TO CHARLES MORDAUNT, EARL OF PETERBOROUGH
Mordanto fills the trump of fame, The Christian world his deeds proclaim, And prints are crowded with his name.
In journeys he outrides the post, Sits up till midnight with his host, Talks politics, and gives the toast.
Knows every prince in Europe's face, Flies like a squib from place to place, And travels not, but runs a race.
From Paris gazette a-la-main, This day arriv'd, without his train, Mordanto in a week from Spain.
A messenger comes all a-reek Mordanto at Madrid to seek; He left the town above a week.
Next day the post-boy winds his horn, And rides through Dover in the morn: Mordanto's landed from Leghorn.
Mordanto gallops on alone, The roads are with his followers strewn, This breaks a girth, and that a bone;
His body active as his mind, Returning sound in limb and wind, Except some leather lost behind.
A skeleton in outward figure, His meagre corps, though full of vigour, Would halt behind him, were it bigger.
So wonderful his expedition, When you have not the least suspicion, He's with you like an apparition.
Shines in all climates like a star; In senates bold, and fierce in war; A land commander, and a tar:
Heroic actions early bred in, Ne'er to be match'd in modern reading, But by his namesake, Charles of Sweden.
[Footnote 1: Who in the year 1705 took Barcelona, and in the winter following with only 280 horse and 900 foot enterprized and accomplished the conquest of Valentia.—Pope.
"—he whose lightning pierc'd th'Iberian lines, Now forms my quincunx, and now ranks my vines, Or tames the genius of the stubborn plain Almost as quickly as he conquer'd Spain." POPE, Imitations of Horace, ii, Sat. 1.
Lord Peterborough seems to have been equally famous for his skill in cookery. See note to above Satire, Pope's Works, edit. Elwin and Courthope, iii, 298.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: See Voltaire's "History of Charles the Twelfth of Sweden." "He left the name at which the world grew pale, To point a moral or adorn a tale." JOHNSON, Vanity of Human Wishes.]
ON THE UNION
The queen has lately lost a part Of her ENTIRELY-ENGLISH heart, For want of which, by way of botch, She pieced it up again with SCOTCH. Blest revolution! which creates Divided hearts, united states! See how the double nation lies, Like a rich coat with skirts of frize: As if a man, in making posies, Should bundle thistles up with roses. Who ever yet a union saw Of kingdoms without faith or law? Henceforward let no statesman dare A kingdom to a ship compare; Lest he should call our commonweal A vessel with a double keel: Which, just like ours, new rigg'd and mann'd, And got about a league from land, By change of wind to leeward side, The pilot knew not how to guide. So tossing faction will o'erwhelm Our crazy double-bottom'd realm.
[Footnote 1: The motto on Queen Anne's coronation medal.—N.]
[Footnote 2: I.e., Differing in religion and law.]
ON MRS. BIDDY FLOYD;
OR, THE RECEIPT TO FORM A BEAUTY. 1707
When Cupid did his grandsire Jove entreat To form some Beauty by a new receipt, Jove sent, and found, far in a country scene, Truth, innocence, good nature, look serene: From which ingredients first the dext'rous boy Pick'd the demure, the awkward, and the coy. The Graces from the court did next provide Breeding, and wit, and air, and decent pride: These Venus cleans'd from ev'ry spurious grain Of nice coquet, affected, pert, and vain. Jove mix'd up all, and the best clay employ'd; Then call'd the happy composition FLOYD.
(TO SWIFT'S VERSES ON BIDDY FLOYD); OR, MRS. CLUDD
Venus one day, as story goes, But for what reason no man knows, In sullen mood and grave deport, Trudged it away to Jove's high court; And there his Godship did entreat To look out for his best receipt: And make a monster strange and odd, Abhorr'd by man and every god. Jove, ever kind to all the fair, Nor e'er refused a lady's prayer, Straight oped 'scrutoire, and forth he took A neatly bound and well-gilt book; Sure sign that nothing enter'd there, But what was very choice and rare. Scarce had he turn'd a page or two,— It might be more, for aught I knew; But, be the matter more or less, 'Mong friends 'twill break no squares, I guess. Then, smiling, to the dame quoth he, Here's one will fit you to a T. But, as the writing doth prescribe, 'Tis fit the ingredients we provide. Away he went, and search'd the stews, And every street about the Mews; Diseases, impudence, and lies, Are found and brought him in a trice. From Hackney then he did provide, A clumsy air and awkward pride; From lady's toilet next he brought Noise, scandal, and malicious thought. These Jove put in an old close-stool, And with them mix'd the vain, the fool. But now came on his greatest care, Of what he should his paste prepare; For common clay or finer mould Was much too good, such stuff to hold. At last he wisely thought on mud; So raised it up, and call'd it—Cludd. With this, the lady well content, Low curtsey'd, and away she went.
TO THE HONOURABLE MRS. FINCH, UNDER HER NAME OF ARDELIA
Phoebus, now short'ning every shade, Up to the northern tropic came, And thence beheld a lovely maid, Attending on a royal dame.
The god laid down his feeble rays, Then lighted from his glitt'ring coach; But fenc'd his head with his own bays, Before he durst the nymph approach.
Under those sacred leaves, secure From common lightning of the skies, He fondly thought he might endure The flashes of Ardelia's eyes.
The nymph, who oft had read in books Of that bright god whom bards invoke, Soon knew Apollo by his looks, And guess'd his business ere he spoke.
He, in the old celestial cant, Confess'd his flame, and swore by Styx, Whate'er she would desire, to grant— But wise Ardelia knew his tricks.
Ovid had warn'd her to beware Of strolling gods, whose usual trade is, Under pretence of taking air, To pick up sublunary ladies.
Howe'er, she gave no flat denial, As having malice in her heart; And was resolv'd upon a trial, To cheat the god in his own art.
"Hear my request," the virgin said; "Let which I please of all the Nine Attend, whene'er I want their aid, Obey my call, and only mine."
By vow oblig'd, by passion led, The god could not refuse her prayer: He way'd his wreath thrice o'er her head, Thrice mutter'd something to the air.
And now he thought to seize his due; But she the charm already try'd: Thalia heard the call, and flew To wait at bright Ardelia's side.
On sight of this celestial prude, Apollo thought it vain to stay; Nor in her presence durst be rude, But made his leg and went away.
He hop'd to find some lucky hour, When on their queen the Muses wait; But Pallas owns Ardelia's power: For vows divine are kept by Fate.
Then, full of rage, Apollo spoke: "Deceitful nymph! I see thy art; And, though I can't my gift revoke, I'll disappoint its nobler part.
"Let stubborn pride possess thee long, And be thou negligent of fame; With ev'ry Muse to grace thy song, May'st thou despise a poet's name!
"Of modest poets be thou first; To silent shades repeat thy verse, Till Fame and Echo almost burst, Yet hardly dare one line rehearse.
"And last, my vengeance to compleat, May you descend to take renown, Prevail'd on by the thing you hate, A Whig! and one that wears a gown!"
[Footnote 1: Afterwards Countess of Winchelsea.—Scott. See Journal to Stella Aug. 7, 1712. The Countess was one of Swift's intimate friends and correspondents. See "Prose Works," xi, 121.—W. E. B.]
ANSWER TO LINES FROM MAY FAIR
NOW FIRST PUBLISHED
In pity to the empty'ng Town, Some God May Fair invented, When Nature would invite us down, To be by Art prevented.
What a corrupted taste is ours When milk maids in mock state Instead of garlands made of Flowers Adorn their pails with plate.
So are the joys which Nature yields Inverted in May Fair, In painted cloth we look for fields, And step in Booths for air.
Here a Dog dancing on his hams And puppets mov'd by wire, Do far exceed your frisking lambs, Or song of feather'd quire.
V Howe'er, such verse as yours I grant Would be but too inviting: Were fair Ardelia not my Aunt, Or were it Worsley's writing.
[Footnote 1: Some ladies, among whom were Mrs. Worsley and Mrs. Finch, to the latter of whom Swift addressed, under the name of Ardelia, the preceding poem, appear to have written verses to him from May Fair, offering him such temptations as that fashionable locality supplied to detain him from the country and its pleasures: and thus he replies.—Forster.]
[Footnote 1: There is some playful allusion in this last stanza, not now decipherable.—Forster.]
BUILT FROM THE RUINS OF WHITEHALL THAT WAS BURNT, 1703
In times of old, when Time was young, And poets their own verses sung, A verse would draw a stone or beam, That now would overload a team; Lead 'em a dance of many a mile, Then rear 'em to a goodly pile. Each number had its diff'rent power; Heroic strains could build a tower; Sonnets and elegies to Chloris, Might raise a house about two stories; A lyric ode would slate; a catch Would tile; an epigram would thatch. Now Poets feel this art is lost, Both to their own and landlord's cost. Not one of all the tuneful throng Can hire a lodging for a song. For Jove consider'd well the case, That poets were a numerous race; And if they all had power to build, The earth would very soon be fill'd: Materials would be quickly spent, And houses would not give a rent. The God of Wealth was therefore made Sole patron of the building trade; Leaving to wits the spacious air, With license to build castles there: In right whereof their old pretence To lodge in garrets comes from thence. There is a worm by Phoebus bred, By leaves of mulberry is fed, Which unprovided where to dwell, Conforms itself to weave a cell; Then curious hands this texture take, And for themselves fine garments make. Meantime a pair of awkward things Grow to his back instead of wings; He flutters when he thinks he flies, Then sheds about his spawn and dies. Just such an insect of the age Is he that scribbles for the stage; His birth he does from Phoebus raise, And feeds upon imagin'd bays; Throws all his wit and hours away In twisting up an ill spun Play: This gives him lodging and provides A stock of tawdry shift besides. With the unravell'd shreds of which The under wits adorn their speech: And now he spreads his little fans, (For all the Muses Geese are Swans) And borne on Fancy's pinions, thinks He soars sublimest when he sinks: But scatt'ring round his fly-blows, dies; Whence broods of insect-poets rise. Premising thus, in modern way, The greater part I have to say; Sing, Muse, the house of Poet Van, In higher strain than we began. Van (for 'tis fit the reader know it) Is both a Herald and a Poet; No wonder then if nicely skill'd In each capacity to build. As Herald, he can in a day Repair a house gone to decay; Or by achievements, arms, device, Erect a new one in a trice; And poets, if they had their due, By ancient right are builders too: This made him to Apollo pray For leave to build—the poets way. His prayer was granted, for the God Consented with the usual nod. After hard throes of many a day Van was delivered of a play, Which in due time brought forth a house, Just as the mountain did the mouse. One story high, one postern door, And one small chamber on a floor, Born like a phoenix from the flame: But neither bulk nor shape the same; As animals of largest size Corrupt to maggots, worms, and flies; A type of modern wit and style, The rubbish of an ancient pile; So chemists boast they have a power, From the dead ashes of a flower Some faint resemblance to produce, But not the virtue, taste, nor juice. So modern rhymers strive to blast The poetry of ages past; Which, having wisely overthrown, They from its ruins build their own.
[Footnote 1: This is the earlier version of the Poem discovered by Forster at Narford, the residence of Mr. Fountaine. See Forster's "Life of Swift," p. 163.—W. E. B.]
BUILT FROM THE RUINS OF WHITEHALL THAT WAS BURNT, 1703
In times of old, when Time was young, And poets their own verses sung, A verse would draw a stone or beam, That now would overload a team; Lead 'em a dance of many a mile, Then rear 'em to a goodly pile. Each number had its diff'rent power; Heroic strains could build a tower; Sonnets, or elegies to Chloris, Might raise a house about two stories; A lyric ode would slate; a catch Would tile; an epigram would thatch. But, to their own or landlord's cost, Now Poets feel this art is lost. Not one of all our tuneful throng Can raise a lodging for a song. For Jove consider'd well the case, Observed they grew a numerous race; And should they build as fast as write, 'Twould ruin undertakers quite. This evil, therefore, to prevent, He wisely changed their element: On earth the God of Wealth was made Sole patron of the building trade; Leaving the Wits the spacious air, With license to build castles there: And 'tis conceived their old pretence To lodge in garrets comes from thence. Premising thus, in modern way, The better half we have to say; Sing, Muse, the house of Poet Van, In higher strains than we began. Van (for 'tis fit the reader know it) Is both a Herald and a Poet; No wonder then if nicely skill'd In both capacities to build. As Herald, he can in a day Repair a house gone to decay; Or, by achievements, arms, device, Erect a new one in a trice; And as a poet, he has skill To build in speculation still. "Great Jove!" he cried, "the art restore To build by verse as heretofore, And make my Muse the architect; What palaces shall we erect! No longer shall forsaken Thames Lament his old Whitehall in flames; A pile shall from its ashes rise, Fit to invade or prop the skies." Jove smiled, and, like a gentle god, Consenting with the usual nod, Told Van, he knew his talent best, And left the choice to his own breast. So Van resolved to write a farce; But, well perceiving wit was scarce, With cunning that defect supplies: Takes a French play as lawful prize; Steals thence his plot and ev'ry joke, Not once suspecting Jove would smoke; And (like a wag set down to write) Would whisper to himself, "a bite." Then, from this motley mingled style, Proceeded to erect his pile. So men of old, to gain renown, did Build Babel with their tongues confounded. Jove saw the cheat, but thought it best To turn the matter to a jest; Down from Olympus' top he slides, Laughing as if he'd burst his sides: Ay, thought the god, are these your tricks, Why then old plays deserve old bricks; And since you're sparing of your stuff, Your building shall be small enough. He spake, and grudging, lent his aid; Th'experienced bricks, that knew their trade, (As being bricks at second hand,) Now move, and now in order stand. The building, as the Poet writ, Rose in proportion to his wit— And first the prologue built a wall; So wide as to encompass all. The scene, a wood, produc'd no more Than a few scrubby trees before. The plot as yet lay deep; and so A cellar next was dug below; But this a work so hard was found, Two acts it cost him under ground. Two other acts, we may presume, Were spent in building each a room. Thus far advanc'd, he made a shift To raise a roof with act the fift. The epilogue behind did frame A place, not decent here to name. Now, Poets from all quarters ran, To see the house of brother Van; Looked high and low, walk'd often round; But no such house was to be found. One asks the watermen hard by, "Where may the Poet's palace lie?" Another of the Thames inquires, If he has seen its gilded spires? At length they in the rubbish spy A thing resembling a goose-pie. Thither in haste the Poets throng, And gaze in silent wonder long, Till one in raptures thus began To praise the pile and builder Van: "Thrice happy Poet! who may'st trail Thy house about thee like a snail: Or harness'd to a nag, at ease Take journeys in it like a chaise; Or in a boat whene'er thou wilt, Can'st make it serve thee for a tilt! Capacious house! 'tis own'd by all Thou'rt well contrived, tho' thou art small: For ev'ry Wit in Britain's isle May lodge within thy spacious pile. Like Bacchus thou, as Poets feign, Thy mother burnt, art born again, Born like a phoenix from the flame: But neither bulk nor shape the same; As animals of largest size Corrupt to maggots, worms, and flies; A type of modern wit and style, The rubbish of an ancient pile; So chemists boast they have a power, From the dead ashes of a flower Some faint resemblance to produce, But not the virtue, taste, or juice. So modern rhymers wisely blast The poetry of ages past; Which, after they have overthrown, They from its ruins build their own."
[Footnote 1: Here follows the later version of the poem, as printed in all editions of Swift's works.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Sir John Vanbrugh at that time held the office of Clarencieux king of arms.—Scott.]
[Footnote 3: Several of Vanbrugh's plays are taken from Moliere.—Scott. This is a very loose statement. That Vanbrugh was indebted for some of his plays to French sources is true; but the only one taken from Moliere was "The Mistake," adapted from "Le Depit Amoureux"; while his two best plays, "The Relapse" and "The Provoked Wife," were original.—W. E. B.]
BAUCIS AND PHILEMON
ON THE EVER-LAMENTED LOSS OF THE TWO YEW-TREES IN THE PARISH OF CHILTHORNE, SOMERSET. 1706. IMITATED FROM THE EIGHTH BOOK OF OVID
In ancient time, as story tells, The saints would often leave their cells, And stroll about, but hide their quality, To try good people's hospitality. It happen'd on a winter's night, As authors of the legend write, Two brother hermits, saints by trade, Taking their tour in masquerade, Came to a village hard by Rixham, Ragged and not a groat betwixt 'em. It rain'd as hard as it could pour, Yet they were forced to walk an hour From house to house, wet to the skin, Before one soul would let 'em in. They call'd at every door: "Good people, My comrade's blind, and I'm a creeple! Here we lie starving in the street, 'Twould grieve a body's heart to see't, No Christian would turn out a beast, In such a dreadful night at least; Give us but straw and let us lie In yonder barn to keep us dry." Thus in the stroller's usual cant, They begg'd relief, which none would grant. No creature valued what they said, One family was gone to bed: The master bawled out half asleep, "You fellows, what a noise you keep! So many beggars pass this way, We can't be quiet, night nor day; We cannot serve you every one; Pray take your answer, and be gone." One swore he'd send 'em to the stocks; A third could not forbear his mocks; But bawl'd as loud as he could roar "You're on the wrong side of the door!" One surly clown look't out and said, "I'll fling the p—pot on your head: You sha'nt come here, nor get a sous! You look like rogues would rob a house. Can't you go work, or serve the King? You blind and lame! 'Tis no such thing. That's but a counterfeit sore leg! For shame! two sturdy rascals beg! If I come down, I'll spoil your trick, And cure you both with a good stick." Our wand'ring saints, in woful state, Treated at this ungodly rate, Having thro' all the village past, To a small cottage came at last Where dwelt a good old honest ye'man, Call'd thereabout good man Philemon; Who kindly did the saints invite In his poor house to pass the night; And then the hospitable sire Bid Goody Baucis mend the fire; Whilst he from out the chimney took A flitch of bacon off the hook, And freely from the fattest side Cut out large slices to be fry'd; Which tost up in a pan with batter, And served up in an earthen platter, Quoth Baucis, "This is wholesome fare, Eat, honest friends, and never spare, And if we find our victuals fail, We can but make it out in ale." To a small kilderkin of beer, Brew'd for the good time of the year, Philemon, by his wife's consent, Stept with a jug, and made a vent, And having fill'd it to the brink, Invited both the saints to drink. When they had took a second draught, Behold, a miracle was wrought; For, Baucis with amazement found, Although the jug had twice gone round, It still was full up to the top, As they ne'er had drunk a drop. You may be sure so strange a sight, Put the old people in a fright: Philemon whisper'd to his wife, "These men are—Saints—I'll lay my life!" The strangers overheard, and said, "You're in the right—but be'nt afraid: No hurt shall come to you or yours: But for that pack of churlish boors, Not fit to live on Christian ground, They and their village shall be drown'd; Whilst you shall see your cottage rise, And grow a church before your eyes." Scarce had they spoke, when fair and soft, The roof began to mount aloft; Aloft rose ev'ry beam and rafter; The heavy wall went clambering after. The chimney widen'd, and grew higher, Became a steeple with a spire. The kettle to the top was hoist, And there stood fastened to a joist, But with the upside down, to show Its inclination for below: In vain; for a superior force Applied at bottom stops its course: Doom'd ever in suspense to dwell, 'Tis now no kettle, but a bell. The wooden jack, which had almost Lost by disuse the art to roast, A sudden alteration feels, Increas'd by new intestine wheels; But what adds to the wonder more, The number made the motion slower. The flyer, altho't had leaden feet, Would turn so quick you scarce could see't; But, now stopt by some hidden powers, Moves round but twice in twice twelve hours, While in the station of a jack, 'Twas never known to turn its back, A friend in turns and windings tried, Nor ever left the chimney's side. The chimney to a steeple grown, The jack would not be left alone; But, up against the steeple rear'd, Became a clock, and still adher'd; And still its love to household cares, By a shrill voice at noon declares, Warning the cookmaid not to burn That roast meat, which it cannot turn. The groaning-chair began to crawl, Like a huge insect, up the wall; There stuck, and to a pulpit grew, But kept its matter and its hue, And mindful of its ancient state, Still groans while tattling gossips prate. The mortar only chang'd its name, In its old shape a font became. The porringers, that in a row, Hung high, and made a glitt'ring show, To a less noble substance chang'd, Were now but leathern buckets rang'd. The ballads, pasted on the wall, Of Chevy Chase, and English Mall, Fair Rosamond, and Robin Hood, The little Children in the Wood, Enlarged in picture, size, and letter, And painted, lookt abundance better, And now the heraldry describe Of a churchwarden, or a tribe. A bedstead of the antique mode, Composed of timber many a load, Such as our grandfathers did use, Was metamorphos'd into pews; Which yet their former virtue keep By lodging folk disposed to sleep. The cottage, with such feats as these, Grown to a church by just degrees, The holy men desired their host To ask for what he fancied most. Philemon, having paused a while, Replied in complimental style: "Your goodness, more than my desert, Makes you take all things in good part: You've raised a church here in a minute, And I would fain continue in it; I'm good for little at my days, Make me the parson if you please." He spoke, and presently he feels His grazier's coat reach down his heels; The sleeves new border'd with a list, Widen'd and gather'd at his wrist, But, being old, continued just As threadbare, and as full of dust. A shambling awkward gait he took, With a demure dejected look, Talk't of his offerings, tythes, and dues, Could smoke and drink and read the news, Or sell a goose at the next town, Decently hid beneath his gown. Contriv'd to preach old sermons next, Chang'd in the preface and the text. At christ'nings well could act his part, And had the service all by heart; Wish'd women might have children fast, And thought whose sow had farrow'd last; Against dissenters would repine. And stood up firm for "right divine;" Carried it to his equals higher, But most obedient to the squire. Found his head fill'd with many a system; But classic authors,—he ne'er mist 'em. Thus having furbish'd up a parson, Dame Baucis next they play'd their farce on. Instead of homespun coifs, were seen Good pinners edg'd with colberteen; Her petticoat, transform'd apace, Became black satin, flounced with lace. "Plain Goody" would no longer down, 'Twas "Madam," in her grogram gown. Philemon was in great surprise, And hardly could believe his eyes. Amaz'd to see her look so prim, And she admir'd as much at him. Thus happy in their change of life, Were several years this man and wife: When on a day, which prov'd their last, Discoursing o'er old stories past, They went by chance, amidst their talk, To the churchyard, to take a walk; When Baucis hastily cry'd out, "My dear, I see your forehead sprout!"— "Sprout;" quoth the man; "what's this you tell us? I hope you don't believe me jealous! But yet, methinks, I feel it true, And really yours is budding too— Nay,—now I cannot stir my foot; It feels as if 'twere taking root." Description would but tire my Muse, In short, they both were turn'd to yews. Old Goodman Dobson of the Green Remembers he the trees has seen; He'll talk of them from noon till night, And goes with folk to show the sight; On Sundays, after evening prayer, He gathers all the parish there; Points out the place of either yew, Here Baucis, there Philemon, grew: Till once a parson of our town, To mend his barn, cut Baucis down; At which, 'tis hard to be believ'd How much the other tree was griev'd, Grew scrubby, dy'd a-top, was stunted, So the next parson stubb'd and burnt it.
[Footnote 1: I here give the original version of this poem, which Forster found in Swift's handwriting at Narford; and which has never been published. It is well known that, at Addison's suggestion, Swift made extensive changes in this, "one of the happiest of his poems," concerning which Forster says, in his "Life of Swift," at p. 165: "The poem, as printed, contains one hundred and seventy-eight lines; the poem, as I found it at Narford, has two hundred and thirty; and the changes in the latter bringing it into the condition of the former, by which only it has been thus far known, comprise the omission of ninety-six lines, the addition of forty-four, and the alteration of twenty-two. The question can now be discussed whether or not the changes were improvements, and, in my opinion, the decision must be adverse to Addison."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: The "village hard by Rixham" of the original has as little connection with "Chilthorne" as the "village down in Kent" of the altered version, and Swift had probably no better reason than his rhyme for either.—Forster.]
[Footnote 3: See the next poem for note on this line. Chevy Chase seems more suitable to the characters than the Joan of Arc of the altered version.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 4: A lace so called after the celebrated French Minister, M. Colbert Planche's "Costume," p. 395.—W. E. B.]
BAUCIS AND PHILEMON
ON THE EVER-LAMENTED LOSS OF THE TWO YEW-TREES IN THE PARISH OF CHILTHORNE, SOMERSET. 1706. IMITATED FROM THE EIGHTH BOOK OF OVID
In ancient times, as story tells, The saints would often leave their cells, And stroll about, but hide their quality, To try good people's hospitality. It happen'd on a winter night, As authors of the legend write, Two brother hermits, saints by trade, Taking their tour in masquerade, Disguis'd in tatter'd habits, went To a small village down in Kent; Where, in the strollers' canting strain, They begg'd from door to door in vain, Try'd ev'ry tone might pity win; But not a soul would let them in. Our wand'ring saints, in woful state, Treated at this ungodly rate, Having thro' all the village past, To a small cottage came at last Where dwelt a good old honest ye'man, Call'd in the neighbourhood Philemon; Who kindly did these saints invite In his poor hut to pass the night; And then the hospitable sire Bid Goody Baucis mend the fire; While he from out the chimney took A flitch of bacon off the hook, And freely from the fattest side Cut out large slices to be fry'd; Then stepp'd aside to fetch 'em drink, Fill'd a large jug up to the brink, And saw it fairly twice go round; Yet (what was wonderful) they found 'Twas still replenished to the top, As if they ne'er had touch'd a drop. The good old couple were amaz'd, And often on each other gaz'd; For both were frighten'd to the heart, And just began to cry, "What art!" Then softly turn'd aside, to view Whether the lights were burning blue. The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on't, Told them their calling and their errand: "Good folk, you need not be afraid, We are but saints," the hermits said; "No hurt shall come to you or yours: But for that pack of churlish boors, Not fit to live on Christian ground, They and their houses shall be drown'd; While you shall see your cottage rise, And grow a church before your eyes." They scarce had spoke, when fair and soft, The roof began to mount aloft; Aloft rose ev'ry beam and rafter; The heavy wall climb'd slowly after. The chimney widen'd, and grew higher Became a steeple with a spire. The kettle to the top was hoist, And there stood fasten'd to a joist, But with the upside down, to show Its inclination for below: In vain; for a superior force Applied at bottom stops its course: Doom'd ever in suspense to dwell, 'Tis now no kettle, but a bell. A wooden jack, which had almost Lost by disuse the art to roast, A sudden alteration feels, Increas'd by new intestine wheels; And, what exalts the wonder more, The number made the motion slower. The flyer, though it had leaden feet, Turn'd round so quick you scarce could see't; But, slacken'd by some secret power, Now hardly moves an inch an hour. The jack and chimney, near ally'd, Had never left each other's side; The chimney to a steeple grown, The jack would not be left alone; But, up against the steeple rear'd, Became a clock, and still adher'd; And still its love to household cares, By a shrill voice at noon, declares, Warning the cookmaid not to burn That roast meat, which it cannot turn. The groaning-chair began to crawl, Like an huge snail, half up the wall; There stuck aloft in public view, And with small change, a pulpit grew. The porringers, that in a row Hung high, and made a glitt'ring show, To a less noble substance chang'd, Were now but leathern buckets rang'd. The ballads, pasted on the wall, Of Joan of France, and English Mall, Fair Rosamond, and Robin Hood, The little Children in the Wood, Now seem'd to look abundance better, Improved in picture, size, and letter: And, high in order plac'd, describe The heraldry of ev'ry tribe. A bedstead of the antique mode, Compact of timber many a load, Such as our ancestors did use, Was metamorphos'd into pews; Which still their ancient nature keep By lodging folk disposed to sleep. The cottage, by such feats as these, Grown to a church by just degrees, The hermits then desired their host To ask for what he fancy'd most. Philemon, having paused a while, Return'd them thanks in homely style; Then said, "My house is grown so fine, Methinks, I still would call it mine. I'm old, and fain would live at ease; Make me the parson if you please." He spoke, and presently he feels His grazier's coat fall down his heels: He sees, yet hardly can believe, About each arm a pudding sleeve; His waistcoat to a cassock grew, And both assumed a sable hue; But, being old, continued just As threadbare, and as full of dust. His talk was now of tithes and dues: Could smoke his pipe, and read the news; Knew how to preach old sermons next, Vamp'd in the preface and the text; At christ'nings well could act his part, And had the service all by heart; Wish'd women might have children fast, And thought whose sow had farrow'd last; Against dissenters would repine, And stood up firm for "right divine;" Found his head fill'd with many a system; But classic authors,—he ne'er mist 'em. Thus having furbish'd up a parson, Dame Baucis next they play'd their farce on. Instead of homespun coifs, were seen Good pinners edg'd with colberteen; Her petticoat, transform'd apace, Became black satin, flounced with lace. "Plain Goody" would no longer down, 'Twas "Madam," in her grogram gown. Philemon was in great surprise, And hardly could believe his eyes. Amaz'd to see her look so prim, And she admir'd as much at him. Thus happy in their change of life, Were several years this man and wife: When on a day, which prov'd their last, Discoursing o'er old stories past, They went by chance, amidst their talk, To the churchyard to take a walk; When Baucis hastily cry'd out, "My dear, I see your forehead sprout!"— "Sprout;" quoth the man; "what's this you tell us? I hope you don't believe me jealous! But yet, methinks, I feel it true, And really yours is budding too—Nay,—now I cannot stir my foot; It feels as if 'twere taking root." Description would but tire my Muse, In short, they both were turn'd to yews. Old Goodman Dobson of the Green Remembers he the trees has seen; He'll talk of them from noon till night, And goes with folk to show the sight; On Sundays, after evening prayer, He gathers all the parish there; Points out the place of either yew, Here Baucis, there Philemon, grew: Till once a parson of our town, To mend his barn, cut Baucis down; At which, 'tis hard to be believ'd How much the other tree was griev'd, Grew scrubby, dy'd a-top, was stunted, So the next parson stubb'd and burnt it.
[Footnote 1: This is the version of the poem as altered by Swift in accordance with Addison's suggestions.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: La Pucelle d'Orleans. See "Hudibras," "Lady's Answer," verse 285, and note in Grey's edition, ii, 439.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: Mary Ambree, on whose exploits in Flanders the popular ballad was written. The line in the text is from "Hudibras," Part I, c. 2, 367, where she is compared with Trulla: "A bold virago, stout and tall, As Joan of France, or English Mall." The ballad is preserved in Percy's "Reliques of English Poetry," vol. ii, 239.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 4: The tribes of Israel were sometimes distinguished in country churches by the ensigns given to them by Jacob.—Dublin Edition.]
[Footnote 5: In the churchyard to fetch a walk.—Dublin Edition.]
THE HISTORY OF VANBRUGH'S HOUSE 1708
When Mother Cludd had rose from play, And call'd to take the cards away, Van saw, but seem'd not to regard, How Miss pick'd every painted card, And, busy both with hand and eye, Soon rear'd a house two stories high. Van's genius, without thought or lecture Is hugely turn'd to architecture: He view'd the edifice, and smiled, Vow'd it was pretty for a child: It was so perfect in its kind, He kept the model in his mind. But, when he found the boys at play And saw them dabbling in their clay, He stood behind a stall to lurk, And mark the progress of their work; With true delight observed them all Raking up mud to build a wall. The plan he much admired, and took The model in his table-book: Thought himself now exactly skill'd, And so resolved a house to build: A real house, with rooms and stairs, Five times at least as big as theirs; Taller than Miss's by two yards; Not a sham thing of play or cards: And so he did; for, in a while, He built up such a monstrous pile, That no two chairmen could be found Able to lift it from the ground. Still at Whitehall it stands in view, Just in the place where first it grew; There all the little schoolboys run, Envying to see themselves outdone. From such deep rudiments as these, Van is become, by due degrees, For building famed, and justly reckon'd, At court, Vitruvius the Second: No wonder, since wise authors show, That best foundations must be low: And now the duke has wisely ta'en him To be his architect at Blenheim. But raillery at once apart, If this rule holds in every art; Or if his grace were no more skill'd in The art of battering walls than building, We might expect to see next year A mouse-trap man chief engineer.
[Footnote 1: See ante, p. 51, "The Reverse."—W, E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Vitruvius Pollio, author of the treatise "De Architectura."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: Sir John Vanbrugh held the office of Comptroller-General of his majesty's works.—Scott.]
A GRUB-STREET ELEGY
ON THE SUPPOSED DEATH OF PARTRIDGE THE ALMANACK MAKER. 1708
Well; 'tis as Bickerstaff has guest, Though we all took it for a jest: Partridge is dead; nay more, he dy'd, Ere he could prove the good 'squire ly'd. Strange, an astrologer should die Without one wonder in the sky; Not one of all his crony stars To pay their duty at his hearse! No meteor, no eclipse appear'd! No comet with a flaming beard! The sun hath rose and gone to bed, Just as if Partridge were not dead; Nor hid himself behind the moon To make a dreadful night at noon. He at fit periods walks through Aries, Howe'er our earthly motion varies; And twice a-year he'll cut th' Equator, As if there had been no such matter. Some wits have wonder'd what analogy There is 'twixt cobbling and astrology; How Partridge made his optics rise From a shoe-sole to reach the skies. A list the cobbler's temples ties, To keep the hair out of his eyes; From whence 'tis plain the diadem That princes wear derives from them; And therefore crowns are now-a-days Adorn'd with golden stars and rays; Which plainly shows the near alliance 'Twixt cobbling and the planet's science. Besides, that slow-paced sign Boeoetes, As 'tis miscall'd, we know not who 'tis; But Partridge ended all disputes; He knew his trade, and call'd it boots. The horned moon, which heretofore Upon their shoes the Romans wore, Whose wideness kept their toes from corns, And whence we claim our shoeing-horns, Shows how the art of cobbling bears A near resemblance to the spheres. A scrap of parchment hung by geometry, (A great refiner in barometry,) Can, like the stars, foretell the weather; And what is parchment else but leather? Which an astrologer might use Either for almanacks or shoes. Thus Partridge, by his wit and parts, At once did practise both these arts: And as the boding owl (or rather The bat, because her wings are leather) Steals from her private cell by night, And flies about the candle-light; So learned Partridge could as well Creep in the dark from leathern cell, And in his fancy fly as far To peep upon a twinkling star. Besides, he could confound the spheres, And set the planets by the ears; To show his skill, he Mars could join To Venus in aspect malign; Then call in Mercury for aid, And cure the wounds that Venus made. Great scholars have in Lucian read, When Philip King of Greece was dead His soul and spirit did divide, And each part took a different side; One rose a star; the other fell Beneath, and mended shoes in Hell. Thus Partridge still shines in each art, The cobbling and star-gazing part, And is install'd as good a star As any of the Caesars are. Triumphant star! some pity show On cobblers militant below, Whom roguish boys, in stormy nights, Torment by pissing out their lights, Or through a chink convey their smoke, Enclosed artificers to choke. Thou, high exalted in thy sphere, May'st follow still thy calling there. To thee the Bull will lend his hide, By Phoebus newly tann'd and dry'd; For thee they Argo's hulk will tax, And scrape her pitchy sides for wax: Then Ariadne kindly lends Her braided hair to make thee ends; The points of Sagittarius' dart Turns to an awl by heavenly art; And Vulcan, wheedled by his wife, Will forge for thee a paring-knife. For want of room by Virgo's side, She'll strain a point, and sit astride, To take thee kindly in between; And then the Signs will be Thirteen.
[Footnote 1: For details of the humorous persecution of this impostor by Swift, see "Prose Works," vol. i, pp. 298 et seq.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Partridge was a cobbler.—Swift.]
[Footnote 3: See his Almanack.—Swift.]
[Footnote 4: Allusion to the crescent-shaped ornament of gold or silver which distinguished the wearer as a senator. "Appositam nigrae lunam subtexit alutae."—Juvenal, Sat. vii, 192; and Martial, i, 49, "Lunata nusquam pellis."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 5: Luciani Opera, xi, 17.]
[Footnote 6: "ipse tibi iam brachia contrahit ardens Scorpios, et coeli iusta plus parte reliquit." VIRG., Georg., i, 34.]
Here, five feet deep, lies on his back A cobbler, starmonger, and quack; Who to the stars, in pure good will, Does to his best look upward still. Weep, all you customers that use His pills, his almanacks, or shoes; And you that did your fortunes seek, Step to his grave but once a-week; This earth, which bears his body's print, You'll find has so much virtue in't, That I durst pawn my ears, 'twill tell Whate'er concerns you full as well, In physic, stolen goods, or love, As he himself could, when above.
A DESCRIPTION OF THE MORNING
WRITTEN IN APRIL 1709, AND FIRST PRINTED IN "THE TATLER"
Now hardly here and there an hackney-coach Appearing, show'd the ruddy morn's approach. Now Betty from her master's bed had flown, And softly stole to discompose her own; The slip-shod 'prentice from his master's door Had pared the dirt, and sprinkled round the floor. Now Moll had whirl'd her mop with dext'rous airs, Prepared to scrub the entry and the stairs. The youth with broomy stumps began to trace The kennel's edge, where wheels had worn the place. The small-coal man was heard with cadence deep, Till drown'd in shriller notes of chimney-sweep: Duns at his lordship's gate began to meet; And brickdust Moll had scream'd through half the street. The turnkey now his flock returning sees, Duly let out a-nights to steal for fees: The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands, And schoolboys lag with satchels in their hands.
[Footnote 1: No. 9. See the excellent edition in six vols., with notes, 1786.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: To find old nails.—Faulkner.]
[Footnote 3: To meet the charges levied upon them by the keeper of the prison.—W. E. B.]
A DESCRIPTION OF A CITY SHOWER
WRITTEN IN OCT., 1710; AND FIRST PRINTED IN "THE TATLER," NO. 238
Careful observers may foretell the hour, (By sure prognostics,) when to dread a shower. While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o'er Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more. Returning home at night, you'll find the sink Strike your offended sense with double stink. If you be wise, then, go not far to dine: You'll spend in coach-hire more than save in wine. A coming shower your shooting corns presage, Old a-ches throb, your hollow tooth will rage; Sauntering in coffeehouse is Dulman seen; He damns the climate, and complains of spleen. Meanwhile the South, rising with dabbled wings, A sable cloud athwart the welkin flings, That swill'd more liquor than it could contain, And, like a drunkard, gives it up again. Brisk Susan whips her linen from the rope, While the first drizzling shower is borne aslope; Such is that sprinkling which some careless quean Flirts on you from her mop, but not so clean: You fly, invoke the gods; then, turning, stop To rail; she singing, still whirls on her mop. Not yet the dust had shunn'd the unequal strife, But, aided by the wind, fought still for life, And wafted with its foe by violent gust, 'Twas doubtful which was rain, and which was dust. Ah! where must needy poet seek for aid, When dust and rain at once his coat invade? Sole coat! where dust, cemented by the rain, Erects the nap, and leaves a cloudy stain! Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down, Threatening with deluge this devoted town. To shops in crowds the daggled females fly, Pretend to cheapen goods, but nothing buy. The Templar spruce, while every spout's abroach, Stays till 'tis fair, yet seems to call a coach. The tuck'd-up sempstress walks with hasty strides, While streams run down her oil'd umbrella's sides. Here various kinds, by various fortunes led, Commence acquaintance underneath a shed. Triumphant Tories, and desponding Whigs, Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs. Box'd in a chair the beau impatient sits, While spouts run clattering o'er the roof by fits, And ever and anon with frightful din The leather sounds; he trembles from within. So when Troy chairmen bore the wooden steed, Pregnant with Greeks impatient to be freed, (Those bully Greeks, who, as the moderns do, Instead of paying chairmen, ran them through,) Laocoon struck the outside with his spear, And each imprison'd hero quaked for fear. Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow, And bear their trophies with them as they go: Filth of all hues and odour, seem to tell What street they sail'd from, by their sight and smell. They, as each torrent drives with rapid force, From Smithfield to St. Pulchre's shape their course, And in huge confluence join'd at Snowhill ridge, Fall from the conduit prone to Holborn bridge. Sweeping from butchers' stalls, dung, guts, and blood, Drown'd puppies, stinking sprats, all drench'd in mud, Dead cats, and turnip-tops, come tumbling down the flood.
[Footnote 1: Swift was very proud of the "Shower," and so refers to it in the Journal to Stella. See "Prose Works," vol. ii, p. 33: "They say 'tis the best thing I ever writ, and I think so too. I suppose the Bishop of Clogher will show it you. Pray tell me how you like it." Again, p. 41: "there never was such a Shower since Danaee's," etc.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: "Aches" is two syllables, but modern printers, who had lost the right pronunciation, have aches as one syllable; and then to complete the metre have foisted in "aches will throb." Thus, what the poet and the linguist wish to preserve, is altered and finally lost. See Disraeli's "Curiosities of Literature," vol. i, title "Errata," p. 81, edit. 1858. A good example occurs in "Hudibras," Part III, canto 2, line 407, where persons are mentioned who "Can by their Pangs and Aches find All turns and changes of the wind."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: "'Twas doubtful which was sea and which was sky." GARTH'S Dispensary.]
[Footnote 4: Originally thus, but altered when Pope published the "Miscellanies": "His only coat, where dust confused with rain, Roughens the nap, and leaves a mingled stain."—Scott.]
[Footnote 5: Alluding to the change of ministry at that time.]
[Footnote 6: Virg., "Aeneid," lib. ii.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 7: Fleet Ditch, in which Pope laid the famous diving scene in "The Dunciad"; celebrated also by Gay in his "Trivia." There is a view of Fleet Ditch as an illustration to "The Dunciad" in Warburton's edition of Pope, 8vo, 1751.—W. E. B.]
ON THE LITTLE HOUSE BY THE CHURCHYARD OF CASTLENOCK 1710
Whoever pleases to inquire Why yonder steeple wants a spire, The grey old fellow, Poet Joe, The philosophic cause will show. Once on a time a western blast, At least twelve inches overcast, Reckoning roof, weathercock, and all, Which came with a prodigious fall; And, tumbling topsy-turvy round, Lit with its bottom on the ground: For, by the laws of gravitation, It fell into its proper station. This is the little strutting pile You see just by the churchyard stile; The walls in tumbling gave a knock, And thus the steeple got a shock; From whence the neighbouring farmer calls The steeple, Knock; the vicar, Walls. The vicar once a-week creeps in, Sits with his knees up to his chin; Here cons his notes, and takes a whet, Till the small ragged flock is met. A traveller, who by did pass, Observed the roof behind the grass; On tiptoe stood, and rear'd his snout, And saw the parson creeping out: Was much surprised to see a crow Venture to build his nest so low. A schoolboy ran unto't, and thought The crib was down, the blackbird caught. A third, who lost his way by night, Was forced for safety to alight, And, stepping o'er the fabric roof, His horse had like to spoil his hoof. Warburton took it in his noddle, This building was design'd a model; Or of a pigeon-house or oven, To bake one loaf, or keep one dove in. Then Mrs. Johnson gave her verdict, And every one was pleased that heard it; All that you make this stir about Is but a still which wants a spout. The reverend Dr. Raymond guess'd More probably than all the rest; He said, but that it wanted room, It might have been a pigmy's tomb. The doctor's family came by, And little miss began to cry, Give me that house in my own hand! Then madam bade the chariot stand, Call'd to the clerk, in manner mild, Pray, reach that thing here to the child: That thing, I mean, among the kale; And here's to buy a pot of ale. The clerk said to her in a heat, What! sell my master's country seat, Where he comes every week from town! He would not sell it for a crown. Poh! fellow, keep not such a pother; In half an hour thou'lt make another. Says Nancy, I can make for miss A finer house ten times than this; The dean will give me willow sticks, And Joe my apron-full of bricks.
[Footnote 1: Mr. Beaumont of Trim, remarkable, though not a very old man, for venerable white locks.—Scott. He had a claim on the Irish Government, which Swift assisted him in getting paid. See "Prose Works," vol. ii, Journal to Stella, especially at p. 174, respecting Joe's desire for a collector's place.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Archdeacon Wall, a correspondent of Swift's.—Dublin Edition.]
[Footnote 3: Dr. Swift's curate at Laracor.]
[Footnote 4: Stella.]
[Footnote 5: Minister of Trim.]
[Footnote 6: The waiting-woman.]
A TOWN ECLOGUE. 1710
Scene, the Royal Exchange
Now the keen rigour of the winter's o'er, No hail descends, and frost can pinch no more, While other girls confess the genial spring, And laugh aloud, or amorous ditties sing, Secure from cold, their lovely necks display, And throw each useless chafing-dish away; Why sits my Phillis discontented here, Nor feels the turn of the revolving year? Why on that brow dwell sorrow and dismay, Where Loves were wont to sport, and Smiles to play?
Ah, Corydon! survey the 'Change around, Through all the 'Change no wretch like me is found: Alas! the day, when I, poor heedless maid, Was to your rooms in Lincoln's Inn betray'd; Then how you swore, how many vows you made! Ye listening Zephyrs, that o'erheard his love, Waft the soft accents to the gods above. Alas! the day; for (O, eternal shame!) I sold you handkerchiefs, and lost my fame.
When I forget the favour you bestow'd, Red herrings shall be spawn'd in Tyburn Road: Fleet Street, transform'd, become a flowery green, And mass be sung where operas are seen. The wealthy cit, and the St. James's beau, Shall change their quarters, and their joys forego; Stock-jobbing, this to Jonathan's shall come, At the Groom Porter's, that play off his plum.
But what to me does all that love avail, If, while I doze at home o'er porter's ale, Each night with wine and wenches you regale? My livelong hours in anxious cares are past, And raging hunger lays my beauty waste. On templars spruce in vain I glances throw, And with shrill voice invite them as they go. Exposed in vain my glossy ribbons shine, And unregarded wave upon the twine. The week flies round, and when my profit's known, I hardly clear enough to change a crown.
Hard fate of virtue, thus to be distrest, Thou fairest of thy trade, and far the best; As fruitmen's stalls the summer market grace, And ruddy peaches them; as first in place Plumcake is seen o'er smaller pastry ware, And ice on that: so Phillis does appear In playhouse and in Park, above the rest Of belles mechanic, elegantly drest.
And yet Crepundia, that conceited fair, Amid her toys, affects a saucy air, And views me hourly with a scornful eye.
She might as well with bright Cleora vie.
With this large petticoat I strive in vain To hide my folly past, and coming pain; 'Tis now no secret; she, and fifty more, Observe the symptoms I had once before: A second babe at Wapping must be placed, When I scarce bear the charges of the last.
What I could raise I sent; a pound of plums, Five shillings, and a coral for his gums; To-morrow I intend him something more.
I sent a frock and pair of shoes before.
However, you shall home with me to-night, Forget your cares, and revel in delight, I have in store a pint or two of wine, Some cracknels, and the remnant of a chine.
And now on either side, and all around, The weighty shop-boards fall, and bars resound; Each ready sempstress slips her pattens on, And ties her hood, preparing to be gone.
L. B. W. H. J. S. S. T.
[Footnote 1: Swift and Pope delighted to ridicule Philips' "Pastorals," and wrote several parodies upon them, the fame of which has been eclipsed by Gay's "Shepherd's Week."—Scott.]
BETWEEN SIR HARRY PIERCE'S CHARIOT, AND MRS. D. STOPFORD'S CHAIR 
My pretty dear Cuz, tho' I've roved the town o'er, To dispatch in an hour some visits a score; Though, since first on the wheels, I've been every day At the 'Change, at a raffling, at church, or a play; And the fops of the town are pleased with the notion Of calling your slave the perpetual motion;— Though oft at your door I have whined [out] my love As my Knight does grin his at your Lady above; Yet, ne'er before this, though I used all my care, I e'er was so happy to meet my dear Chair; And since we're so near, like birds of a feather, Let's e'en, as they say, set our horses together.
By your awkward address, you're that thing which should carry, With one footman behind, our lover Sir Harry. By your language, I judge, you think me a wench; He that makes love to me, must make it in French. Thou that's drawn by two beasts, and carry'st a brute, Canst thou vainly e'er hope, I'll answer thy suit? Though sometimes you pretend to appear with your six, No regard to their colour, their sexes you mix: Then on the grand-paw you'd look very great, With your new-fashion'd glasses, and nasty old seat. Thus a beau I have seen strut with a cock'd hat, And newly rigg'd out, with a dirty cravat. You may think that you make a figure most shining, But it's plain that you have an old cloak for a lining. Are those double-gilt nails? Where's the lustre of Kerry, To set off the Knight, and to finish the Jerry? If you hope I'll be kind, you must tell me what's due In George's-lane for you, ere I'll buckle to.
Why, how now, Doll Diamond, you're very alert; Is it your French breeding has made you so pert? Because I was civil, here's a stir with a pox: Who is it that values your —— or your fox? Sure 'tis to her honour, he ever should bed His bloody red hand to her bloody red head. You're proud of your gilding; but I tell you each nail Is only just tinged with a rub at her tail; And although it may pass for gold on a ninny, Sure we know a Bath shilling soon from a guinea. Nay, her foretop's a cheat; each morn she does black it, Yet, ere it be night, it's the same with her placket. I'll ne'er be run down any more with your cant; Your velvet was wore before in a mant, On the back of her mother; but now 'tis much duller,— The fire she carries hath changed its colour. Those creatures that draw me you never would mind, If you'd but look on your own Pharaoh's lean kine; They're taken for spectres, they're so meagre and spare, Drawn damnably low by your sorrel mare. We know how your lady was on you befriended; You're not to be paid for 'till the lawsuit is ended: But her bond it is good, he need not to doubt; She is two or three years above being out. Could my Knight be advised, he should ne'er spend his vigour On one he can't hope of e'er making bigger.
[Footnote 1: Mrs. Dorothy Stopford, afterwards Countess of Meath, of whom Swift says, in his Journal to Stella, Feb. 23, 1711-12, "Countess Doll of Meath is such an owl, that, wherever I visit, people are asking me, whether I know such an Irish lady, and her figure and her foppery." See, post, the Poem entitled, "Dicky and Dolly."—W. E. B.]
TO LORD HARLEY, ON HIS MARRIAGE OCTOBER 31, 1713
Among the numbers who employ Their tongues and pens to give you joy, Dear Harley! generous youth, admit What friendship dictates more than wit. Forgive me, when I fondly thought (By frequent observations taught) A spirit so inform'd as yours Could never prosper in amours. The God of Wit, and Light, and Arts, With all acquired and natural parts, Whose harp could savage beasts enchant, Was an unfortunate gallant. Had Bacchus after Daphne reel'd, The nymph had soon been brought to yield; Or, had embroider'd Mars pursued, The nymph would ne'er have been a prude. Ten thousand footsteps, full in view, Mark out the way where Daphne flew; For such is all the sex's flight, They fly from learning, wit, and light; They fly, and none can overtake But some gay coxcomb, or a rake. How then, dear Harley, could I guess That you should meet, in love, success? For, if those ancient tales be true, Phoebus was beautiful as you; Yet Daphne never slack'd her pace, For wit and learning spoil'd his face. And since the same resemblance held In gifts wherein you both excell'd, I fancied every nymph would run From you, as from Latona's son. Then where, said I, shall Harley find A virgin of superior mind, With wit and virtue to discover, And pay the merit of her lover? This character shall Ca'endish claim, Born to retrieve her sex's fame. The chief among the glittering crowd, Of titles, birth, and fortune proud, (As fools are insolent and vain) Madly aspired to wear her chain; But Pallas, guardian of the maid, Descending to her charge's aid, Held out Medusa's snaky locks, Which stupified them all to stocks. The nymph with indignation view'd The dull, the noisy, and the lewd; For Pallas, with celestial light, Had purified her mortal sight; Show'd her the virtues all combined, Fresh blooming, in young Harley's mind. Terrestrial nymphs, by formal arts, Display their various nets for hearts: Their looks are all by method set, When to be prude, and when coquette; Yet, wanting skill and power to chuse, Their only pride is to refuse. But, when a goddess would bestow Her love on some bright youth below, Round all the earth she casts her eyes; And then, descending from the skies, Makes choice of him she fancies best, And bids the ravish'd youth be bless'd. Thus the bright empress of the morn Chose for her spouse a mortal born: The goddess made advances first; Else what aspiring hero durst? Though, like a virgin of fifteen, She blushes when by mortals seen; Still blushes, and with speed retires, When Sol pursues her with his fires. Diana thus, Heaven's chastest queen Struck with Endymion's graceful mien Down from her silver chariot came, And to the shepherd own'd her flame. Thus Ca'endish, as Aurora bright, And chaster than the Queen of Night Descended from her sphere to find A mortal of superior kind.
[Footnote 1: Lord Harley, only son of the first Earl of Oxford, married Lady Henrietta Cavendish Holles, only daughter of John, Duke of Newcastle. He took no part in public affairs, but delighted in the Society of the poets and men of letters of his day, especially Pope and Swift.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Pursued in vain by Apollo, and changed by him into a laurel tree. Ovid, "Metam.," i, 452; "Heroides," xv, 25.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: Aurora, who married Tithonus, and took him up to Heaven; hence in Ovid, "Tithonia conjux.," "Fasti," lib. iii, 403.—W. E. B.]
PHYLLIS; OR, THE PROGRESS OF LOVE, 1716
Desponding Phyllis was endu'd With ev'ry talent of a prude: She trembled when a man drew near; Salute her, and she turn'd her ear: If o'er against her you were placed, She durst not look above your waist: She'd rather take you to her bed, Than let you see her dress her head; In church you hear her, thro' the crowd, Repeat the absolution loud: In church, secure behind her fan, She durst behold that monster man: There practis'd how to place her head, And bite her lips to make them red; Or, on the mat devoutly kneeling, Would lift her eyes up to the ceiling. And heave her bosom unaware, For neighb'ring beaux to see it bare. At length a lucky lover came, And found admittance to the dame, Suppose all parties now agreed, The writings drawn, the lawyer feed, The vicar and the ring bespoke: Guess, how could such a match be broke? See then what mortals place their bliss in! Next morn betimes the bride was missing: The mother scream'd, the father chid; Where can this idle wench be hid? No news of Phyl! the bridegroom came, And thought his bride had skulk'd for shame; Because her father used to say, The girl had such a bashful way! Now John the butler must be sent To learn the road that Phyllis went: The groom was wish'd to saddle Crop; For John must neither light nor stop, But find her, wheresoe'er she fled, And bring her back alive or dead. See here again the devil to do! For truly John was missing too: The horse and pillion both were gone! Phyllis, it seems, was fled with John. Old Madam, who went up to find What papers Phyl had left behind, A letter on the toilet sees, "To my much honour'd father—these—" ('Tis always done, romances tell us, When daughters run away with fellows,) Fill'd with the choicest common-places, By others used in the like cases. "That long ago a fortune-teller Exactly said what now befell her; And in a glass had made her see A serving-man of low degree. It was her fate, must be forgiven; For marriages were made in Heaven: His pardon begg'd: but, to be plain, She'd do't if 'twere to do again: Thank'd God, 'twas neither shame nor sin; For John was come of honest kin. Love never thinks of rich and poor; She'd beg with John from door to door. Forgive her, if it be a crime; She'll never do't another time. She ne'er before in all her life Once disobey'd him, maid nor wife." One argument she summ'd up all in, "The thing was done and past recalling; And therefore hoped she should recover His favour when his passion's over. She valued not what others thought her, And was—his most obedient daughter." Fair maidens all, attend the Muse, Who now the wand'ring pair pursues: Away they rode in homely sort, Their journey long, their money short; The loving couple well bemir'd; The horse and both the riders tir'd: Their victuals bad, their lodgings worse; Phyl cried! and John began to curse: Phyl wish'd that she had strain'd a limb, When first she ventured out with him; John wish'd that he had broke a leg, When first for her he quitted Peg. But what adventures more befell 'em, The Muse hath now no time to tell 'em; How Johnny wheedled, threaten'd, fawn'd, Till Phyllis all her trinkets pawn'd: How oft she broke her marriage vows, In kindness to maintain her spouse, Till swains unwholesome spoil'd the trade; For now the surgeon must be paid, To whom those perquisites are gone, In Christian justice due to John. When food and raiment now grew scarce, Fate put a period to the farce, And with exact poetic justice; For John was landlord, Phyllis hostess; They keep, at Stains, the Old Blue Boar, Are cat and dog, and rogue and whore.
[Footnote 1: A tradesman's phrase.—Swift.]
HORACE, BOOK IV, ODE IX ADDRESSED TO ARCHBISHOP KING, 1718
Virtue conceal'd within our breast Is inactivity at best: But never shall the Muse endure To let your virtues lie obscure; Or suffer Envy to conceal Your labours for the public weal. Within your breast all wisdom lies, Either to govern or advise; Your steady soul preserves her frame, In good and evil times, the same. Pale Avarice and lurking Fraud, Stand in your sacred presence awed; Your hand alone from gold abstains, Which drags the slavish world in chains. Him for a happy man I own, Whose fortune is not overgrown; And happy he who wisely knows To use the gifts that Heaven bestows; Or, if it please the powers divine, Can suffer want and not repine. The man who infamy to shun Into the arms of death would run; That man is ready to defend, With life, his country or his friend.
[Footnote 1: With whom Swift was in constant correspondence, more or less friendly. See Journal to Stella, "Prose Works," vol. ii, passim; and an account of King, vol. iii, p. 241, note.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: "Non possidentem multa vocaveris recte beatum: rectius occupat nomen beati, qui deorum muneribus sapienter uti duramque callet pauperiem pati, pejusque leto flagitium timet."]
TO MR. DELANY,
OCT. 10, 1718 NINE IN THE MORNING
To you whose virtues, I must own With shame, I have too lately known; To you, by art and nature taught To be the man I long have sought, Had not ill Fate, perverse and blind, Placed you in life too far behind: Or, what I should repine at more, Placed me in life too far before: To you the Muse this verse bestows, Which might as well have been in prose; No thought, no fancy, no sublime, But simple topics told in rhyme. Three gifts for conversation fit Are humour, raillery, and wit: The last, as boundless as the wind, Is well conceived, though not defined; For, sure by wit is only meant Applying what we first invent. What humour is, not all the tribe Of logic-mongers can describe; Here only nature acts her part, Unhelp'd by practice, books, or art: For wit and humour differ quite; That gives surprise, and this delight, Humour is odd, grotesque, and wild, Only by affectation spoil'd; 'Tis never by invention got, Men have it when they know it not. Our conversation to refine, True humour must with wit combine: From both we learn to rally well, Wherein French writers most excel; Voiture, in various lights, displays That irony which turns to praise: His genius first found out the rule For an obliging ridicule: He flatters with peculiar air The brave, the witty, and the fair: And fools would fancy he intends A satire where he most commends. But as a poor pretending beau, Because he fain would make a show, Nor can afford to buy gold lace, Takes up with copper in the place: So the pert dunces of mankind, Whene'er they would be thought refined, Because the diff'rence lies abstruse 'Twixt raillery and gross abuse, To show their parts will scold and rail, Like porters o'er a pot of ale. Such is that clan of boisterous bears, Always together by the ears; Shrewd fellows and arch wags, a tribe That meet for nothing but to gibe; Who first run one another down, And then fall foul on all the town; Skill'd in the horse-laugh and dry rub, And call'd by excellence The Club. I mean your butler, Dawson, Car, All special friends, and always jar. The mettled and the vicious steed Do not more differ in their breed, Nay, Voiture is as like Tom Leigh, As rudeness is to repartee. If what you said I wish unspoke, 'Twill not suffice it was a joke: Reproach not, though in jest, a friend For those defects he cannot mend; His lineage, calling, shape, or sense, If named with scorn, gives just offence. What use in life to make men fret, Part in worse humour than they met? Thus all society is lost, Men laugh at one another's cost: And half the company is teazed That came together to be pleased: For all buffoons have most in view To please themselves by vexing you. When jests are carried on too far, And the loud laugh begins the war, You keep your countenance for shame, Yet still you think your friend to blame; For though men cry they love a jest, 'Tis but when others stand the test; And (would you have their meaning known) They love a jest when 'tis their own. You wonder now to see me write So gravely where the subject's light; Some part of what I here design Regards a friend of yours and mine; Who full of humour, fire, and wit, Not always judges what is fit, But loves to take prodigious rounds, And sometimes walks beyond his bounds, You must, although the point be nice, Venture to give him some advice; Few hints from you will set him right, And teach him how to be polite. Bid him like you, observe with care, Whom to be hard on, whom to spare; Nor indiscreetly to suppose All subjects like Dan Jackson's nose. To study the obliging jest, By reading those who teach it best; For prose I recommend Voiture's, For verse (I speak my judgment) yours. He'll find the secret out from thence, To rhyme all day without offence; And I no more shall then accuse The flirts of his ill-manner'd Muse. If he be guilty, you must mend him; If he be innocent, defend him.
[Footnote 1: The Rev. Patrick Delany, one of Swift's most valued friends, born about 1685. When Lord Carteret became Lord Lieutenant, Swift urged Delany's claims to preferment, and he was appointed Chancellor of St. Patrick's. He appears to have been warm-hearted and impetuous, and too hospitable for his means. He died at Bath, 1768.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Famous as poet and letter writer, born 1598, died 1648.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: Dr. Sheridan.]
[Footnote 4: Mentioned in "The Country Life," as one of that lively party, post, p. 137.—W. E. B.]
ON THE DEATH OF DEMAR, THE USURER; WHO DIED ON THE 6TH OF JULY, 1720
Know all men by these presents, Death, the tamer, By mortgage has secured the corpse of Demar; Nor can four hundred thousand sterling pound Redeem him from his prison underground. His heirs might well, of all his wealth possesst Bestow, to bury him, one iron chest. Plutus, the god of wealth, will joy to know His faithful steward in the shades below. He walk'd the streets, and wore a threadbare cloak; He din'd and supp'd at charge of other folk: And by his looks, had he held out his palms, He might be thought an object fit for alms. So, to the poor if he refus'd his pelf, He us'd 'em full as kindly as himself. Where'er he went, he never saw his betters; Lords, knights, and squires, were all his humble debtors; And under hand and seal, the Irish nation Were forc'd to own to him their obligation. He that cou'd once have half a kingdom bought, In half a minute is not worth a groat. His coffers from the coffin could not save, Nor all his int'rest keep him from the grave. A golden monument would not be right, Because we wish the earth upon him light. Oh London Tavern! thou hast lost a friend, Tho' in thy walls he ne'er did farthing spend; He touch'd the pence when others touch'd the pot; The hand that sign'd the mortgage paid the shot. Old as he was, no vulgar known disease On him could ever boast a pow'r to seize; "But as the gold he weigh'd, grim death in spight Cast in his dart, which made three moidores light; And, as he saw his darling money fail, Blew his last breath to sink the lighter scale." He who so long was current, 'twould be strange If he should now be cry'd down since his change. The sexton shall green sods on thee bestow; Alas, the sexton is thy banker now! A dismal banker must that banker be, Who gives no bills but of mortality!
[Footnote 1: The subject was John Demar, a great merchant in Dublin who died 6th July, 1720. Swift, with some of his usual party, happened to be in Mr. Sheridan's, in Capel Street, when the news of Demar's death was brought to them; and the elegy was the joint composition of the company.—C. Walker.]
[Footnote 2: A tavern in Dublin, where Demar kept his office.—F.]
[Footnote 3: These four lines were written by Stella.—F.]
EPITAPH ON THE SAME
Beneath this verdant hillock lies Demar, the wealthy and the wise, His heirs, that he might safely rest, Have put his carcass in a chest; The very chest in which, they say, His other self, his money, lay. And, if his heirs continue kind To that dear self he left behind, I dare believe, that four in five Will think his better self alive.
[Footnote 1: "His heirs for winding sheet bestow'd His money bags together sew'd And that he might securely rest," Variation—From the Chetwode MS.—W. E. B.]
TO MRS. HOUGHTON OF BOURMONT, ON PRAISING HER HUSBAND TO DR. SWIFT
You always are making a god of your spouse; But this neither Reason nor Conscience allows; Perhaps you will say, 'tis in gratitude due, And you adore him, because he adores you. Your argument's weak, and so you will find; For you, by this rule, must adore all mankind.
VERSES WRITTEN ON A WINDOW, AT THE DEANERY HOUSE, ST. PATRICK'S
Are the guests of this house still doom'd to be cheated? Sure the Fates have decreed they by halves should be treated. In the days of good John if you came here to dine, You had choice of good meat, but no choice of good wine. In Jonathan's reign, if you come here to eat, You have choice of good wine, but no choice of good meat. O Jove! then how fully might all sides be blest, Wouldst thou but agree to this humble request! Put both deans in one; or, if that's too much trouble, Instead of the deans, make the deanery double.
[Footnote 1: Dr. Sterne, the predecessor of Swift in the deanery of St. Patrick's, and afterwards Bishop of Clogher, was distinguished for his hospitality. See Journal to Stella, passim, "Prose Works," vol. ii—W. E. B.]
ON ANOTHER WINDOW
A bard, on whom Phoebus his spirit bestow'd, Resolving t'acknowledge the bounty he owed, Found out a new method at once of confessing, And making the most of so mighty a blessing: To the God he'd be grateful; but mortals he'd chouse, By making his patron preside in his house; And wisely foresaw this advantage from thence, That the God would in honour bear most of th'expense; So the bard he finds drink, and leaves Phoebus to treat With the thoughts he inspires, regardless of meat. Hence they that come hither expecting to dine, Are always fobb'd off with sheer wit and sheer wine.
[Footnote 1: Written by Dr. Delany, in conjunction with Stella, as appears from the verses which follow.—Scott.]
APOLLO TO THE DEAN. 1720
Right Trusty, and so forth—we let you know We are very ill used by you mortals below. For, first, I have often by chemists been told, (Though I know nothing on't,) it is I that make gold; Which when you have got, you so carefully hide it, That, since I was born, I hardly have spied it. Then it must be allow'd, that, whenever I shine, I forward the grass, and I ripen the vine; To me the good fellows apply for relief, Without whom they could get neither claret nor beef: Yet their wine and their victuals, those curmudgeon lubbards Lock up from my sight in cellars and cupboards. That I have an ill eye, they wickedly think, And taint all their meat, and sour all their drink. But, thirdly and lastly, it must be allow'd, I alone can inspire the poetical crowd: This is gratefully own'd by each boy in the College, Whom, if I inspire, it is not to my knowledge. This every pretender in rhyme will admit, Without troubling his head about judgment or wit. These gentlemen use me with kindness and freedom, And as for their works, when I please I may read 'em. They lie open on purpose on counters and stalls, And the titles I view, when I shine on the walls. But a comrade of yours, that traitor Delany, Whom I for your sake have used better than any, And, of my mere motion, and special good grace, Intended in time to succeed in your place, On Tuesday the tenth, seditiously came, With a certain false trait'ress, one Stella by name, To the Deanery-house, and on the North glass, Where for fear of the cold I never can pass, Then and there, vi et armis, with a certain utensil, Of value five shillings, in English a pencil, Did maliciously, falsely, and trait'rously write, While Stella, aforesaid, stood by with a light. My sister hath lately deposed upon oath, That she stopt in her course to look at them both; That Stella was helping, abetting, and aiding; And still as he writ, stood smiling and reading: That her eyes were as bright as myself at noon-day, But her graceful black locks were all mingled with grey: And by the description, I certainly know, 'Tis the nymph that I courted some ten years ago; Whom when I with the best of my talents endued, On her promise of yielding, she acted the prude: That some verses were writ with felonious intent, Direct to the North, where I never once went: That the letters appear'd reversed through the pane, But in Stella's bright eyes were placed right again; Wherein she distinctly could read ev'ry line, And presently guessed the fancy was mine. She can swear to the Parson whom oft she has seen At night between Cavan Street and College Green. Now you see why his verses so seldom are shown, The reason is plain, they are none of his own; And observe while you live that no man is shy To discover the goods he came honestly by. If I light on a thought, he will certainly steal it, And when he has got it, find ways to conceal it. Of all the fine things he keeps in the dark, There's scarce one in ten but what has my mark; And let them be seen by the world if he dare, I'll make it appear they are all stolen ware. But as for the poem he writ on your sash, I think I have now got him under my lash; My sister transcribed it last night to his sorrow, And the public shall see't, if I live till to-morrow. Thro' the zodiac around, it shall quickly be spread In all parts of the globe where your language is read. He knows very well, I ne'er gave a refusal, When he ask'd for my aid in the forms that are usual: But the secret is this; I did lately intend To write a few verses on you as my friend: I studied a fortnight, before I could find, As I rode in my chariot, a thought to my mind, And resolved the next winter (for that is my time, When the days are at shortest) to get it in rhyme; Till then it was lock'd in my box at Parnassus; When that subtle companion, in hopes to surpass us, Conveys out my paper of hints by a trick (For I think in my conscience he deals with old Nick,) And from my own stock provided with topics, He gets to a window beyond both the tropics, There out of my sight, just against the north zone, Writes down my conceits, and then calls them his own; And you, like a cully, the bubble can swallow: Now who but Delany that writes like Apollo? High treason by statute! yet here you object, He only stole hints, but the verse is correct; Though the thought be Apollo's, 'tis finely express'd; So a thief steals my horse, and has him well dress'd. Now whereas the said criminal seems past repentance, We Phoebus think fit to proceed to his sentence. Since Delany hath dared, like Prometheus his sire, To climb to our region, and thence to steal fire; We order a vulture in shape of the Spleen, To prey on his liver, but not to be seen. And we order our subjects of every degree To believe all his verses were written by me: And under the pain of our highest displeasure, To call nothing his but the rhyme and the measure. And, lastly, for Stella, just out of her prime, I'm too much revenged already by Time, In return of her scorn, I sent her diseases, But will now be her friend whenever she pleases. And the gifts I bestow'd her will find her a lover Though she lives till she's grey as a badger all over.
[Footnote 1: Collated with the original MS. in Swift's writing, and also with the copy transcribed by Stella.—Forster.]
[Footnote 2: Stella's copy has "the."—Forster.]
[Footnote 3: Diana.]
[Footnote 4: As originally written, this passage ran: "Wherein she distinctly could read ev'ry line And found by the wit the Fancy was mine For none of his poems were ever yet shown Which he in his conscience could claim for his own." Forster.]
NEWS FROM PARNASSUS BY DR. DELANY
OCCASIONED BY "APOLLO TO THE DEAN" 1720
Parnassus, February the twenty-seventh. The poets assembled here on the eleventh, Convened by Apollo, who gave them to know He'd have a vicegerent in his empire below; But declared that no bard should this honour inherit, Till the rest had agreed he surpass'd them in merit: Now this, you'll allow, was a difficult case, For each bard believed he'd a right to the place; So, finding the assembly grow warm in debate, He put them in mind of his Phaethon's fate: 'Twas urged to no purpose; disputes higher rose, Scarce Phoebus himself could their quarrels compose; Till at length he determined that every bard Should (each in his turn) be patiently heard. First, one who believed he excell'd in translation, Founds his claim on the doctrine of man's transmigration: "Since the soul of great Milton was given to me, I hope the convention will quickly agree."— "Agree;" quoth Apollo: "from whence is this fool? Is he just come from reading Pythagoras at school? Begone, sir, you've got your subscriptions in time, And given in return neither reason nor rhyme." To the next says the God, "Though now I won't chuse you, I'll tell you the reason for which I refuse you: Love's Goddess has oft to her parents complain'd, Of my favouring a bard who her empire disdain'd; That at my instigation, a poem you writ, Which to beauty and youth preferr'd judgment and wit; That, to make you a Laureate, I gave the first voice, Inspiring the Britons t'approve of my choice. Jove sent her to me, her power to try; The Goddess of Beauty what God can deny? She forbids your preferment; I grant her desire. Appease the fair Goddess: you then may rise higher." The next that appear'd had good hopes of succeeding, For he merited much for his wit and his breeding. 'Twas wise in the Britons no favour to show him, He else might expect they should pay what they owe him. And therefore they prudently chose to discard The Patriot, whose merits they would not reward: The God, with a smile, bade his favourite advance, "You were sent by Astraea her envoy to France: You bend your ambition to rise in the state; I refuse you, because you could stoop to be great." Then a bard who had been a successful translator, "The convention allows me a versificator." Says Apollo, "You mention the least of your merit; By your works, it appears you have much of my spirit. I esteem you so well, that, to tell you the truth, The greatest objection against you's your youth; Then be not concern'd you are now laid aside; If you live you shall certainly one day preside." Another, low bending, Apollo thus greets, "'Twas I taught your subjects to walk through the streets." You taught them to walk! why, they knew it before; But give me the bard that can teach them to soar. Whenever he claims, 'tis his right, I'll confess, Who lately attempted my style with success; Who writes like Apollo has most of his spirit, And therefore 'tis just I distinguish his merit: Who makes it appear, by all he has writ, His judgment alone can set bounds to his wit; Like Virgil correct, with his own native ease, But excels even Virgil in elegant praise: Who admires the ancients, and knows 'tis their due Yet writes in a manner entirely new; Though none with more ease their depths can explore, Yet whatever he wants he takes from my store; Though I'm fond of his virtues, his pride I can see, In scorning to borrow from any but me: It is owing to this, that, like Cynthia, his lays Enlighten the world by reflecting my rays. This said, the whole audience soon found out his drift: The convention was summon'd in favour of SWIFT.
[Footnote 1: Dr. Trapp or Trap, ridiculed by Swift in "The Tatler," No. 66, as parson Dapper. He was sent to Ireland as chaplain to Sir Constantine Phipps, Lord Chancellor, in 1710-11. But in July, 1712, Swift writes to Stella, "I have made Trap chaplain to Lord Bolingbroke, and he is mighty happy and thankful for it." He translated the "Aeneid" into blank verse.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Prior, concerning whose "Journey to France," Swift wrote a "formal relation, all pure invention," which had a great sale, and was a "pure bite." See Journal to Stella, Sept., 1711.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 3: Pope, and his translations of the "Iliad" and "Odyssey."—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 4: Gay; alluding to his "Trivia."—N.]
[Footnote 5: Diana.]
APOLLO'S EDICT OCCASIONED BY "NEWS FROM PARNASSUS"
Ireland is now our royal care, We lately fix'd our viceroy there. How near was she to be undone, Till pious love inspired her son! What cannot our vicegerent do, As poet and as patriot too? Let his success our subjects sway, Our inspirations to obey, And follow where he leads the way: Then study to correct your taste; Nor beaten paths be longer traced. No simile shall be begun, With rising or with setting sun; And let the secret head of Nile Be ever banish'd from your isle. When wretched lovers live on air, I beg you'll the chameleon spare; And when you'd make a hero grander, Forget he's like a salamander. No son of mine shall dare to say, Aurora usher'd in the day, Or ever name the milky-way. You all agree, I make no doubt, Elijah's mantle is worn out. The bird of Jove shall toil no more To teach the humble wren to soar. Your tragic heroes shall not rant, Nor shepherds use poetic cant. Simplicity alone can grace The manners of the rural race. Theocritus and Philips be Your guides to true simplicity. When Damon's soul shall take its flight, Though poets have the second-sight, They shall not see a trail of light. Nor shall the vapours upwards rise, Nor a new star adorn the skies: For who can hope to place one there, As glorious as Belinda's hair? Yet, if his name you'd eternize, And must exalt him to the skies; Without a star this may be done: So Tickell mourn'd his Addison. If Anna's happy reign you praise, Pray, not a word of halcyon days: Nor let my votaries show their skill In aping lines from Cooper's Hill; For know I cannot bear to hear The mimicry of "deep, yet clear." Whene'er my viceroy is address'd, Against the phoenix I protest. When poets soar in youthful strains, No Phaethon to hold the reins. When you describe a lovely girl, No lips of coral, teeth of pearl. Cupid shall ne'er mistake another, However beauteous, for his mother; Nor shall his darts at random fly From magazine in Celia's eye. With woman compounds I am cloy'd, Which only pleased in Biddy Floyd. For foreign aid what need they roam, Whom fate has amply blest at home? Unerring Heaven, with bounteous hand, Has form'd a model for your land, Whom Jove endued with every grace; The glory of the Granard race; Now destined by the powers divine The blessing of another line. Then, would you paint a matchless dame, Whom you'd consign to endless fame? Invoke not Cytherea's aid, Nor borrow from the blue-eyed maid; Nor need you on the Graces call; Take qualities from Donegal.
[Footnote 1: See the "Description of a Salamander," ante, p. 46.—W. E. B.]
[Footnote 2: Denham's Poem.]
[Footnote 3: Ante, p. 50.]
[Footnote 4: Lady Catherine Forbes, daughter of the first Earl of Granard, and second wife of Arthur, third Earl of Donegal.—Scott.]
THE DESCRIPTION OF AN IRISH FEAST
Given by O'Rourke, a powerful chieftain of Ulster in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, previously to his making a visit to her court. A song was composed upon the tradition of the feast, the fame of which having reached Swift, he was supplied with a literal version, from which he executed the following very spirited translation.—W. E. B.
TRANSLATED ALMOST LITERALLY OUT OF THE ORIGINAL IRISH. 1720
O'ROURKE'S noble fare Will ne'er be forgot, By those who were there, Or those who were not.
His revels to keep, We sup and we dine On seven score sheep, Fat bullocks, and swine.
Usquebaugh to our feast In pails was brought up, A hundred at least, And a madder our cup.
O there is the sport! We rise with the light In disorderly sort, From snoring all night.
O how was I trick'd! My pipe it was broke, My pocket was pick'd, I lost my new cloak.
I'm rifled, quoth Nell, Of mantle and kercher, Why then fare them well, The de'el take the searcher.
Come, harper, strike up; But, first, by your favour, Boy, give us a cup: Ah! this hath some savour.
O'Rourke's jolly boys Ne'er dreamt of the matter, Till, roused by the noise, And musical clatter,
They bounce from their nest, No longer will tarry, They rise ready drest, Without one Ave-Mary.
They dance in a round, Cutting capers and ramping; A mercy the ground Did not burst with their stamping.
The floor is all wet With leaps and with jumps, While the water and sweat Splish-splash in their pumps.
Bless you late and early, Laughlin O'Enagin! But, my hand, you dance rarely. Margery Grinagin.
Bring straw for our bed, Shake it down to the feet, Then over us spread The winnowing sheet.
To show I don't flinch, Fill the bowl up again: Then give us a pinch Of your sneezing, a Yean.
Good lord! what a sight, After all their good cheer, For people to fight In the midst of their beer!
They rise from their feast, And hot are their brains, A cubit at least The length of their skeans.
What stabs and what cuts, What clattering of sticks; What strokes on the guts, What bastings and kicks!
With cudgels of oak, Well harden'd in flame, A hundred heads broke, A hundred struck lame.
You churl, I'll maintain My father built Lusk, The castle of Slane, And Carrick Drumrusk:
The Earl of Kildare, And Moynalta his brother, As great as they are, I was nurst by their mother.
Ask that of old madam: She'll tell you who's who, As far up as Adam, She knows it is true.
Come down with that beam, If cudgels are scarce, A blow on the weam, Or a kick on the a——se.
[Footnote 1: A wooden vessel.—F.]
[Footnote 2: A covering of linen, worn on the heads of the women.—F.]