seen; In all things false, yet always true, I'm still the same—but ever new. Lifeless, life's perfect form I wear, Can show a nose, eye, tongue, or ear, Yet neither smell, see, taste, or hear. All shapes and features I can boast, No flesh, no bones, no blood—no ghost: All colours, without paint, put on, And change like the cameleon. Swiftly I come, and enter there, Where not a chink lets in the air; Like thought, I'm in a moment gone, Nor can I ever be alone: All things on earth I imitate Faster than nature can create; Sometimes imperial robes I wear, Anon in beggar's rags appear; A giant now, and straight an elf, I'm every one, but ne'er myself; Ne'er sad I mourn, ne'er glad rejoice, I move my lips, but want a voice; I ne'er was born, nor e'er can die, Then, pr'ythee, tell me what am I?

Most things by me do rise and fall, And, as I please, they're great and small; Invading foes without resistance, With ease I make to keep their distance: Again, as I'm disposed, the foe Will come, though not a foot they go. Both mountains, woods, and hills, and rocks And gamesome goats, and fleecy flocks, And lowing herds, and piping swains, Come dancing to me o'er the plains. The greatest whale that swims the sea Does instantly my power obey. In vain from me the sailor flies, The quickest ship I can surprise, And turn it as I have a mind, And move it against tide and wind. Nay, bring me here the tallest man, I'll squeeze him to a little span; Or bring a tender child, and pliant, You'll see me stretch him to a giant: Nor shall they in the least complain, Because my magic gives no pain.



ON TIME

Ever eating, never cloying, All-devouring, all-destroying, Never finding full repast, Till I eat the world at last.

ON THE GALLOWS

There is a gate, we know full well, That stands 'twixt Heaven, and Earth, and Hell, Where many for a passage venture, Yet very few are fond to enter: Although 'tis open night and day, They for that reason shun this way: Both dukes and lords abhor its wood, They can't come near it for their blood. What other way they take to go, Another time I'll let you know. Yet commoners with greatest ease Can find an entrance when they please. The poorest hither march in state (Or they can never pass the gate) Like Roman generals triumphant, And then they take a turn and jump on't, If gravest parsons here advance, They cannot pass before they dance; There's not a soul that does resort here, But strips himself to pay the porter.



ON THE VOWELS

We are little airy creatures, All of different voice and features; One of us in glass is set, One of us you'll find in jet. T'other you may see in tin, And the fourth a box within. If the fifth you should pursue, It can never fly from you.



ON SNOW

From Heaven I fall, though from earth I begin, No lady alive can show such a skin. I'm bright as an angel, and light as a feather, But heavy and dark, when you squeeze me together. Though candour and truth in my aspect I bear, Yet many poor creatures I help to ensnare. Though so much of Heaven appears in my make, The foulest impressions I easily take. My parent and I produce one another, The mother the daughter, the daughter the mother.



ON A CANNON

Begotten, and born, and dying with noise, The terror of women, and pleasure of boys, Like the fiction of poets concerning the wind, I'm chiefly unruly when strongest confined. For silver and gold I don't trouble my head, But all I delight in is pieces of lead; Except when I trade with a ship or a town, Why then I make pieces of iron go down. One property more I would have you remark, No lady was ever more fond of a spark; The moment I get one, my soul's all a-fire, And I roar out my joy, and in transport expire.



ON A PAIR OF DICE

We are little brethren twain, Arbiters of loss and gain, Many to our counters run, Some are made, and some undone: But men find it to their cost, Few are made, but numbers lost. Though we play them tricks for ever, Yet they always hope our favour.



ON A CANDLE

TO LADY CARTERET

Of all inhabitants on earth, To man alone I owe my birth, And yet the cow, the sheep, the bee, Are all my parents more than he: I, a virtue, strange and rare, Make the fairest look more fair, And myself, which yet is rarer, Growing old, grow still the fairer. Like sots, alone I'm dull enough, When dosed with smoke, and smear'd with snuff; But, in the midst of mirth and wine, I with double lustre shine. Emblem of the Fair am I, Polish'd neck, and radiant eye; In my eye my greatest grace, Emblem of the Cyclops' race; Metals I like them subdue, Slave like them to Vulcan too; Emblem of a monarch old, Wise, and glorious to behold; Wasted he appears, and pale, Watching for the public weal: Emblem of the bashful dame, That in secret feeds her flame, Often aiding to impart All the secrets of her heart; Various is my bulk and hue, Big like Bess, and small like Sue: Now brown and burnish'd like a nut, At other times a very slut; Often fair, and soft, and tender, Taper, tall, and smooth, and slender: Like Flora, deck'd with various flowers, Like Phoebus, guardian of the hours: But whatever be my dress, Greater be my size or less, Swelling be my shape or small, Like thyself I shine in all. Clouded if my face is seen, My complexion wan and green, Languid like a love-sick maid, Steel affords me present aid. Soon or late, my date is done, As my thread of life is spun; Yet to cut the fatal thread Oft revives my drooping head; Yet I perish in my prime, Seldom by the death of time; Die like lovers as they gaze, Die for those I live to please; Pine unpitied to my urn, Nor warm the fair for whom I burn: Unpitied, unlamented too, Die like all that look on you.



TO LADY CARTERET

BY DR. DELANY

I reach all things near me, and far off to boot, Without stretching a finger, or stirring a foot; I take them all in too, to add to your wonder, Though many and various, and large and asunder, Without jostling or crowding they pass side by side, Through a wonderful wicket, not half an inch wide; Then I lodge them at ease in a very large store, Of no breadth or length, with a thousand things more. All this I can do without witchcraft or charm, Though sometimes they say, I bewitch and do harm; Though cold, I inflame; and though quiet, invade: And nothing can shield from my spell but a shade. A thief that has robb'd you, or done you disgrace, In magical mirror, I'll show you his face: Nay, if you'll believe what the poets have said, They'll tell you I kill, and can call back the dead. Like conjurers safe in my circle I dwell; I love to look black too, it heightens my spell; Though my magic is mighty in every hue, Who see all my power must see it in you.



ANSWERED BY DR. SWIFT

WITH half an eye your riddle I spy, I observe your wicket hemm'd in by a thicket, And whatever passes is strain'd through glasses. You say it is quiet: I flatly deny it. It wanders about, without stirring out; No passion so weak but gives it a tweak; Love, joy, and devotion, set it always in motion. And as for trie tragic effects of its magic, Which you say it can kill, or revive at its will, The dead are all sound, and they live above ground: After all you have writ, it cannot be wit; Which plainly does follow, since it flies from Apollo. Its cowardice such it cries at a touch; 'Tis a perfect milksop, grows drunk with a drop, Another great fault, it cannot bear salt: And a hair can disarm it of every charm.



TO LADY CARTERET

BY DR. SWIFT

FROM India's burning clime I'm brought, With cooling gales like zephyrs fraught. Not Iris, when she paints the sky, Can show more different hues than I; Nor can she change her form so fast, I'm now a sail, and now a mast. I here am red, and there am green, A beggar there, and here a queen. I sometimes live in house of hair, And oft in hand of lady fair. I please the young, I grace the old, And am at once both hot and cold. Say what I am then, if you can, And find the rhyme, and you're the man.



ANSWERED BY DR. SHERIDAN

Your house of hair, and lady's hand, At first did put me to a stand. I have it now—'tis plain enough— Your hairy business is a muff. Your engine fraught with cooling gales, At once so like your masts and sails; Your thing of various shape and hue Must be some painted toy, I knew; And for the rhyme to you're the man, What fits it better than a fan?



A RIDDLE

I'm wealthy and poor, I'm empty and full, I'm humble and proud, I'm witty and dull. I'm foul and yet fair: I'm old, and yet young; I lie with Moll Kerr, And toast Mrs. Long.



ANSWER, BY MR. F——R

In rigging he's rich, though in pocket he's poor, He cringes to courtiers, and cocks to the cits; Like twenty he dresses, but looks like threescore; He's a wit to the fools, and a fool to the wits. Of wisdom he's empty, but full of conceit; He paints and perfumes while he rots with the scab; 'Tis a beau you may swear by his sense and his gait; He boasts of a beauty and lies with a drab.



A LETTER TO DR. HELSHAM

SIR, Pray discruciate what follows.

The dullest beast, and gentleman's liquor, When young is often due to the vicar,[1]

The dullest of beasts, and swine's delight, Make up a bird very swift of flight.[2]

The dullest beast, when high in stature, And another of royal nature, For breeding is a useful creature.[3]

The dullest beast, and a party distress'd, When too long, is bad at best.[4]

The dullest beast, and the saddle it wears, Is good for partridge, not for hares.[5]

The dullest beast, and kind voice of a cat, Will make a horse go, though he be not fat.[6]

The dullest of beasts and of birds in the air, Is that by which all Irishmen swear.[7]

The dullest beast, and famed college for Teagues, Is a person very unfit for intrigues.[8]

The dullest beast, and a cobbler's tool, With a boy that is only fit for school, In summer is very pleasant and cool.[9]

The dullest beast, and that which you kiss, May break a limb of master or miss.[10]

Of serpent kind, and what at distance kills, Poor mistress Dingley oft hath felt its bills.[11]

The dullest beast, and eggs unsound, Without it I rather would walk on the ground.[12]

The dullest beast, and what covers a house, Without it a writer is not worth a louse.[13]

The dullest beast, and scandalous vermin, Of roast or boil'd, to the hungry is charming.[14]

The dullest beast, and what's cover'd with crust, There's nobody but a fool that would trust.[15]

The dullest beast, and mending highways, Is to a horse an evil disease.[16]

The dullest beast, and a hole in the ground, Will dress a dinner worth five pound.[17]

The dullest beast, and what doctors pretend, The cook-maid often has by the end.[18]

The dullest beast, and fish for lent, May give you a blow you'll for ever repent.[19]

The dullest beast, and a shameful jeer, Without it a lady should never appear.[20]

Wednesday Night.

I writ all these before I went to bed. Pray explain them for me, because I cannot do it.

[Footnote 1: A swine.] [Footnote 2: A swallow.] [Footnote 3: A stallion.] [Footnote 4: A sail.] [Footnote 5: A spaniel.] [Footnote 6: A spur.] [Footnote 7: A soul.] [Footnote 8: A sloven.] [Footnote 9: A sallad.] [Footnote 10: A slip.] [Footnote 11: A sparrow.] [Footnote 12: A saddle.] [Footnote 13: A style.] [Footnote 14: A slice.] [Footnote 15: A spy.] [Footnote 16: A spavin.] [Footnote 17: A spit.] [Footnote 18: A skewer.] [Footnote 19: Assault.] [Footnote 20: A smock.]



PROBATUR ALITER

A long-ear'd beast, and a field-house for cattle, Among the coals doth often rattle.[1]

A long-ear'd beast, a bird that prates, The bridegrooms' first gift to their mates, Is by all pious Christians thought, In clergymen the greatest fault.[2]

A long-ear'd beast, and woman of Endor, If your wife be a scold, that will mend her.[3]

With a long-ear'd beast, and medicine's use, Cooks make their fowl look tight and spruce.[4]

A long-ear'd beast, and holy fable, Strengthens the shoes of half the rabble.[5]

A long-ear'd beast, and Rhenish wine, Lies in the lap of ladies fine.[6]

A long-ear'd beast, and Flanders College, Is Dr. T——l, to my knowledge.[7]

A long-ear'd beast, and building knight, Censorious people do in spite.[8]

A long-ear'd beast, and bird of night, We sinners art too apt to slight.[9]

A long-ear'd beast, and shameful vermin, A judge will eat, though clad in ermine.[10]

A long-ear'd beast, and Irish cart, Can leave a mark, and give a smart.[11]

A long-ear'd beast, in mud to lie, No bird in air so swift can fly.[12]

A long-ear'd beast, and a sputt'ring old Whig, I wish he were in it, and dancing a jig.[13]

A long-ear'd beast, and liquor to write, Is a damnable smell both morning and night.[14]

A long-ear'd beast, and the child of a sheep, At Whist they will make a desperate sweep.[15]

A beast long-ear'd, and till midnight you stay, Will cover a house much better than clay.[16]

A long-ear'd beast, and the drink you love best, You call him a sloven in earnest for jest.[17]

A long-ear'd beast, and the sixteenth letter, I'd not look at all unless I look'd better.[18]

A long-ear'd beast give me, and eggs unsound, Or else I will not ride one inch of ground.[19]

A long-ear'd beast, another name for jeer, To ladies' skins there nothing comes so near.[20]

A long-ear'd beast, and kind noise of a cat, Is useful in journeys, take notice of that.[21]

A long-ear'd beast, and what seasons your beef, On such an occasion the law gives relief.[22]

A long-ear'd beast, a thing that force must drive in, Bears up his house, that's of his own contriving.[23]

[Footnote 1: A shovel.] [Footnote 2: Aspiring.] [Footnote 3: A switch.] [Footnote 4: A skewer.] [Footnote 5: A sparable; a small nail in a shoe.] [Footnote 6: A shock.] [Footnote 7: A sloven.] [Footnote 8: Asperse. (Pearce was an architect, who built the Parliament-House, Dublin.)] [Footnote 9: A soul.] [Footnote 10: A slice.] [Footnote 11: A scar.] [Footnote 12: A swallow.] [Footnote 13: A sty.] [Footnote 14: A sink.] [Footnote 15: A slam.] [Footnote 16: A slate.] [Footnote 17: A swine.] [Footnote 18: Askew.] [Footnote 19: A saddle.] [Footnote 20: A smock.] [Footnote 21: A spur.] [Footnote 22: Assault.] [Footnote 23: A snail.]



POEMS COMPOSED AT MARKET HILL

ON CUTTING DOWN THE THORN AT MARKET-HILL.[1] 1727

At Market-Hill, as well appears By chronicle of ancient date, There stood for many hundred years A spacious thorn before the gate.

Hither came every village maid, And on the boughs her garland hung, And here, beneath the spreading shade, Secure from satyrs sat and sung.

Sir Archibald,[2] that valorous knight. The lord of all the fruitful plain, Would come to listen with delight, For he was fond of rural strain.

(Sir Archibald, whose favourite name Shall stand for ages on record, By Scottish bards of highest fame, Wise Hawthornden and Stirling's lord.[3])

But time with iron teeth, I ween, Has canker'd all its branches round; No fruit or blossom to be seen, Its head reclining toward the ground.

This aged, sickly, sapless thorn, Which must, alas! no longer stand, Behold the cruel Dean in scorn Cuts down with sacrilegious hand.

Dame Nature, when she saw the blow, Astonish'd gave a dreadful shriek; And mother Tellus trembled so, She scarce recover'd in a week.

The Sylvan powers, with fear perplex'd, In prudence and compassion sent (For none could tell whose turn was next) Sad omens of the dire event.

The magpie, lighting on the stock, Stood chattering with incessant din: And with her beak gave many a knock, To rouse and warn the nymph within.

The owl foresaw, in pensive mood, The ruin of her ancient seat; And fled in haste, with all her brood, To seek a more secure retreat.

Last trotted forth the gentle swine, To ease her itch against the stump, And dismally was heard to whine, All as she scrubb'd her meazly rump.

The nymph who dwells in every tree, (If all be true that poets chant,) Condemn'd by Fate's supreme decree, Must die with her expiring plant.

Thus, when the gentle Spina found The thorn committed to her care, Received its last and deadly wound, She fled, and vanish'd into air.

But from the root a dismal groan First issuing struck the murderer's ears: And, in a shrill revengeful tone, This prophecy he trembling hears:

"Thou chief contriver of my fall, Relentless Dean, to mischief born; My kindred oft thine hide shall gall, Thy gown and cassock oft be torn.

"And thy confederate dame, who brags That she condemn'd me to the fire, Shall rend her petticoats to rags, And wound her legs with every brier.

"Nor thou, Lord Arthur,[4] shall escape; To thee I often call'd in vain, Against that assassin in crape; Yet thou couldst tamely see me slain:

"Nor, when I felt the dreadful blow, Or chid the Dean, or pinch'd thy spouse; Since you could see me treated so, (An old retainer to your house:)

"May that fell Dean, by whose command Was form'd this Machiavelian plot, Not leave a thistle on thy land; Then who will own thee for a Scot?

"Pigs and fanatics, cows and teagues, Through all my empire I foresee, To tear thy hedges join in leagues, Sworn to revenge my thorn and me.

"And thou, the wretch ordain'd by fate, Neal Gahagan, Hibernian clown, With hatchet blunter than thy pate, To hack my hallow'd timber down;

"When thou, suspended high in air, Diest on a more ignoble tree, (For thou shall steal thy landlord's mare,) Then, bloody caitiff! think on me."

[Footnote 1: A village near the seat of Sir Arthur Acheson, where the Dean made a long visit. The tree, which was a remarkable one, was much admired by the knight. Yet the Dean, in one of his unaccountable humours, gave directions for cutting it down in the absence of Sir Arthur, who was, of course, highly incensed. By way of making his peace, the Dean wrote this poem; which had the desired effect.]

[Footnote 2: Sir Archibald Acheson, secretary of state for Scotland.]

[Footnote 3: Drummond of Hawthornden, and Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, who were both friends of Sir Archibald, and famous for their poetry.]

[Footnote 4: Sir Arthur Acheson.]



TO DEAN SWIFT BY SIR ARTHUR ACHESON. 1728

Good cause have I to sing and vapour, For I am landlord to the Drapier: He, that of every ear's the charmer, Now condescends to be my farmer, And grace my villa with his strains; Lives such a bard on British plains? No; not in all the British court; For none but witlings there resort, Whose names and works (though dead) are made Immortal by the Dunciad; And, sure as monument of brass, Their fame to future times shall pass; How, with a weakly warbling tongue, Of brazen knight they vainly sung; A subject for their genius fit; He dares defy both sense and wit. What dares he not? He can, we know it, A laureat make that is no poet; A judge, without the least pretence To common law, or common sense; A bishop that is no divine; And coxcombs in red ribbons shine: Nay, he can make, what's greater far, A middle state 'twixt peace and war; And say, there shall; for years together, Be peace and war, and both, and neither. Happy, O Market-Hill! at least, That court and courtiers have no taste: You never else had known the Dean, But, as of old, obscurely lain; All things gone on the same dull track, And Drapier's-Hill been still Drumlack; But now your name with Penshurst vies, And wing'd with fame shall reach the skies.



DEAN SWIFT AT SIR ARTHUR ACHESON'S IN THE NORTH OF IRELAND

The Dean would visit Market-Hill, Our invitation was but slight; I said—"Why let him, if he will:" And so I bade Sir Arthur write.

His manners would not let him wait, Lest we should think ourselves neglected, And so we see him at our gate Three days before he was expected,

After a week, a month, a quarter, And day succeeding after day, Says not a word of his departure, Though not a soul would have him stay.

I've said enough to make him blush, Methinks, or else the devil's in't; But he cares not for it a rush, Nor for my life will take the hint.

But you, my dear, may let him know, In civil language, if he stays, How deep and foul the roads may grow, And that he may command the chaise.

Or you may say—"My wife intends, Though I should be exceeding proud, This winter to invite some friends, And, sir, I know you hate a crowd."

Or, "Mr. Dean—I should with joy Beg you would here continue still, But we must go to Aghnecloy;[1] Or Mr. Moore will take it ill."

The house accounts are daily rising; So much his stay doth swell the bills: My dearest life, it is surprising, How much he eats, how much he swills.

His brace of puppies how they stuff! And they must have three meals a-day, Yet never think they get enough; His horses too eat all our hay.

O! if I could, how I would maul His tallow face and wainscot paws, His beetle brows, and eyes of wall, And make him soon give up the cause!

Must I be every moment chid With [2] Skinnybonia, Snipe, and Lean? O! that I could but once be rid Of this insulting tyrant Dean!

[Footnote 1: The seat of Acheson Moore, Esq., in the county of Tyrone.]

[Footnote 2: The Dean used to call Lady Acheson by those names. See "My Lady's Lamentation," next page.—W. E. B.]



ON A VERY OLD GLASS AT MARKET-HILL

Frail glass! thou mortal art as well as I; Though none can tell which of us first shall die.

ANSWERED EXTEMPORE BY DR. SWIFT

We both are mortal; but thou, frailer creature, May'st die, like me, by chance, but not by nature.



EPITAPH IN BERKELEY CHURCH-YARD, GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Here lies the Earl of Suffolk's fool, Men call'd him Dicky Pearce; His folly served to make folks laugh, When wit and mirth were scarce.

Poor Dick, alas! is dead and gone, What signifies to cry? Dickies enough are still behind, To laugh at by and by.

Buried, June 18, 1728, aged 63.



MY LADY'S[1] LAMENTATION AND COMPLAINT AGAINST THE DEAN

JULY 28, 1728

Sure never did man see A wretch like poor Nancy, So teazed day and night By a Dean and a Knight. To punish my sins, Sir Arthur begins, And gives me a wipe, With Skinny and Snipe:[2], His malice is plain, Hallooing the Dean.

The Dean never stops, When he opens his chops; I'm quite overrun With rebus and pun. Before he came here, To spunge for good cheer, I sat with delight, From morning till night, With two bony thumbs Could rub my old gums, Or scratching my nose And jogging my toes; But at present, forsooth, I must not rub a tooth. When my elbows he sees Held up by my knees, My arms, like two props, Supporting my chops, And just as I handle 'em Moving all like a pendulum; He trips up my props, And down my chin drops From my head to my heels, Like a clock without wheels; I sink in the spleen, A useless machine. If he had his will, I should never sit still: He comes with his whims I must move my limbs; I cannot be sweet Without using my feet; To lengthen my breath, He tires me to death. By the worst of all squires, Thro' bogs and thro' briers, Where a cow would be startled, I'm in spite of my heart led; And, say what I will, Haul'd up every hill; Till, daggled and tatter'd, My spirits quite shatter'd, I return home at night, And fast, out of spite: For I'd rather be dead, Than it e'er should be said, I was better for him, In stomach or limb. But now to my diet; No eating in quiet, He's still finding fault, Too sour or too salt: The wing of a chick I hardly can pick: But trash without measure I swallow with pleasure. Next, for his diversion, He rails at my person. What court breeding this is! He takes me to pieces: From shoulder to flank I'm lean and am lank; My nose, long and thin, Grows down to my chin; My chin will not stay, But meets it halfway; My fingers, prolix, Are ten crooked sticks: He swears my el—bows Are two iron crows, Or sharp pointed rocks, And wear out my smocks: To 'scape them, Sir Arthur Is forced to lie farther, Or his sides they would gore Like the tusks of a boar. Now changing the scene But still to the Dean; He loves to be bitter at A lady illiterate; If he sees her but once, He'll swear she's a dunce; Can tell by her looks A hater of books; Thro' each line of her face Her folly can trace; Which spoils every feature Bestow'd her by nature; But sense gives a grace To the homeliest face: Wise books and reflection Will mend the complexion: (A civil divine! I suppose, meaning mine!) No lady who wants them, Can ever be handsome. I guess well enough What he means by this stuff: He haws and he hums, At last out it comes: What, madam? No walking, No reading, nor talking? You're now in your prime, Make use of your time. Consider, before You come to threescore, How the hussies will fleer Where'er you appear; "That silly old puss Would fain be like us: What a figure she made In her tarnish'd brocade!" And then he grows mild: Come, be a good child: If you are inclined To polish your mind, Be adored by the men Till threescore and ten, And kill with the spleen The jades of sixteen; I'll show you the way; Read six hours a-day. The wits will frequent ye, And think you but twenty. [To make you learn faster, I'll be your schoolmaster And leave you to choose The books you peruse.[3]] Thus was I drawn in; Forgive me my sin. At breakfast he'll ask An account of my task. Put a word out of joint, Or miss but a point, He rages and frets, His manners forgets; And as I am serious, Is very imperious. No book for delight Must come in my sight; But, instead of new plays, Dull Bacon's Essays, And pore every day on That nasty Pantheon.[4] If I be not a drudge, Let all the world judge. 'Twere better be blind, Than thus be confined. But while in an ill tone, I murder poor Milton, The Dean you will swear, Is at study or prayer. He's all the day sauntering, With labourers bantering, Among his colleagues, A parcel of Teagues, Whom he brings in among us And bribes with mundungus. [He little believes How they laugh in their sleeves.] Hail, fellow, well met, All dirty and wet: Find out, if you can, Who's master, who's man; Who makes the best figure, The Dean or the digger; And which is the best At cracking a jest. [Now see how he sits Perplexing his wits In search of a motto To fix on his grotto.] How proudly he talks Of zigzags and walks, And all the day raves Of cradles and caves; And boasts of his feats, His grottos and seats; Shows all his gewgaws, And gapes for applause; A fine occupation For one in his station! A hole where a rabbit Would scorn to inhabit, Dug out in an hour; He calls it a bower. But, O! how we laugh, To see a wild calf Come, driven by heat, And foul the green seat; Or run helter-skelter, To his arbour for shelter, Where all goes to ruin The Dean has been doing: The girls of the village Come flocking for pillage, Pull down the fine briers And thorns to make fires; But yet are so kind To leave something behind: No more need be said on't, I smell when I tread on't. Dear friend, Doctor Jinny. If I could but win ye, Or Walmsley or Whaley, To come hither daily, Since fortune, my foe, Will needs have it so, That I'm, by her frowns, Condemn'd to black gowns; No squire to be found The neighbourhood round; (For, under the rose, I would rather choose those) If your wives will permit ye, Come here out of pity, To ease a poor lady, And beg her a play-day. So may you be seen No more in the spleen; May Walmsley give wine Like a hearty divine! May Whaley disgrace Dull Daniel's whey-face! And may your three spouses Let you lie at friends' houses!

[Footnote 1: Lady Acheson.]

[Footnote 2: See ante, p.94 W.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: Added from the Dean's manuscript.]

[Footnote 4: "The Pantheon," containing the mythological systems of the Greeks and Romans, by Andrew Tooke, A.M., first published, 1713. The little work became very popular. The copy I have is of the thirty-sixth edition, with plates, 1831. It is still in demand, as it deserves to be. Compare Leigh Hunt's remark on the illustrations to the "Pantheon," cited by Mr. Coleridge in his notes to "Don Juan," Canto I, St. xli, Byron's Works, edit. 1903.—W. E. B.]



A PASTORAL DIALOGUE. 1728

DERMOT, SHEELAH

A Nymph and swain, Sheelah and Dermot hight; Who wont to weed the court of Gosford knight;[1] While each with stubbed knife removed the roots, That raised between the stones their daily shoots; As at their work they sate in counterview, With mutual beauty smit, their passion grew. Sing, heavenly Muse, in sweetly flowing strain, The soft endearments of the nymph and swain.

DERMOT

My love to Sheelah is more firmly fixt, Than strongest weeds that grow those stones betwixt; My spud these nettles from the stones can part; No knife so keen to weed thee from my heart.

SHEELAH

My love for gentle Dermot faster grows, Than yon tall dock that rises to thy nose. Cut down the dock, 'twill sprout again; but, O! Love rooted out, again will never grow.

DERMOT

No more that brier thy tender leg shall rake: (I spare the thistles for Sir Arthur's[2] sake) Sharp are the stones; take thou this rushy mat; The hardest bum will bruise with sitting squat.

SHEELAH

Thy breeches, torn behind, stand gaping wide; This petticoat shall save thy dear backside; Nor need I blush; although you feel it wet, Dermot, I vow, 'tis nothing else but sweat.

DERMOT

At an old stubborn root I chanced to tug, When the Dean threw me this tobacco-plug; A longer ha'p'orth [3] never did I see; This, dearest Sheelah, thou shall share with me.

SHEELAH

In at the pantry door, this morn I slipt, And from the shelf a charming crust I whipt: Dennis[4] was out, and I got hither safe; And thou, my dear, shall have the bigger half.

DERMOT

When you saw Tady at long bullets play, You sate and loused him all a sunshine day: How could you, Sheelah, listen to his tales, Or crack such lice as his between your nails?

SHEELAH

When you with Oonah stood behind a ditch, I peep'd, and saw you kiss the dirty bitch; Dermot, how could you touch these nasty sluts? I almost wish'd this spud were in your guts.

DERMOT

If Oonah once I kiss'd, forbear to chide; Her aunt's my gossip by my father's side: But, if I ever touch her lips again, May I be doom'd for life to weed in rain!

SHEELAH

Dermot, I swear, though Tady's locks could hold Ten thousand lice, and every louse was gold; Him on my lap you never more shall see; Or may I lose my weeding knife—and thee!

DERMOT

O, could I earn for thee, my lovely lass, A pair of brogues [5] to bear thee dry to mass! But see, where Norah with the sowins [6] comes— Then let us rise, and rest our weary bums.

[Footnote 1: Sir Arthur Acheson, whose great-grandfather was Sir Archibald, of Gosford, in Scotland.]

[Footnote 2: Who was a great lover of Scotland.]

[Footnote 3: Halfpenny-worth.]

[Footnote 4: Sir Arthur's butler.]

[Footnote 5: Shoes with flat low heels.]

[Footnote 6: A sort of flummery.]



THE GRAND QUESTION DEBATED:

WHETHER HAMILTON'S BAWN[1] SHOULD BE TURNED INTO A BARRACK OR MALT-HOUSE. 1729

THE PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH EDITION

The author of the following poem is said to be Dr. J. S. D. S. P. D. who writ it, as well as several other copies of verses of the like kind, by way of amusement, in the family of an honourable gentleman in the north of Ireland, where he spent a summer, about two or three years ago.[2] A certain very great person,[3] then in that kingdom, having heard much of this poem, obtained a copy from the gentleman, or, as some say, the lady in whose house it was written, from whence I know not by what accident several other copies were transcribed full of errors. As I have a great respect for the supposed author, I have procured a true copy of the poem, the publication whereof can do him less injury than printing any of those incorrect ones which run about in manuscript, and would infallibly be soon in the press, if not thus prevented. Some expressions being peculiar to Ireland, I have prevailed on a gentleman of that kingdom to explain them, and I have put the several explanations in their proper places.—First Edition.

Thus spoke to my lady the knight[2] full of care, "Let me have your advice in a weighty affair. This Hamilton's bawn, while it sticks in my hand I lose by the house what I get by the land; But how to dispose of it to the best bidder, For a barrack[6] or malt-house, we now must consider. "First, let me suppose I make it a malt-house, Here I have computed the profit will fall t'us: There's nine hundred pounds for labour and grain, I increase it to twelve, so three hundred remain; A handsome addition for wine and good cheer, Three dishes a-day, and three hogsheads a-year; With a dozen large vessels my vault shall be stored; No little scrub joint shall come on my board; And you and the Dean no more shall combine To stint me at night to one bottle of wine; Nor shall I, for his humour, permit you to purloin A stone and a quarter of beef from my sir-loin. If I make it a barrack, the crown is my tenant; My dear, I have ponder'd again and again on't: In poundage and drawbacks I lose half my rent, Whatever they give me, I must be content, Or join with the court in every debate; And rather than that, I would lose my estate." Thus ended the knight; thus began his meek wife: "It must, and it shall be a barrack, my life. I'm grown a mere mopus; no company comes But a rabble of tenants, and rusty dull rums.[5] With parsons what lady can keep herself clean? I'm all over daub'd when I sit by the Dean. But if you will give us a barrack, my dear, The captain I'm sure will always come here; I then shall not value his deanship a straw, For the captain, I warrant, will keep him in awe; Or, should he pretend to be brisk and alert, Will tell him that chaplains should not be so pert; That men of his coat should be minding their prayers, And not among ladies to give themselves airs." Thus argued my lady, but argued in vain; The knight his opinion resolved to maintain. But Hannah,[6] who listen'd to all that was past, And could not endure so vulgar a taste, As soon as her ladyship call'd to be dress'd, Cried, "Madam, why surely my master's possess'd, Sir Arthur the maltster! how fine it will sound! I'd rather the bawn were sunk under ground. But, madam, I guess'd there would never come good, When I saw him so often with Darby and Wood.[7] And now my dream's out; for I was a-dream'd That I saw a huge rat—O dear, how I scream'd! And after, methought, I had lost my new shoes; And Molly, she said, I should hear some ill news. "Dear Madam, had you but the spirit to tease, You might have a barrack whenever you please: And, madam, I always believed you so stout, That for twenty denials you would not give out. If I had a husband like him, I purtest, Till he gave me my will, I would give him no rest; And, rather than come in the same pair of sheets With such a cross man, I would lie in the streets: But, madam, I beg you, contrive and invent, And worry him out, till he gives his consent. Dear madam, whene'er of a barrack I think, An I were to be hang'd, I can't sleep a wink: For if a new crotchet comes into my brain, I can't get it out, though I'd never so fain. I fancy already a barrack contrived At Hamilton's bawn, and the troop is arrived; Of this to be sure, Sir Arthur has warning, And waits on the captain betimes the next morning. "Now see, when they meet, how their honours behave; 'Noble captain, your servant'—'Sir Arthur, your slave; You honour me much'—'The honour is mine.'— ''Twas a sad rainy night'—'But the morning is fine.'— 'Pray, how does my lady?'—'My wife's at your service.'— 'I think I have seen her picture by Jervas.'— 'Good-morrow, good captain'—'I'll wait on you down'— 'You shan't stir a foot'—'You'll think me a clown.'— 'For all the world, captain, not half an inch farther'— 'You must be obey'd—Your servant, Sir Arthur! My humble respects to my lady unknown.'— 'I hope you will use my house as your own.'" "Go bring me my smock, and leave off your prate, Thou hast certainly gotten a cup in thy pate." "Pray, madam, be quiet: what was it I said? You had like to have put it quite out of my head. Next day to be sure, the captain will come, At the head of his troop, with trumpet and drum. Now, madam, observe how he marches in state: The man with the kettle-drum enters the gate: Dub, dub, adub, dub. The trumpeters follow. Tantara, tantara; while all the boys holla. See now comes the captain all daub'd with gold lace: O la! the sweet gentleman! look in his face; And see how he rides like a lord of the land, With the fine flaming sword that he holds in his hand; And his horse, the dear creter, it prances and rears; With ribbons in knots at its tail and its ears: At last comes the troop, by word of command, Drawn up in our court; when the captain cries, STAND! Your ladyship lifts up the sash to be seen, For sure I had dizen'd you out like a queen. The captain, to show he is proud of the favour, Looks up to your window, and cocks up his beaver; (His beaver is cock'd: pray, madam, mark that, For a captain of horse never takes off his hat, Because he has never a hand that is idle, For the right holds the sword, and the left holds the bridle;) Then flourishes thrice his sword in the air, As a compliment due to a lady so fair; (How I tremble to think of the blood it has spilt!) Then he lowers down the point, and kisses the hilt. Your ladyship smiles, and thus you begin: 'Pray, captain, be pleased to alight and walk in.' The captain salutes you with congee profound, And your ladyship curtseys half way to the ground. 'Kit, run to your master, and bid him come to us; I'm sure he'll be proud of the honour you do us; And, captain, you'll do us the favour to stay, And take a short dinner here with us to-day: You're heartily welcome; but as for good cheer, You come in the very worst time of the year; If I had expected so worthy a guest—' 'Lord, madam! your ladyship sure is in jest; You banter me, madam; the kingdom must grant—' 'You officers, captain, are so complaisant!'"— "Hist, hussey, I think I hear somebody coming "— "No madam: 'tis only Sir Arthur a-humming. To shorten my tale, (for I hate a long story,) The captain at dinner appears in his glory; The dean and the doctor[8] have humbled their pride, For the captain's entreated to sit by your side; And, because he's their betters, you carve for him first; The parsons for envy are ready to burst. The servants, amazed, are scarce ever able To keep off their eyes, as they wait at the table; And Molly and I have thrust in our nose, To peep at the captain in all his fine clo'es. Dear madam, be sure he's a fine spoken man, Do but hear on the clergy how glib his tongue ran; And, 'madam,' says he, 'if such dinners you give, You'll ne'er want for parsons as long as you live. I ne'er knew a parson without a good nose; But the devil's as welcome, wherever he goes: G—d d—n me! they bid us reform and repent, But, z—s! by their looks, they never keep Lent: Mister curate, for all your grave looks, I'm afraid You cast a sheep's eye on her ladyship's maid: I wish she would lend you her pretty white hand In mending your cassock, and smoothing your band: (For the Dean was so shabby, and look'd like a ninny, That the captain supposed he was curate to Jinny.) 'Whenever you see a cassock and gown, A hundred to one but it covers a clown. Observe how a parson comes into a room; G—d d—n me, he hobbles as bad as my groom; A scholard, when just from his college broke loose, Can hardly tell how to cry bo to a goose; Your Noveds, and Bluturks, and Omurs,[9] and stuff By G—, they don't signify this pinch of snuff. To give a young gentleman right education, The army's the only good school in the nation: My schoolmaster call'd me a dunce and a fool, But at cuffs I was always the cock of the school; I never could take to my book for the blood o' me, And the puppy confess'd he expected no good o' me. He caught me one morning coquetting his wife, But he maul'd me, I ne'er was so maul'd in my life: [10] So I took to the road, and, what's very odd, The first man I robb'd was a parson, by G—. Now, madam, you'll think it a strange thing to say, But the sight of a book makes me sick to this day. "Never since I was born did I hear so much wit, And, madam, I laugh'd till I thought I should split. So then you look'd scornful, and snift at the Dean, As who should say, 'Now, am I skinny[11] and lean?' But he durst not so much as once open his lips, And the doctor was plaguily down in the hips." Thus merciless Hannah ran on in her talk, Till she heard the Dean call, "Will your ladyship walk?" Her ladyship answers, "I'm just coming down:" Then, turning to Hannah, and forcing a frown, Although it was plain in her heart she was glad, Cried, "Hussey, why sure the wench is gone mad! How could these chimeras get into your brains!— Come hither and take this old gown for your pains. But the Dean, if this secret should come to his ears, Will never have done with his gibes and his jeers: For your life, not a word of the matter I charge ye: Give me but a barrack, a fig for the clergy."

[Footnote 1: A bawn was a place near the house, enclosed with mud or stone walls, to keep the cattle from being stolen in the night, now little used.—Dublin Edition.]

[Footnote 2: Sir Arthur Acheson, at whose seat this was written.]

[Footnote 3: John, Lord Carteret, then Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, since Earl of Granville, in right of his mother.]

[Footnote 4: The army in Ireland was lodged in strong buildings, called barracks. See "Verses on his own Death," and notes, vol. i, 247.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 5: A cant-word in Ireland for a poor country clergyman.]

[Footnote 6: My lady's waiting-woman.]

[Footnote 7: Two of Sir Arthur's managers.]

[Footnote 8: Dr. Jinny, a clergyman in the neighbourhood.]

[Footnote 9: Ovids, Plutarchs, Homers.]

[Footnote 10: These four lines were added by Swift in his own copy of the Miscellanies, edit. 1732.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 11: Nicknames for my lady, see ante, pp. 94, 95.—W. E. B.]



DRAPIER'S-HILL.[1] 1730

We give the world to understand, Our thriving Dean has purchased land; A purchase which will bring him clear Above his rent four pounds a-year; Provided to improve the ground, He will but add two hundred pound; And from his endless hoarded store, To build a house, five hundred more. Sir Arthur, too, shall have his will, And call the mansion Drapier's-Hill; That, when a nation, long enslaved, Forgets by whom it once was saved; When none the Drapier's praise shall sing, His signs aloft no longer swing, His medals and his prints forgotten, And all his handkerchiefs [2] are rotten, His famous letters made waste paper, This hill may keep the name of Drapier; In spite of envy, flourish still, And Drapier's vie with Cooper's-Hill.

[Footnote 1: The Dean gave this name to a farm called Drumlach, which he took of Sir Arthur Acheson, whose seat lay between that and Market-Hill; and intended to build a house upon it, but afterwards changed his mind.]

[Footnote 2: Medals were cast, many signs hung up, and handkerchiefs made, with devices in honour of the Dean, under the name of M. B. Drapier. See "Verses on his own death," vol. i.—W. E. B.]



THE DEAN'S REASONS

FOR NOT BUILDING AT DRAPIER'S-HILL

I will not build on yonder mount; And, should you call me to account, Consulting with myself, I find It was no levity of mind. Whate'er I promised or intended, No fault of mine, the scheme is ended; Nor can you tax me as unsteady, I have a hundred causes ready; All risen since that flattering time, When Drapier's-Hill appear'd in rhyme. I am, as now too late I find, The greatest cully of mankind; The lowest boy in Martin's school May turn and wind me like a fool. How could I form so wild a vision, To seek, in deserts, Fields Elysian? To live in fear, suspicion, variance, With thieves, fanatics, and barbarians? But here my lady will object; Your deanship ought to recollect, That, near the knight of Gosford[1] placed, Whom you allow a man of taste, Your intervals of time to spend With so conversable a friend, It would not signify a pin Whatever climate you were in. 'Tis true, but what advantage comes To me from all a usurer's plums; Though I should see him twice a-day, And am his neighbour 'cross the way: If all my rhetoric must fail To strike him for a pot of ale? Thus, when the learned and the wise Conceal their talents from our eyes, And from deserving friends withhold Their gifts, as misers do their gold; Their knowledge to themselves confined Is the same avarice of mind; Nor makes their conversation better, Than if they never knew a letter. Such is the fate of Gosford's knight, Who keeps his wisdom out of sight; Whose uncommunicative heart Will scarce one precious word impart: Still rapt in speculations deep, His outward senses fast asleep; Who, while I talk, a song will hum, Or with his fingers beat the drum; Beyond the skies transports his mind, And leaves a lifeless corpse behind. But, as for me, who ne'er could clamber high, To understand Malebranche or Cambray; Who send my mind (as I believe) less Than others do, on errands sleeveless; Can listen to a tale humdrum, And with attention read Tom Thumb; My spirits with my body progging, Both hand in hand together jogging; Sunk over head and ears in matter. Nor can of metaphysics smatter; Am more diverted with a quibble Than dream of words intelligible; And think all notions too abstracted Are like the ravings of a crackt head; What intercourse of minds can be Betwixt the knight sublime and me, If when I talk, as talk I must, It is but prating to a bust? Where friendship is by Fate design'd, It forms a union in the mind: But here I differ from the knight In every point, like black and white: For none can say that ever yet We both in one opinion met: Not in philosophy, or ale; In state affairs, or planting kale; In rhetoric, or picking straws; In roasting larks, or making laws; In public schemes, or catching flies; In parliaments, or pudding pies. The neighbours wonder why the knight Should in a country life delight, Who not one pleasure entertains To cheer the solitary scenes: His guests are few, his visits rare; Nor uses time, nor time will spare; Nor rides, nor walks, nor hunts, nor fowls, Nor plays at cards, or dice, or bowls; But seated in an easy-chair, Despises exercise and air. His rural walks he ne'er adorns; Here poor Pomona sits on thorns: And there neglected Flora settles Her bum upon a bed of nettles. Those thankless and officious cares I used to take in friends' affairs, From which I never could refrain, And have been often chid in vain; From these I am recover'd quite, At least in what regards the knight. Preserve his health, his store increase; May nothing interrupt his peace! But now let all his tenants round First milk his cows, and after, pound; Let every cottager conspire To cut his hedges down for fire; The naughty boys about the village His crabs and sloes may freely pillage; He still may keep a pack of knaves To spoil his work, and work by halves; His meadows may be dug by swine, It shall be no concern of mine; For why should I continue still To serve a friend against his will?

[Footnote 1: Sir Arthur Acheson's great-grandfather was Sir Archibald, of Gosford, in Scotland.]



THE REVOLUTION AT MARKET-HILL 1730

From distant regions Fortune sends An odd triumvirate of friends; Where Phoebus pays a scanty stipend, Where never yet a codling ripen'd: Hither the frantic goddess draws Three sufferers in a ruin'd cause: By faction banish'd, here unite, A Dean,[1] a Spaniard,[2] and a Knight;[3] Unite, but on conditions cruel; The Dean and Spaniard find it too well, Condemn'd to live in service hard; On either side his honour's guard: The Dean to guard his honour's back, Must build a castle at Drumlack;[4] The Spaniard, sore against his will, Must raise a fort at Market-Hill. And thus the pair of humble gentry At north and south are posted sentry; While in his lordly castle fixt, The knight triumphant reigns betwixt: And, what the wretches most resent, To be his slaves, must pay him rent; Attend him daily as their chief, Decant his wine, and carve his beef. O Fortune! 'tis a scandal for thee To smile on those who are least worthy: Weigh but the merits of the three, His slaves have ten times more than he. Proud baronet of Nova Scotia! The Dean and Spaniard must reproach ye: Of their two fames the world enough rings: Where are thy services and sufferings? What if for nothing once you kiss'd, Against the grain, a monarch's fist? What if, among the courtly tribe, You lost a place and saved a bribe? And then in surly mood came here, To fifteen hundred pounds a-year, And fierce against the Whigs harangu'd? You never ventured to be hang'd. How dare you treat your betters thus? Are you to be compared with us? Come, Spaniard, let us from our farms Call forth our cottagers to arms: Our forces let us both unite, Attack the foe at left and right; From Market-Hill's[5] exalted head, Full northward let your troops be led; While I from Drapier's-Mount descend, And to the south my squadrons bend. New-River Walk, with friendly shade, Shall keep my host in ambuscade; While you, from where the basin stands, Shall scale the rampart with your bands. Nor need we doubt the fort to win; I hold intelligence within. True, Lady Anne no danger fears, Brave as the Upton fan she wears;[6] Then, lest upon our first attack Her valiant arm should force us back, And we of all our hopes deprived; I have a stratagem contrived. By these embroider'd high-heel shoes She shall be caught as in a noose: So well contriv'd her toes to pinch, She'll not have power to stir an inch: These gaudy shoes must Hannah [7] place Direct before her lady's face; The shoes put on, our faithful portress Admits us in, to storm the fortress, While tortured madam bound remains, Like Montezume,[8] in golden chains; Or like a cat with walnuts shod, Stumbling at every step she trod. Sly hunters thus, in Borneo's isle, To catch a monkey by a wile, The mimic animal amuse; They place before him gloves and shoes; Which, when the brute puts awkward on: All his agility is gone; In vain to frisk or climb he tries; The huntsmen seize the grinning prize. But let us on our first assault Secure the larder and the vault; The valiant Dennis,[9] you must fix on, And I'll engage with Peggy Dixon:[10] Then, if we once can seize the key And chest that keeps my lady's tea, They must surrender at discretion! And, soon as we have gain'd possession, We'll act as other conquerors do, Divide the realm between us two; Then, (let me see,) we'll make the knight Our clerk, for he can read and write. But must not think, I tell him that, Like Lorimer [11] to wear his hat; Yet, when we dine without a friend, We'll place him at the lower end. Madam, whose skill does all in dress lie, May serve to wait on Mrs. Leslie; But, lest it might not be so proper That her own maid should over-top her, To mortify the creature more, We'll take her heels five inches lower. For Hannah, when we have no need of her, 'Twill be our interest to get rid of her; And when we execute our plot, 'Tis best to hang her on the spot; As all your politicians wise, Dispatch the rogues by whom they rise.

[Footnote 1: Dr. Swift.]

[Footnote 2: Colonel Henry Leslie, who served and lived long in Spain.—Dublin Edition.]

[Footnote 3: Sir Arthur Acheson.]

[Footnote 4: The Irish name of a farm the Dean took of Sir Arthur Acheson, and was to build on, but changed his mind, and called it Drapier's Hill. See the poem so named, and "The Dean's Reasons for not building at Drapier's-Hill," ante, p.107. —W. E. B.]

[Footnote 5: A village near Sir Arthur Acheson's.]

[Footnote 6: A parody on the phrase, "As brave as his sword."—Scott.]

[Footnote 7: My lady's waiting-maid.]

[Footnote 8: Montezuma or Mutezuma, the last Emperor of Mexico and the richest, taken prisoner by Hernando Cortes, about 1511, who also obtained possession of the whole empire. Hakluyt's "Navigations," etc., vols. viii, ix.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 9: The butler.]

[Footnote 10: The housekeeper.]

[Footnote 11: The agent.]



ROBIN AND HARRY.[1] 1730

Robin to beggars with a curse, Throws the last shilling in his purse; And when the coachman comes for pay, The rogue must call another day. Grave Harry, when the poor are pressing Gives them a penny and God's blessing; But always careful of the main, With twopence left, walks home in rain. Robin from noon to night will prate, Run out in tongue, as in estate; And, ere a twelvemonth and a day, Will not have one new thing to say. Much talking is not Harry's vice; He need not tell a story twice: And, if he always be so thrifty, His fund may last to five-and-fifty. It so fell out that cautious Harry, As soldiers use, for love must marry, And, with his dame, the ocean cross'd; (All for Love, or the World well Lost!) [2] Repairs a cabin gone to ruin, Just big enough to shelter two in; And in his house, if anybody come, Will make them welcome to his modicum Where Goody Julia milks the cows, And boils potatoes for her spouse; Or darns his hose, or mends his breeches, While Harry's fencing up his ditches. Robin, who ne'er his mind could fix, To live without a coach-and-six, To patch his broken fortunes, found A mistress worth five thousand pound; Swears he could get her in an hour, If gaffer Harry would endow her; And sell, to pacify his wrath, A birth-right for a mess of broth. Young Harry, as all Europe knows, Was long the quintessence of beaux; But, when espoused, he ran the fate That must attend the married state; From gold brocade and shining armour, Was metamorphosed to a farmer; His grazier's coat with dirt besmear'd; Nor twice a-week will shave his beard. Old Robin, all his youth a sloven, At fifty-two, when he grew loving, Clad in a coat of paduasoy, A flaxen wig, and waistcoat gay, Powder'd from shoulder down to flank, In courtly style addresses Frank; Twice ten years older than his wife, Is doom'd to be a beau for life; Supplying those defects by dress, Which I must leave the world to guess.

[Footnote 1: A lively account of these two gentlemen occurs in Dr. King's Anecdotes of his Own Times, p. 137 et seq., who confirms the peculiarities which Swift has enumerated in the text.—Scott.]

[Footnote 2: The title of Dryden's Play, founded on the story of Antony and Cleopatra.—W. E. B.]



A PANEGYRIC ON THE DEAN

IN THE PERSON OF A LADY IN THE NORTH [l] 1730

Resolved my gratitude to show, Thrice reverend Dean, for all I owe, Too long I have my thanks delay'd; Your favours left too long unpaid; But now, in all our sex's name, My artless Muse shall sing your fame. Indulgent you to female kind, To all their weaker sides are blind: Nine more such champions as the Dean Would soon restore our ancient reign; How well to win the ladies' hearts, You celebrate their wit and parts! How have I felt my spirits raised, By you so oft, so highly praised! Transform'd by your convincing tongue To witty, beautiful, and young, I hope to quit that awkward shame, Affected by each vulgar dame, To modesty a weak pretence; And soon grow pert on men of sense; To show my face with scornful air; Let others match it if they dare. Impatient to be out of debt, O, may I never once forget The bard who humbly deigns to chuse Me for the subject of his Muse! Behind my back, before my nose, He sounds my praise in verse and prose. My heart with emulation burns, To make you suitable returns; My gratitude the world shall know; And see, the printer's boy below; Ye hawkers all, your voices lift; "A Panegyric on Dean Swift!" And then, to mend the matter still, "By Lady Anne of Market-Hill!"[2] I thus begin: My grateful Muse Salutes the Dean in different views; Dean, butler, usher, jester, tutor; Robert and Darby's[3] coadjutor; And, as you in commission sit, To rule the dairy next to Kit;[4] In each capacity I mean To sing your praise. And first as Dean: Envy must own, you understand your Precedence, and support your grandeur: Nor of your rank will bate an ace, Except to give Dean Daniel[5] place. In you such dignity appears, So suited to your state and years! With ladies what a strict decorum! With what devotion you adore 'em! Treat me with so much complaisance, As fits a princess in romance! By your example and assistance, The fellows learn to know their distance. Sir Arthur, since you set the pattern, No longer calls me snipe and slattern, Nor dares he, though he were a duke, Offend me with the least rebuke. Proceed we to your preaching [5] next! How nice you split the hardest text! How your superior learning shines Above our neighbouring dull divines! At Beggar's Opera not so full pit Is seen as when you mount our pulpit. Consider now your conversation: Regardful of your age and station, You ne'er were known by passion stirr'd To give the least offensive word: But still, whene'er you silence break, Watch every syllable you speak: Your style so clear, and so concise, We never ask to hear you twice. But then a parson so genteel, So nicely clad from head to heel; So fine a gown, a band so clean, As well become St. Patrick's Dean, Such reverential awe express, That cowboys know you by your dress! Then, if our neighbouring friends come here How proud are we when you appear, With such address and graceful port, As clearly shows you bred at court! Now raise your spirits, Mr. Dean, I lead you to a nobler scene. When to the vault you walk in state, In quality of butler's [6] mate; You next to Dennis [7] bear the sway: To you we often trust the key: Nor can he judge with all his art So well, what bottle holds a quart: What pints may best for bottles pass Just to give every man his glass: When proper to produce the best; And what may serve a common guest. With Dennis you did ne'er combine, Not you, to steal your master's wine, Except a bottle now and then, To welcome brother serving-men; But that is with a good design, To drink Sir Arthur's health and mine, Your master's honour to maintain: And get the like returns again. Your usher's[8] post must next be handled: How blest am I by such a man led! Under whose wise and careful guardship I now despise fatigue and hardship, Familiar grown to dirt and wet, Though draggled round, I scorn to fret: From you my chamber damsels learn My broken hose to patch and darn. Now as a jester I accost you; Which never yet one friend has lost you. You judge so nicely to a hair, How far to go, and when to spare; By long experience grown so wise, Of every taste to know the size; There's none so ignorant or weak To take offence at what you speak.[9] Whene'er you joke, 'tis all a case Whether with Dermot, or his grace; With Teague O'Murphy, or an earl; A duchess, or a kitchen girl. With such dexterity you fit Their several talents with your wit, That Moll the chambermaid can smoke, And Gahagan[10] take every joke. I now become your humble suitor To let me praise you as my tutor.[11] Poor I, a savage[12] bred and born, By you instructed every morn, Already have improved so well, That I have almost learnt to spell: The neighbours who come here to dine, Admire to hear me speak so fine. How enviously the ladies look, When they surprise me at my book! And sure as they're alive at night, As soon as gone will show their spight: Good lord! what can my lady mean, Conversing with that rusty Dean! She's grown so nice, and so penurious,[13] With Socrates and Epicurius! How could she sit the livelong day, Yet never ask us once to play? But I admire your patience most; That when I'm duller than a post, Nor can the plainest word pronounce, You neither fume, nor fret, nor flounce; Are so indulgent, and so mild, As if I were a darling child. So gentle is your whole proceeding, That I could spend my life in reading. You merit new employments daily: Our thatcher, ditcher, gardener, baily. And to a genius so extensive No work is grievous or offensive: Whether your fruitful fancy lies To make for pigs convenient styes; Or ponder long with anxious thought To banish rats that haunt our vault: Nor have you grumbled, reverend Dean, To keep our poultry sweet and clean; To sweep the mansion-house they dwell in, And cure the rank unsavoury smelling. Now enter as the dairy handmaid: Such charming butter [14] never man made. Let others with fanatic face Talk of their milk for babes of grace; From tubs their snuffling nonsense utter; Thy milk shall make us tubs of butter. The bishop with his foot may burn it,[15] But with his hand the Dean can churn it. How are the servants overjoy'd To see thy deanship thus employ'd! Instead of poring on a book, Providing butter for the cook! Three morning hours you toss and shake The bottle till your fingers ache; Hard is the toil, nor small the art, The butter from the whey to part: Behold a frothy substance rise; Be cautious or your bottle flies. The butter comes, our fears are ceased; And out you squeeze an ounce at least. Your reverence thus, with like success, (Nor is your skill or labour less,) When bent upon some smart lampoon, Will toss and turn your brain till noon; Which in its jumblings round the skull, Dilates and makes the vessel full: While nothing comes but froth at first, You think your giddy head will burst; But squeezing out four lines in rhyme, Are largely paid for all your time. But you have raised your generous mind To works of more exalted kind. Palladio was not half so skill'd in The grandeur or the art of building. Two temples of magnific size Attract the curious traveller's eyes, That might be envied by the Greeks; Raised up by you in twenty weeks: Here gentle goddess Cloacine Receives all offerings at her shrine. In separate cells, the he's and she's, Here pay their vows on bended knees: For 'tis profane when sexes mingle, And every nymph must enter single; And when she feels an inward motion, Come fill'd with reverence and devotion. The bashful maid, to hide her blush, Shall creep no more behind a bush; Here unobserved she boldly goes, As who should say, to pluck a rose,[16] Ye, who frequent this hallow'd scene, Be not ungrateful to the Dean; But duly, ere you leave your station, Offer to him a pure libation, Or of his own or Smedley's lay, Or billet-doux, or lock of hay: And, O! may all who hither come, Return with unpolluted thumb! Yet, when your lofty domes I praise I sigh to think of ancient days. Permit me then to raise my style, And sweetly moralize a-while. Thee, bounteous goddess Cloacine, To temples why do we confine? Forbid in open air to breathe, Why are thine altars fix'd beneath? When Saturn ruled the skies alone, (That golden age to gold unknown,) This earthly globe, to thee assign'd, Received the gifts of all mankind. Ten thousand altars smoking round, Were built to thee with offerings crown'd; And here thy daily votaries placed Their sacrifice with zeal and haste: The margin of a purling stream Sent up to thee a grateful steam; Though sometimes thou wert pleased to wink, If Naiads swept them from the brink: Or where appointing lovers rove, The shelter of a shady grove; Or offer'd in some flowery vale, Were wafted by a gentle gale, There many a flower abstersive grew, Thy favourite flowers of yellow hue; The crocus and the daffodil, The cowslip soft, and sweet jonquil. But when at last usurping Jove Old Saturn from his empire drove, Then gluttony, with greasy paws Her napkin pinn'd up to her jaws, With watery chops, and wagging chin, Braced like a drum her oily skin; Wedged in a spacious elbow-chair, And on her plate a treble share, As if she ne'er could have enough, Taught harmless man to cram and stuff. She sent her priests in wooden shoes From haughty Gaul to make ragouts; Instead of wholesome bread and cheese, To dress their soups and fricassees; And, for our home-bred British cheer, Botargo, catsup, and caviare. This bloated harpy, sprung from hell, Confined thee, goddess, to a cell: Sprung from her womb that impious line, Contemners of thy rites divine. First, lolling Sloth, in woollen cap, Taking her after-dinner nap: Pale Dropsy, with a sallow face, Her belly burst, and slow her pace: And lordly Gout, wrapt up in fur, And wheezing Asthma, loth to stir: Voluptuous Ease, the child of wealth, Infecting thus our hearts by stealth. None seek thee now in open air, To thee no verdant altars rear; But, in their cells and vaults obscene, Present a sacrifice unclean; From whence unsavoury vapours rose, Offensive to thy nicer nose. Ah! who, in our degenerate days, As nature prompts, his offering pays? Here nature never difference made Between the sceptre and the spade. Ye great ones, why will ye disdain To pay your tribute on the plain? Why will you place in lazy pride Your altars near your couches' side: When from the homeliest earthen ware Are sent up offerings more sincere, Than where the haughty duchess locks Her silver vase in cedar box? Yet some devotion still remains Among our harmless northern swains, Whose offerings, placed in golden ranks, Adorn our crystal rivers' banks; Nor seldom grace the flowery downs, With spiral tops and copple [27] crowns; Or gilding in a sunny morn The humble branches of a thorn. So poets sing, with golden bough The Trojan hero paid his vow.[28] Hither, by luckless error led, The crude consistence oft I tread; Here when my shoes are out of case, Unweeting gild the tarnish'd lace; Here, by the sacred bramble tinged, My petticoat is doubly fringed. Be witness for me, nymph divine, I never robb'd thee with design; Nor will the zealous Hannah pout To wash thy injured offering out. But stop, ambitious Muse, in time, Nor dwell on subjects too sublime. In vain on lofty heels I tread, Aspiring to exalt my head; With hoop expanded wide and light, In vain I 'tempt too high a flight. Me Phoebus [29] in a midnight dream [30] Accosting, said, "Go shake your cream [31] Be humbly-minded, know your post; Sweeten your tea, and watch your toast. Thee best befits a lowly style; Teach Dennis how to stir the guile;[32] With Peggy Dixon[33] thoughtful sit, Contriving for the pot and spit. Take down thy proudly swelling sails, And rub thy teeth and pare thy nails; At nicely carving show thy wit; But ne'er presume to eat a bit: Turn every way thy watchful eye, And every guest be sure to ply: Let never at your board be known An empty plate, except your own. Be these thy arts;[34] nor higher aim Than what befits a rural dame. "But Cloacina, goddess bright, Sleek——claims her as his right; And Smedley,[35] flower of all divines, Shall sing the Dean in Smedley's lines."

[Footnote 1: The Lady of Sir Arthur Acheson.]

[Footnote 2: A village near Sir Arthur Acheson's house where the author passed two summers.—Dublin Edition.]

[Footnote 3: The names of two overseers.]

[Footnote 4: My lady's footman.]

[Footnote 4: Dr. Daniel, Dean of Down, who wrote several poems.]

[Footnote 5: The author preached but once while he was there.]

[Footnote 6: He sometimes used to direct the butler.]

[Footnote 7: The butler.]

[Footnote 8: He sometimes used to walk with the lady. See ante, p. 96.]

[Footnote 9: The neighbouring ladies were no great understanders of raillery.]

[Footnote 10: The clown that cut down the old thorn at Market-Hill.]

[Footnote 11: See ante, "My Lady's Lamentation," p. 97.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 12: Lady Acheson was daughter of Philip Savage, M. P. for Wexford, and Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 13: Understood here as dainty, particular.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 14: A way of making butter for breakfast, by filling a bottle with cream, and shaking it till the butter comes.]

[Footnote 15: It is a common saying, when the milk burns, that the devil or the bishop has set his foot in it.]

[Footnote 16: See vol. i, p. 203.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 27: Fragments of stone.]

[Footnote 28: Virg., "Aeneidos," lib. vi.]

[Footnote 29: "Cynthius aurem Vellit et admonuit."—VIRG., Ecloga vi, 3.]

[Footnote 30: "Post mediam noctem visus, cum somnia vera."—HOR., Sat, I, x, 33.]

[Footnote 31: In the bottle to make butter.]

[Footnote 32: The quantity of ale or beer brewed at one time.]

[Footnote 33: Mrs. Dixon, the housekeeper.]

[Footnote 34: "Hac tibi erunt artes."—VIRG., Aen., vi, 852.]

[Footnote 35: A very stupid, insolent, factious, deformed, conceited person; a vile pretender to poetry, preferred by the Duke of Grafton for his wit.]



TWELVE ARTICLES[1]

I LEST it may more quarrels breed, I will never hear you read.

II By disputing, I will never, To convince you once endeavour.

III When a paradox you stick to, I will never contradict you.

IV When I talk and you are heedless, I will show no anger needless.

V When your speeches are absurd, I will ne'er object a word.

VI When you furious argue wrong, I will grieve and hold my tongue.

VII Not a jest or humorous story Will I ever tell before ye: To be chidden for explaining, When you quite mistake the meaning.

VIII Never more will I suppose, You can taste my verse or prose.

IX You no more at me shall fret, While I teach and you forget.

X You shall never hear me thunder, When you blunder on, and blunder.

XI Show your poverty of spirit, And in dress place all your merit; Give yourself ten thousand airs: That with me shall break no squares.[2]

XII Never will I give advice, Till you please to ask me thrice: Which if you in scorn reject, 'Twill be just as I expect.

Thus we both shall have our ends, And continue special friends.

[Footnote 1: Addressed to Lady Acheson.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: That is, will do no harm—we shall not disagree. "At Blank-Blank Square;—for we will break no squares By naming streets." Don Juan, Canto XIII, st. xxv. See Mr. Coleridge's note on this; Byron's Works, edit. 1903.—W. E. B.]



POLITICAL POETRY

PARODY

ON THE RECORDER OF BLESSINGTON'S ADDRESS TO QUEEN ANNE

Mr. William Crowe, Recorder of Blessington's Address to her Majesty, as copied from the London Gazette.

To the Queen's most Excellent Majesty,

The humble Address of the Sovereign, Recorder, Burgesses, and Freemen, of the Borough of Blessington.

May it please your Majesty, Though we stand almost last on the roll of boroughs of this your majesty's kingdom of Ireland, and therefore, in good manners to our elder brothers, press but late among the joyful crowd about your royal throne: yet we beg leave to assure your majesty, that we come behind none in our good affection to your sacred person and government; insomuch, that the late surprising accounts from Germany have filled us with a joy not inferior to any of our fellow-subjects.

We heard with transport that the English warmed the field to that degree, that thirty squadrons, part of the vanquished enemy, were forced to fly to water, not able to stand their fire, and drank their last draught in the Danube, for the waste they had before committed on its injured banks, thereby putting an end to their master's long-boasted victories: a glorious push indeed, and worthy a general of the Queen of England. And we are not a little pleased, to find several gentlemen in considerable posts of your majesty's army, who drew their first breath in this country, sharing in the good fortune of those who so effectually put in execution the command of your gallant, enterprizing general, whose twin-battles have, with his own title of Marlborough, given immortality to the otherwise perishing names of Schellenberg and Hogstete: actions that speak him born under stars as propitious to England as that he now wears, on both which he has so often reflected lustre, as to have now abundantly repaid the glory they once lent him. Nor can we but congratulate with a joy proportioned to the success of your majesty's fleet, our last campaign at sea, since by it we observe the French obliged to steer their wonted course for security, to their ports; and Gibraltar, the Spaniards' ancient defence, bravely stormed, possessed, and maintained by your majesty's subjects.

May the supplies for reducing the exorbitant power of France be such, as may soon turn your wreaths of laurel into branches of olive: that, after the toils of a just and honourable war, carried on by a confederacy of which your majesty is most truly, as of the faith, styled Defender, we may live to enjoy, under your majesty's auspicious government, the blessings of a profound and lasting peace; a peace beyond the power of him to violate, who, but for his own unreasonable conveniency, destructive always of his neighbours, never yet kept any. And, to complete our happiness, may your majesty again prove to your own family, what you have been so eminently to the true church, a nursing mother. So wish, and so pray, may it please your majesty, your majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, and devoted humble servants.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7     Next Part
Home - Random Browse