Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and cleric who became Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, hence his common sobriquet, “Dean Swift”.
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Famous Jonathan Swift Poems
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 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.
Peace And Dunkirk
Spite of Dutch friends and English foes,
Poor Britain shall have peace at last:
Holland got towns, and we got blows;
But Dunkirk’s ours, we’ll hold it fast.
We have got it in a string,
And the Whigs may all go swing,
For among good friends I love to be plain;
All their false deluded hopes
Will, or ought to end in ropes;
‘But the Queen shall enjoy her own again.’
Sunderland’s run out of his wits,
And Dismal double Dismal looks;
Wharton can only swear by fits,
And strutting Hal is off the hooks;
Old Godolphin, full of spleen,
Made false moves, and lost his Queen:
Harry look’d fierce, and shook his ragged mane:
But a Prince of high renown
Swore he’d rather lose a crown,
‘Than the Queen should enjoy her own again.’
Our merchant-ships may cut the line,
And not be snapt by privateers.
And commoners who love good wine
Will drink it now as well as peers:
Landed men shall have their rent,
Yet our stocks rise cent, per cent.
The Dutch from hence shall no more millions drain:
We’ll bring on us no more debts,
Nor with bankrupts fill gazettes;
‘And the Queen shall enjoy her own again.’
The towns we took ne’er did us good:
What signified the French to beat?
We spent our money and our blood,
To make the Dutchmen proud and great:
But the Lord of Oxford swears,
Dunkirk never shall be theirs.
The Dutch-hearted Whigs may rail and complain;
But true Englishmen may fill
A good health to General Hill:
‘For the Queen now enjoys her own again.’
Lady Acheson Weary Of The Dean
The Dean would visit Market-hill;
Our invitation was but slight;
I said—why—Let him if he will,
And so I bid Sir Arthur write.
His manners would not let him wait,
Lest we should think ourselves neglected,
And so we saw 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 Life, must 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 Aghnaclay,
Or Mr. Moor will take it ill.
The house accounts are daily rising
So much his stay does 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.
Oh! 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.
May I be every moment chid
With Skinny, Honey, Snip, and Lean,
Oh! that I could but once be rid
Of that insulting tyrant Dean.
Stella At Wood Park, A House Of Charles Ford, Esq., Near Dublin
Don Carlos, in a merry spight,
Did Stella to his house invite:
He entertain’d her half a year
With generous wines and costly cheer.
Don Carlos made her chief director,
That she might o’er the servants hector.
In half a week the dame grew nice,
Got all things at the highest price:
Now at the table head she sits,
Presented with the nicest bits:
She look’d on partridges with scorn,
Except they tasted of the corn:
A haunch of ven’son made her sweat,
Unless it had the right fumette.
Don Carlos earnestly would beg,
‘Dear Madam, try this pigeon’s leg;’
Was happy, when he could prevail
To make her only touch a quail.
Through candle-light she view’d the wine,
To see that ev’ry glass was fine.
At last, grown prouder than the devil
With feeding high, and treatment civil,
Don Carlos now began to find
His malice work as he design’d.
The winter sky began to frown:
Poor Stella must pack off to town;
From purling streams and fountains bubbling,
To Liffey’s stinking tide in Dublin:
From wholesome exercise and air
To sossing in an easy-chair:
From stomach sharp, and hearty feeding,
To piddle like a lady breeding:
From ruling there the household singly.
To be directed here by Dingley:
From every day a lordly banquet,
To half a joint, and God be thank it:
From every meal Pontac in plenty,
To half a pint one day in twenty:
From Ford attending at her call,
To visits of Archdeacon Wall:
From Ford, who thinks of nothing mean,
To the poor doings of the Dean:
From growing richer with good cheer,
To running out by starving here.
But now arrives the dismal day;
She must return to Ormond Quay.
The coachman stopt; she look’d, and swore
The rascal had mistook the door:
At coming in, you saw her stoop;
The entry brush’d against her hoop:
Each moment rising in her airs,
She curst the narrow winding stairs:
Began a thousand faults to spy;
The ceiling hardly six feet high;
The smutty wainscot full of cracks:
And half the chairs with broken backs:
Her quarter’s out at Lady-day;
She vows she will no longer stay
In lodgings like a poor Grisette,
While there are houses to be let.
Howe’er, to keep her spirits up,
She sent for company to sup:
When all the while you might remark,
She strove in vain to ape Wood Park.
Two bottles call’d for, (half her store,
The cupboard could contain but four
A supper worthy of herself,
Five nothings in five plates of delf.
Thus for a week the farce went on;
When, all her country savings gone,
She fell into her former scene,
Small beer, a herring, and the Dean.
Thus far in jest: though now, I fear,
You think my jesting too severe;
But poets, when a hint is new,
Regard not whether false or true:
Yet raillery gives no offence,
Where truth has not the least pretence;
Nor can be more securely placed
Than on a nymph of Stella’s taste.
I must confess your wine and vittle
I was too hard upon a little:
Your table neat, your linen fine;
And, though in miniature, you shine:
Yet, when you sigh to leave Wood Park,
The scene, the welcome, and the spark,
To languish in this odious town,
And pull your haughty stomach down,
We think you quite mistake the case,
The virtue lies not in the place:
For though my raillery were true,
A cottage is Wood Park with you.
Louisa To Strephon
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 found his doom,
Who scourged to death that scourge of Rome,
Shall on thee take a vengeance dire;
Thou like Alcides 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.
On Cutting Down The Thorn At Market-Hill
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, 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.)
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, 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.’
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.
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.
Ever eating, never cloying,
Never finding full repast,
Till I eat the world at last.
The Dean’s Answer
The nymph who wrote this in an amorous fit,
I cannot but envy the pride of her wit,
Which thus she will venture profusely to throw
On so mean a design, and a subject so low.
For mean’s her design, and her subject as mean,
The first but a rebus, the last but a dean.
A dean’s but a parson: and what is a rebus?
A thing never known to the Muses or Phoebus.
The corruption of verse; for, when all is done,
It is but a paraphrase made on a pun.
But a genius like hers no subject can stifle,
It shows and discovers itself through a trifle.
By reading this trifle, I quickly began
To find her a great wit, but the dean a small man.
Rich ladies will furnish their garrets with stuff,
Which others for mantuas would think fine enough:
So the wit that is lavishly thrown away here,
Might furnish a second-rate poet a year.
Thus much for the verse, we proceed to the next,
Where the nymph has entirely forsaken her text:
Her fine panegyrics are quite out of season:
And what she describes to be merit, is treason:
The changes which faction has made in the state,
Have put the dean’s politics quite out of date:
Now no one regards what he utters with freedom,
And, should he write pamphlets, no great man would read ’em;
And, should want or desert stand in need of his aid,
This racer would prove but a dull founder’d jade.
To Stella, Written On The Day Of Her Birth. March 13, 1723-4, But Not On The Subject, When I Was Sick In Bed
Tormented with incessant pains,
Can I devise poetic strains?
Time was, when I could yearly pay
My verse to Stella’s native day:
But now unable grown to write,
I grieve she ever saw the light.
Ungrateful! since to her I owe
That I these pains can undergo.
She tends me like an humble slave;
And, when indecently I rave,
When out my brutish passions break,
With gall in every word I speak,
She with soft speech my anguish cheers,
Or melts my passions down with tears;
Although ’tis easy to descry
She wants assistance more than I;
Yet seems to feel my pains alone,
And is a stoic in her own.
When, among scholars, can we find
So soft and yet so firm a mind?
All accidents of life conspire
To raise up Stella’s virtue higher;
Or else to introduce the rest
Which had been latent in her breast.
Her firmness who could e’er have known,
Had she not evils of her own?
Her kindness who could ever guess,
Had not her friends been in distress?
Whatever base returns you find
From me, dear Stella, still be kind.
In your own heart you’ll reap the fruit,
Though I continue still a brute.
But, when I once am out of pain,
I promise to be good again;
Meantime, your other juster friends
Shall for my follies make amends;
So may we long continue thus,
Admiring you, you pitying us.
Stella’s Birth-Day: A Great Bottle Of Wine, Long Buried, Being That Day Dug Up. 1722-3
Resolv’d my annual verse to pay,
By duty bound, on Stella’s day,
Furnish’d with paper, pens, and ink,
I gravely sat me down to think:
I bit my nails, and scratch’d my head,
But found my wit and fancy fled:
Or if, with more than usual pain,
A thought came slowly from my brain,
It cost me Lord knows how much time
To shape it into sense and rhyme:
And, what was yet a greater curse,
Long thinking made my fancy worse.
Forsaken by th’inspiring Nine,
I waited at Apollo’s shrine:
I told him what the world would say,
If Stella were unsung to-day:
How I should hide my head for shame,
When both the Jacks and Robin came;
How Ford would frown, how Jim would leer,
How Sheridan the rogue would sneer,
And swear it does not always follow,
That semel’n anno ridet Apollo.
I have assur’d them twenty times,
That Phoebus help’d me in my rhymes;
Phoebus inspired me from above,
And he and I were hand and glove.
But, finding me so dull and dry since,
They’ll call it all poetic license;
And when I brag of aid divine,
Think Eusden’s right as good as mine.
Nor do I ask for Stella’s sake;
‘Tis my own credit lies at stake:
And Stella will be sung, while I
Can only be a stander by.
Apollo, having thought a little,
Return’d this answer to a tittle.
Though you should live like old Methusalem,
I furnish hints and you shall use all ’em,
You yearly sing as she grows old,
You’d leave her virtues half untold.
But, to say truth, such dulness reigns,
Through the whole set of Irish deans,
I’m daily stunn’d with such a medley,
Dean White, Dean Daniel, and Dean Smedley,
That, let what dean soever come,
My orders are, I’m not at home;
And if your voice had not been loud,
You must have pass’d among the crowd.
But now, your danger to prevent,
You must apply to Mrs. Brent;
For she, as priestess, knows the rites
Wherein the god of earth delights.
First, nine ways looking, let her stand
With an old poker in her hand;
Let her describe a circle round
In Saunders’ cellar on the ground:
A spade let prudent Archy hold,
And with discretion dig the mould.
Let Stella look with watchful eye,
Rebecca, Ford, and Grattans by.
Behold the bottle, where it lies
With neck elated toward the skies!
The god of winds and god of fire
Did to its wondrous birth conspire;
And Bacchus for the poet’s use
Pour’d in a strong inspiring juice.
See! as you raise it from its tomb,
It drags behind a spacious womb,
And in the spacious womb contains
A sov’reign med’cine for the brains.
You’ll find it soon, if fate consents;
If not, a thousand Mrs. Brents,
Ten thousand Archys, arm’d with spades,
May dig in vain to Pluto’s shades.
From thence a plenteous draught infuse,
And boldly then invoke the Muse;
But first let Robert on his knees
With caution drain it from the lees;
The Muse will at your call appear,
With Stella’s praise to crown the year.
Jack Frenchman’s Lamentation
Ye Commons and Peers,
Pray lend me your ears,
I’ll sing you a song, (if I can,)
How Lewis le Grand
Was put to a stand,
By the arms of our gracious Queen Anne.
How his army so great,
Had a total defeat,
And close by the river Dender:
Where his grandchildren twain,
For fear of being slain,
Gallop’d off with the Popish Pretender.
To a steeple on high,
The battle to spy,
Up mounted these clever young men;
But when from the spire,
They saw so much fire,
Most cleverly came down again.
Then on horseback they got
All on the same spot,
By advice of their cousin Vendosme,
O Lord! cried out he,
Unto young Burgundy,
Would your brother and you were at home!
While this he did say,
Without more delay,
Away the young gentry fled;
Whose heels for that work,
Were much lighter than cork,
Though their hearts were as heavy as lead.
Not so did behave
Young Hanover brave,
In this bloody field I assure ye:
When his war-horse was shot
He valued it not,
But fought it on foot like a fury.
Full firmly he stood,
As became his high blood,
Which runs in his veins so blue:
For this gallant young man,
Being a-kin to QUEEN ANNE,
Did as (were she a man) she would do.
What a racket was here,
(I think ’twas last year,)
For a little misfortune in Spain!
For by letting ’em win,
We have drawn the puts in,
To lose all they’re worth this campaign.
Though Bruges and Ghent
To Monsieur we lent,
With interest they shall repay ’em;
While Paris may sing,
With her sorrowful king,
Nunc dimittis instead of Te Deum.
From this dream of success,
They’ll awaken, we guess,
At the sound of great Marlborough’s drums,
They may think, if they will,
Of Ahnanza still,
But ’tis Blenheim wherever he comes.
O Lewis perplex’d,
What general next!
Thou hast hitherto changed in vain;
He has beat ’em all round,
If no new one’s found,
He shall beat ’em over again.
We’ll let Tallard out,
If he’ll take t’other bout;
And much he’s improved, let me tell ye,
With Nottingham ale
At every meal,
And good beef and pudding in belly.
But as losers at play,
Their dice throw away,
While the winners do still win on;
Let who will command,
Thou hadst better disband,
For, old Bully, thy doctors are gone.
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.
Horace, Epist. I, Vii Imitation Of Horace To Lord Oxford
Harley, the nation’s great support,
Returning home one day from court,
His mind with public cares possest,
All Europe’s business in his breast,
Observed a parson near Whitehall,
Cheap’ning old authors on a stall.
The priest was pretty well in case,
And show’d some humour in his face;
Look’d with an easy, careless mien,
A perfect stranger to the spleen;
Of size that might a pulpit fill,
But more inclining to sit still.
My lord, (who, if a man may say’t,
Loves mischief better than his meat),
Was now disposed to crack a jest
And bid friend Lewis go in quest.
(This Lewis was a cunning shaver,
And very much in Harley’s favour)—
In quest who might this parson be,
What was his name, of what degree;
If possible, to learn his story,
And whether he were Whig or Tory.
Lewis his patron’s humour knows;
Away upon his errand goes,
And quickly did the matter sift;
Found out that it was Doctor Swift,
A clergyman of special note
For shunning those of his own coat;
Which made his brethren of the gown
Take care betimes to run him down:
No libertine, nor over nice,
Addicted to no sort of vice;
Went where he pleas’d, said what he thought;
Not rich, but owed no man a groat;
In state opinions a la mode,
He hated Wharton like a toad;
Had given the faction many a wound,
And libell’d all the junto round;
Kept company with men of wit,
Who often father’d what he writ:
His works were hawk’d in ev’ry street,
But seldom rose above a sheet:
Of late, indeed, the paper-stamp
Did very much his genius cramp;
And, since he could not spend his fire,
He now intended to retire.
Said Harley, ‘I desire to know
From his own mouth, if this be so:
Step to the doctor straight, and say,
I’d have him dine with me to-day.’
Swift seem’d to wonder what he meant,
Nor could believe my lord had sent;
So never offer’d once to stir,
But coldly said, ‘Your servant, sir!’
‘Does he refuse me?’ Harley cry’d:
‘He does; with insolence and pride.’
Some few days after, Harley spies
The doctor fasten’d by the eyes
At Charing-cross, among the rout,
Where painted monsters are hung out:
He pull’d the string, and stopt his coach,
Beck’ning the doctor to approach.
Swift, who could neither fly nor hide,
Came sneaking to the chariot side,
And offer’d many a lame excuse:
He never meant the least abuse—
‘My lord—the honour you design’d—
Extremely proud—but I had dined—
I am sure I never should neglect—
No man alive has more respect’—
Well, I shall think of that no more,
If you’ll be sure to come at four.’
The doctor now obeys the summons,
Likes both his company and commons;
Displays his talent, sits till ten;
Next day invited, comes again;
Soon grows domestic, seldom fails,
Either at morning or at meals;
Came early, and departed late;
In short, the gudgeon took the bait.
My lord would carry on the jest,
And down to Windsor takes his guest.
Swift much admires the place and air,
And longs to be a Canon there;
In summer round the Park to ride,
In winter—never to reside.
A Canon!—that’s a place too mean:
No, doctor, you shall be a Dean;
Two dozen canons round your stall,
And you the tyrant o’er them all:
You need but cross the Irish seas,
To live in plenty, power, and ease.
Poor Swift departed, and, what’s worse,
With borrow’d money in his purse,
Travels at least a hundred leagues,
And suffers numberless fatigues.
Suppose him now a dean complete,
Demurely lolling in his seat,
And silver verge, with decent pride,
Stuck underneath his cushion side.
Suppose him gone through all vexations,
Patents, instalments, abjurations,
First-fruits, and tenths, and chapter-treats;
Dues, payments, fees, demands, and cheats.
(The wicked laity’s contriving
To hinder clergymen from thriving.)
Now all the doctor’s money’s spent,
His tenants wrong him in his rent,
The farmers spitefully combine,
Force him to take his tithes in kine,
And Parvisol discounts arrears
By bills, for taxes and repairs.
Poor Swift, with all his losses vex’d,
Not knowing where to turn him next,
Above a thousand pounds in debt,
Takes horse, and in a mighty fret
Rides day and night at such a rate,
He soon arrives at Harley’s gate;
But was so dirty, pale, and thin,
Old Read would hardly let him in.
Said Harley, ‘Welcome, rev’rend dean!
What makes your worship look so lean?
Why, sure you won’t appear in town
In that old wig and rusty gown?
I doubt your heart is set on pelf
So much that you neglect yourself.
What! I suppose, now stocks are high,
You’ve some good purchase in your eye?
Or is your money out at use?’—
‘Truce, good my lord, I beg a truce!’
The doctor in a passion cry’d,
‘Your raillery is misapply’d;
Experience I have dearly bought;
You know I am not worth a groat:
But you resolved to have your jest,
And ’twas a folly to contest;
Then, since you now have done your worst,
Pray leave me where you found me first.’
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.
The Grand Question Debated: Whether Hamilton’s Bawn Should Be Turned Into A Barrack Or Malt-House
Thus spoke to my lady the knight 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 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.
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, 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.
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 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, 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:
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 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.’
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 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.
My Lady’s Lamantation And Complaint Against The Dean
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:,
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.
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.]
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.
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!
Riddles By Dr. Swift And His Friends
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 the proud,
Where numberless thy votaries crowd;
Whether thy great forefathers came
From realms that bear Vespuccio’s name,
For so conjectures would obtrude;
And from thy painted skin conclude;
Whether, as Epicurus 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, 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 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.
Robin And Harry
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!)
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.
Mrs Frances Haris’s Petition
To their Excellencies the Lords Justices of Ireland,
The humble petition of Frances Harris,
Who must starve and die a maid if it miscarries;
Humble sheweth, that I went to warm myself in Lady Betty’s chamber, because I
And I had in a purse seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence, (besides
farthings) in money and gold;
So because I had been buying things for my lady last night,
I was resolved to tell my money, to see if it was right.
Now, you must know, because my trunk has a very bad lock,
Therefore all the money I have, which, God knows, is a very small stock,
I keep in my pocket, tied about my middle, next my smock.
So when I went to put up my purse, as God would have it, my smock was unripped,
And instead of putting it into my pocket, down it slipped;
Then the bell rung, and I went down to put my lady to bed;
And, God knows, I thought my money was as safe as my maidenhead.
So, when I came up again, I found my pocket feel very light;
But when I searched, and missed my purse, Lord! I thought I should have sunk
‘Lord! madam,’ says Mary, ‘how d’ye do?’ -‘Indeed,’ says I, ‘never worse:
But pray, Mary, can you tell what I have done with my purse?’
‘Lord help me!’ says Mary, ‘I never stirred out of this place!’
‘Nay,’ said I, ‘I had it in Lady Betty’s chamber, that’s a plain case.’
So Mary got me to bed, and covered me up warm:
However, she stole away my garters, that I might do myself no harm.
So I tumbled and tossed all night, as you may very well think,
But hardly ever set my eyes together, or slept a wink.
So I was a-dreamed, methought, that I went and searched the folks round,
And in a corner of Mrs Duke’s box, tied in a rag, the money was found.
So next morning we told Whittle, and he fell a swearing:
Then my dame Wadgar came, and she, you know, is thick of hearing.
‘Dame,’ says I, as loud as I could bawl, ‘do you know what a loss I have had?’
‘Nay,’ says she, ‘my Lord Colway’s folks are all very sad:
For my Lord Dromedary comes a Tuesday without fail.’
‘Pugh!’ said I, ‘but that’s not the business that I ail.’
Says Cary, says he, ‘I have been a servant this five and twenty years come
And in all the places I lived I never heard of such a thing.’
‘Yes,’ says the steward, ‘I remember when I was at my Lord Shrewsbury’s,
Such a thing as this happened, just about the time of gooseberries.’
So I went to the party suspected, and I found her full of grief:
(Now, you must know, of all things in the world I hate a thief:)
However, I was resolved to bring the discourse slily about:
‘Mrs Duke,’ said I, ‘here’s an ugly accident has happened out:
‘Tis not that I value the money three skips of a louse:
But the thing I stand upon is the credit of the house.
‘Tis true, seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence makes a great hole in my
Besides, as they say, service is no inheritance in these ages.
Now, Mrs Duke, you know, and everybody understands,
That though ’tis hard to judge, yet money can’t go without hands.’
‘The devil take me!’ said she, (blessing herself,) ‘if ever I saw’t!’
So she roared like a bedlam, as though I had called her all to naught.
So, you know, what could I say to her any more?
I e’en left her, and came away as wise as I was before.
Well; but then they would have had me gone to the cunning man:
‘No,’ said I, ”tis the same thing, the CHAPLAIN will be here anon.’
So the Chaplain came in. Now the servants say he is my sweetheart,
Because he’s always in my chamber, and I always take his part.
So, as the devil would have it, before I was aware, out I blundered,
‘Parson,’ said I, ‘can you cast a nativity, when a body’s plundered?’
(Now you must know, he hates to be called Parson, like the devil!)
‘Truly,’ says he, ‘Mrs Nab, it might become you to be more civil;
If your money be gone, as a learned Divine says, d’ye see,
You are no text for my handling; so take that from me:
I was never taken for a Conjurer before, I’d have you to know.’
‘Lord!’ said I, ‘don’t be angry, I am sure I never thought you so;
You know I honour the cloth; I design to be a Parson’s wife;
I never took one in your coat for a conjurer in all my life.’
With that he twisted his girdle at me like a rope, as who should say,
`Now you may go hang yourself for me!’ and so went away.
Well: I thought I should have swooned. ‘Lord!’ said I, ‘what shall I do?
I have lost my money, and shall lose my true love too!’
Then my lord called me: ‘Harry,’ said my lord, ‘don’t cry;
I’ll give you something toward thy loss: ‘And,’ says my lady, ‘so will I.’
Oh! but, said I, what if, after all, the Chaplain won’t come to?
For that, he said (an’t please your Excellencies), I must petition you.
The premisses tenderly considered, I desire your Excellencies’ protection,
And that I may have a share in next Sunday’s collection;
And, over and above, that I may have your Excellencies’ letter,
With an order for the Chaplain aforesaid, or, instead of him, a better:
And then your poor petitioner, both night and day,
Or the Chaplain (for ’tis his trade,) as in duty bound, shall ever pray.
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.
Lines Written Extempore On Mr. Harley’s Being Stabbed, And Addressed To His Physician, 1710-11
On Britain Europe’s safety lies,
Britain is lost if Harley dies:
Harley depends upon your skill:
Think what you save, or what you kill.
Mr. William Crowe’s Address To Her Majesty, Turned Into Metre
From a town that consists of a church and a steeple,
With three or four houses, and as many people,
There went an Address in great form and good order,
Composed, as ’tis said, by Will Crowe, their Recorder.
And thus it began to an excellent tune:
Forgive us, good madam, that we did not as soon
As the rest of the cities and towns of this nation
Wish your majesty joy on this glorious occasion.
Not that we’re less hearty or loyal than others,
But having a great many sisters and brothers,
Our borough in riches and years far exceeding,
We let them speak first, to show our good breeding.
We have heard with much transport and great satisfaction
Of the victory obtain’d in the late famous action,
When the field was so warm’d, that it soon grew too hot
For the French and Bavarians, who had all gone to pot,
But that they thought best in great haste to retire,
And leap into the water for fear of the fire.
But says the good river, Ye fools, plague confound ye,
Do ye think to swim through me, and that I’ll not drown ye?
Who have ravish’d, and murder’d, and play’d such damn’d pranks,
And trod down the grass on my much-injured banks?
Then, swelling with anger and rage to the brink,
He gave the poor Monsieur his last draught of drink.
So it plainly appears they were very well bang’d,
And that some may be drown’d, who deserved to be hang’d.
Great Marlbro’ well push’d: ’twas well push’d indeed:
Oh, how we adore you, because you succeed!
And now I may say it, I hope without blushing,
That you have got twins, by your violent pushing;
Twin battles I mean, that will ne’er be forgotten,
But live and be talk’d of, when we’re dead and rotten.
Let other nice lords sculk at home from the wars,
Prank’d up and adorn’d with garters and stars,
Which but twinkle like those in a cold frosty night;
While to yours you are adding such lustre and light,
That if you proceed, I’m sure very soon
‘Twill be brighter and larger than the sun or the moon:
A blazing star, I foretell, ’twill prove to the Gaul,
That portends of his empire the ruin and fall.
Now God bless your majesty, and our Lord Murrough,
And send him in safety and health to his borough.
A Gentle Echo on Woman
Shepherd. Echo, I ween, will in the woods reply,
And quaintly answer questions. Shall I try?
Shepherd. What must we do our passion to express?
Shepherd. How shall I please her, who ne’er loved before?
Shepherd. What most moves women when we them address?
Echo. A dress.
Shepherd. Say, what can keep her chaste whom I adore?
Echo. A door.
Shepherd. If music softens rocks, love tunes my lyre.
Shepherd. Then teach me, Echo, how shall I come by her?
Echo. Buy her.
Shepherd. When bought, no question I shall be her dear?
Echo. Her deer.
Shepherd. But deer have horns: how must I keep her under?
Echo. Keep her under.
Shepherd. But what can glad me when she’s laid on bier?
Shepherd. What must I do when women will be kind?
Echo. Be kind.
Shepherd. What must I do when women will be cross?
Echo. Be cross.
Shepherd. Lord, what is she that can so turn and wind?
Shepherd. If she be wind, what stills her when she blows?
Shepherd. But if she bang again, still should I bang her?
Echo. Bang her.
Shepherd. Is there no way to moderate her anger?
Echo. Hang her.
Shepherd. Thanks, gentle Echo! Right thy answers tell
What woman is, and how to guard her well.
Echo. Guard her well.