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SWIFT-A. D. 1667-1745.


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PERUSE my leaves through every part, And think thou seest my owner's heart, Scrawl'd o'er with trifles thus, and quite As hard, as senseless, and as light; Expos'd to every coxcomb's eyes, But hid with caution from the wise. Here you may read, "Dear charming saint!" Beneath, "A new receipt for paint;' Here, in beau-spelling, Tru tel deth;" There, in her own, "For an el breth;" Here, "Lovely nymph, pronounce my doom!" There, "A safe way to use perfume:" Here, a page fill'd with billet-doux; On t'other side, "Laid out for shoes". "Madam, I die without your grace""Item, for half a yard of lace." Who that had wit would place it here, For every peeping fop to jeer; In power of spittle and a clout, Whene'er he please, to blot it out; And then, to heighten the disgrace, Clap his own nonsense in the place? Whoe'er expects to hold his part In such a book, and such a heart, If he be wealthy, and a fool, Is in all points the fittest tool; Of whom it may be justly said, He's a gold pencil tipp'd with lead.


To their Excellencies the Lords Justices of Ireland, the humble petition of Frances Harris, Who must starve, and die a maid, if it miscarries;

Humbly sheweth,

That I went to warm myself in Lady Betty's chamber, because I was cold;

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 resolv'd 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 to my smock.

So when I went to put up my purse, God would have it, my smock was unript,

And, instead of putting it into my pocket, down it slipt;

Then the bell rang, 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 search'd, and miss'd my purse, Lord! I thought I should have sunk outright.

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! said Mary, I never stirr'd 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 cover'd me up warm: However, she stole away my garters, that I might do myself no harm,

So I tumbled and toss'd all night, as you may very well think,

But hardly ever set my eyes together, or slept a wink. So I was adream'd, methought that we went and search'd the folks round,

And in a corner of Mrs. Dukes' box, tied in a rag, the money was found.

So next morning we told Whittle, and he fell aswearing;

Then my dame Wadgar came; and she, you know, is

thick of hearing.

Dame, said I, as loud as I could bawl, do you know

what a loss I have had?

Nay, said she, my Lord Conway'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 And in all the places I liv'd I never heard of such a twenty years come spring, thing.

Yes, says the steward, I remember, when I was at my Lady Shrewsbury's,

Such a thing as this happen'd 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). [about: However, I was resolv'd to bring the discourse slyly Mrs. Dukes, said I, here's an ugly accident has hap pen'd 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.

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The devil take me! said she (blessing herself) if ever I saw't!

So she roar'd like a bedlam, as though I had call'd 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 had me gone to the cun-
ning 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 blunder'd,

Parson, said I, can you cast a nativity, when a body's plunder'd!

(Now you must know he hates to be call'd 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


[me; You are no text for my handling; so take that from I was never taken for a conjuror 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 conjuror in all my life;

With that he twisted his girdle at me like a rope, as who should say,

[away. Now you may go hang yourself for me, and so went Well: I thought I would have swoon'd. Lord! said

I, what shall I do!

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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 à-la-main, This day arriv'd, without his train, Mordanto in a week from Spain.

A messenger comes all a-reck, 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 strown; 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 corpse, 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 name-sake Charles of Sweden.


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 them a dance of many a mile,
Then rear them to a goodly pile.
Each number had its different 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,
Observ'd they grew a numerous race;
And, should they build as fast as write,
"Twould ruin undertakers quite.
This evil therefore to prevent,
He wisely chang'd their element,
On earth the god of wealth was made
Sole patron of the building trade;
Leaving the wits the spacious air,
With licence to build castles there:
And, 'tis conceiv'd, 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 skilled
In both capacities to build.
As herald, he can in a day
Repair a house gone to decay;
Or, by achievement, arms, device,
Erect a new one in a trice;
And, as a poet, he has skill
To build in speculation still.
Great Jove! he cry'd, 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 smil'd, 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 resolv'd to write a farce;
But, well perceiving wit was scarce,
With cunning that defect supplies;
Takes a French play as lawful prize;
Steals hence his plot and every 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,
Build Babel with their tongues confounded.
Jove saw the cheat, but thought it best
To turn the matter to a jest:
Down from Olympus too 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' experienc'd 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 fifth.
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;
Look'd 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 rapture thus began
To praise the pile and builder Van:

Thrice happy poet! who mayst 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,
Canst make it serve thee for a tilt!
Capacious house! 'tis own'd by all
Thou'rt well contriv'd, though thou art small:
For every 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.



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's 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,
Tried every tone might pity win;
But not a soul would let them in.

Our wandering saints, in woful state,
Treated at this ungodly rate,
Having through 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 them drink,
Fill'd a large jug up to the brink,
And saw it fairly twice go round;
Yet (what is wonderful!) they found,
"Twas still replenish'd 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 ar't?
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 folks, 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;
Whilst 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 every 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,
Apply'd 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 flier, though't 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 the 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 cook-maid not to burn
That roast-meat which it cannot turn.

The groaning-chair began to crawl,
Like a huge snail, along 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 glittering 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 Moll,
Fair Rosomond, and Robin Hood,
The Little Children in the Wood,
Now seem'd to look abundance better,
Improv'd in picture, size, and letter;
And, high in order plac'd, describe
The heraldry of every 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 folks dispos'd to sleep.

The cottage by such feats as these
Grown to a church by just degrees,
The hermits then desir'd their host
To ask for what he fancy'd most.
Philemon, having paus'd awhile,
Return'd them thanks in homely style:
Then said, My house has 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 assum'd a sable hue;
But, being old, continued just
As threadbare, and as full of dust.
His talk was now of tithes and dues :
He smok'd his pipe, and read the news;

Knew how to preach old sermons next,
Vamp'd in the preface and the text;
At christenings 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 miss'd 'em.
Thus having furbish'd up a parson,
Dame Baucis next they play'd their farce on.
Instead of home-spun coifs, were seen
Good pinners edg'd with colberteen;
Her petticoat, transform'd apace,
Became black satin flounc'd 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!

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 brick-dust Moll had scream'd through half the
The turnkey now his flock returning sees, [street.
Duly let out o' nights to steal for fees:
The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands,
And school-boys lag with satchels in their hands.

CAREFUL observers may foretel 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 aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage.
Sauntering in coffee-house 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,

Sprout! quoth the man; what's this you tell us? That swill'd more liquor than it could contain,

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 folks 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 believed
How much the other tree was griev'd,
Grew scrubby, died a-top, was stunted;
So the next parson stubb'd and burnt it.


Now hardly here and there a 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 slipshod 'prentice from his master's door
Had par'd the dirt, and sprinkled round the floor.
Now Moll had whirl'd her mop with dext'rous airs,
Prepar'd to scrub the entry and the stairs.

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 the mop.
Not yet the dust had shunn'd th' 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 dø,
Instead of paying chairmen, ran them through,)

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