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Poems Composed at Market Hill

Section Title: Poems Composed at Market Hill

From The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume II (of 2)

Edited by William Ernst Browning
Barrister, Inner Temple
Author of The Life of Lord Chesterfield.



ON CUTTING DOWN THE THORN AT MARKET-HILL.[1] 1727
At Market-Hill, as well appears
  By chronicle of ancient date,
There stood for many hundred years
  A spacious thorn before the gate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 1: A village near the seat of Sir Arthur Acheson, where the Dean made a long visit. The tree, which was a remarkable one, was much admired by the knight. Yet the Dean, in one of his unaccountable humours, gave directions for cutting it down in the absence of Sir Arthur, who was, of course, highly incensed. By way of making his peace, the Dean wrote this poem; which had the desired effect.] [Footnote 2: Sir Archibald Acheson, secretary of state for Scotland.] [Footnote 3: Drummond of Hawthornden, and Sir William Alexander, Earl of Stirling, who were both friends of Sir Archibald, and famous for their poetry.] [Footnote 4: Sir Arthur Acheson.]


TO DEAN SWIFT BY SIR ARTHUR ACHESON. 1728
Good cause have I to sing and vapour,
For I am landlord to the Drapier:
He, that of every ear's the charmer,
Now condescends to be my farmer,
And grace my villa with his strains;
Lives such a bard on British plains?
No; not in all the British court;
For none but witlings there resort,
Whose names and works (though dead) are made
Immortal by the Dunciad;
And, sure as monument of brass,
Their fame to future times shall pass;
How, with a weakly warbling tongue,
Of brazen knight they vainly sung;
A subject for their genius fit;
He dares defy both sense and wit.
What dares he not? He can, we know it,
A laureat make that is no poet;
A judge, without the least pretence
To common law, or common sense;
A bishop that is no divine;
And coxcombs in red ribbons shine:
Nay, he can make, what's greater far,
A middle state 'twixt peace and war;
And say, there shall; for years together,
Be peace and war, and both, and neither.
Happy, O Market-Hill! at least,
That court and courtiers have no taste:
You never else had known the Dean,
But, as of old, obscurely lain;
All things gone on the same dull track,
And Drapier's-Hill been still Drumlack;
But now your name with Penshurst vies,
And wing'd with fame shall reach the skies.



DEAN SWIFT AT SIR ARTHUR ACHESON'S IN THE NORTH OF IRELAND
The Dean would visit Market-Hill,
  Our invitation was but slight;
I said--"Why let him, if he will:"
  And so I bade Sir Arthur write.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 1: The seat of Acheson Moore, Esq., in the county of Tyrone.] [Footnote 2: The Dean used to call Lady Acheson by those names. See "My Lady's Lamentation," next page.--W. E. B.]


ON A VERY OLD GLASS AT MARKET-HILL
Frail glass! thou mortal art as well as I;
  Though none can tell which of us first shall die.


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



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

Poor Dick, alas! is dead and gone,
  What signifies to cry?
Dickies enough are still behind,
  To laugh at by and by.
Buried, June 18, 1728, aged 63.


MY LADY'S[1] LAMENTATION AND COMPLAINT AGAINST THE DEAN JULY 28, 1728
Sure never did man see
A wretch like poor Nancy,
So teazed day and night
By a Dean and a Knight.
To punish my sins,
Sir Arthur begins,
And gives me a wipe,
With Skinny and Snipe:[2],
His malice is plain,
Hallooing the Dean.

The Dean never stops,
When he opens his chops;
I'm quite overrun
With rebus and pun.

Before he came here,
To spunge for good cheer,
I sat with delight,
From morning till night,
With two bony thumbs
Could rub my old gums,
Or scratching my nose
And jogging my toes;
But at present, forsooth,
I must not rub a tooth.
When my elbows he sees
Held up by my knees,
My arms, like two props,
Supporting my chops,
And just as I handle 'em
Moving all like a pendulum;
He trips up my props,
And down my chin drops
From my head to my heels,
Like a clock without wheels;
I sink in the spleen,
A useless machine.

If he had his will,
I should never sit still:
He comes with his whims
I must move my limbs;
I cannot be sweet
Without using my feet;
To lengthen my breath,
He tires me to death.
By the worst of all squires,
Thro' bogs and thro' briers,
Where a cow would be startled,
I'm in spite of my heart led;
And, say what I will,
Haul'd up every hill;
Till, daggled and tatter'd,
My spirits quite shatter'd,
I return home at night,
And fast, out of spite:
For I'd rather be dead,
Than it e'er should be said,
I was better for him,
In stomach or limb.

But now to my diet;
No eating in quiet,
He's still finding fault,
Too sour or too salt:
The wing of a chick
I hardly can pick:
But trash without measure
I swallow with pleasure.

Next, for his diversion,
He rails at my person.
What court breeding this is!
He takes me to pieces:
From shoulder to flank
I'm lean and am lank;
My nose, long and thin,
Grows down to my chin;
My chin will not stay,
But meets it halfway;
My fingers, prolix,
Are ten crooked sticks:
He swears my el--bows
Are two iron crows,
Or sharp pointed rocks,
And wear out my smocks:
To 'scape them, Sir Arthur
Is forced to lie farther,
Or his sides they would gore
Like the tusks of a boar.

Now changing the scene
But still to the Dean;
He loves to be bitter at
A lady illiterate;
If he sees her but once,
He'll swear she’s a dunce;
Can tell by her looks
A hater of books;
Thro' each line of her face
Her folly can trace;
Which spoils every feature
Bestow'd her by nature;
But sense gives a grace
To the homeliest face:
Wise books and reflection
Will mend the complexion:
(A civil divine!
I suppose, meaning mine!)
No lady who wants them,
Can ever be handsome.

I guess well enough
What he means by this stuff:
He haws and he hums,
At last out it comes:
What, madam? No walking,
No reading, nor talking?
You're now in your prime,
Make use of your time.
Consider, before
You come to threescore,
How the hussies will fleer
Where'er you appear;
"That silly old puss
Would fain be like us:
What a figure she made
In her tarnish'd brocade!"

And then he grows mild:
Come, be a good child:
If you are inclined
To polish your mind,
Be adored by the men
Till threescore and ten,
And kill with the spleen
The jades of sixteen;
I'll show you the way;
Read six hours a-day.
The wits will frequent ye,
And think you but twenty.
[To make you learn faster,
I'll be your schoolmaster
And leave you to choose
The books you peruse.[3]]

Thus was I drawn in;
Forgive me my sin.
At breakfast he'll ask
An account of my task.
Put a word out of joint,
Or miss but a point,
He rages and frets,
His manners forgets;
And as I am serious,
Is very imperious.
No book for delight
Must come in my sight;
But, instead of new plays,
Dull Bacon's Essays,
And pore every day on
That nasty Pantheon.[4]
If I be not a drudge,
Let all the world judge.
'Twere better be blind,
Than thus be confined.

But while in an ill tone,
I murder poor Milton,
The Dean you will swear,
Is at study or prayer.
He's all the day sauntering,
With labourers bantering,
Among his colleagues,
A parcel of Teagues,
Whom he brings in among us
And bribes with mundungus.

[He little believes
How they laugh in their sleeves.]

Hail, fellow, well met,
All dirty and wet:
Find out, if you can,
Who's master, who's man;
Who makes the best figure,
The Dean or the digger;
And which is the best
At cracking a jest.
[Now see how he sits
Perplexing his wits
In search of a motto
To fix on his grotto.]
How proudly he talks
Of zigzags and walks,
And all the day raves
Of cradles and caves;
And boasts of his feats,
His grottos and seats;
Shows all his gewgaws,
And gapes for applause;
A fine occupation
For one in his station!
A hole where a rabbit
Would scorn to inhabit,
Dug out in an hour;
He calls it a bower.

But, O! how we laugh,
To see a wild calf
Come, driven by heat,
And foul the green seat;
Or run helter-skelter,
To his arbour for shelter,
Where all goes to ruin
The Dean has been doing:
The girls of the village
Come flocking for pillage,
Pull down the fine briers
And thorns to make fires;
But yet are so kind
To leave something behind:
No more need be said on't,
I smell when I tread on't.

Dear friend, Doctor Jinny.
If I could but win ye,
Or Walmsley or Whaley,
To come hither daily,
Since fortune, my foe,
Will needs have it so,
That I'm, by her frowns,
Condemn'd to black gowns;
No squire to be found
The neighbourhood round;
(For, under the rose,
I would rather choose those)
If your wives will permit ye,
Come here out of pity,
To ease a poor lady,
And beg her a play-day.
So may you be seen
No more in the spleen;
May Walmsley give wine
Like a hearty divine!
May Whaley disgrace
Dull Daniel's whey-face!
And may your three spouses
Let you lie at friends' houses!

[Footnote 1: Lady Acheson.] [Footnote 2: See ante, p.94 W.--W. E. B.] [Footnote 3: Added from the Dean's manuscript.] [Footnote 4: "The Pantheon," containing the mythological systems of the Greeks and Romans, by Andrew Tooke, A.M., first published, 1713. The little work became very popular. The copy I have is of the thirty-sixth edition, with plates, 1831. It is still in demand, as it deserves to be. Compare Leigh Hunt's remark on the illustrations to the "Pantheon," cited by Mr. Coleridge in his notes to "Don Juan," Canto I, St. xli, Byron's Works, edit. 1903.--W. E. B.]


A PASTORAL DIALOGUE. 1728 DERMOT AND SHEELAH
A Nymph and swain, Sheelah and Dermot hight;
Who wont to weed the court of Gosford knight;[1]
While each with stubbed knife removed the roots,
That raised between the stones their daily shoots;
As at their work they sate in counterview,
With mutual beauty smit, their passion grew.
Sing, heavenly Muse, in sweetly flowing strain,
The soft endearments of the nymph and swain.

DERMOT

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

SHEELAH

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

DERMOT

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

SHEELAH

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

DERMOT

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

SHEELAH

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

DERMOT

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

SHEELAH

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

DERMOT

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

SHEELAH

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

DERMOT

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

[Footnote 1: Sir Arthur Acheson, whose great-grandfather was Sir Archibald, of Gosford, in Scotland.] [Footnote 2: Who was a great lover of Scotland.] [Footnote 3: Halfpenny-worth.] [Footnote 4: Sir Arthur's butler.] [Footnote 5: Shoes with flat low heels.] [Footnote 6: A sort of flummery.]


THE GRAND QUESTION DEBATED: WHETHER HAMILTON'S BAWN[1] SHOULD BE TURNED INTO A BARRACK OR MALT-HOUSE. 1729 THE PREFACE TO THE ENGLISH EDITION
The author of the following poem is said to be Dr. J. S. D. S. P. D. who writ it, as well as several other copies of verses of the like kind, by way of amusement, in the family of an honourable gentleman in the north of Ireland, where he spent a summer, about two or three years ago.[2] A certain very great person,[3] then in that kingdom, having heard much of this poem, obtained a copy from the gentleman, or, as some say, the lady in whose house it was written, from whence I know not by what accident several other copies were transcribed full of errors. As I have a great respect for the supposed author, I have procured a true copy of the poem, the publication whereof can do him less injury than printing any of those incorrect ones which run about in manuscript, and would infallibly be soon in the press, if not thus prevented. Some expressions being peculiar to Ireland, I have prevailed on a gentleman of that kingdom to explain them, and I have put the several explanations in their proper places.--First Edition.
Thus spoke to my lady the knight[2] full of care,
"Let me have your advice in a weighty affair.
This Hamilton's bawn, while it sticks in my hand
I lose by the house what I get by the land;
But how to dispose of it to the best bidder,
For a barrack[6] or malt-house, we now must consider.


  "First, let me suppose I make it a malt-house,
Here I have computed the profit will fall t'us:
There's nine hundred pounds for labour and grain,
I increase it to twelve, so three hundred remain;
A handsome addition for wine and good cheer,
Three dishes a-day, and three hogsheads a-year;
With a dozen large vessels my vault shall be stored;
No little scrub joint shall come on my board;
And you and the Dean no more shall combine
To stint me at night to one bottle of wine;
Nor shall I, for his humour, permit you to purloin
A stone and a quarter of beef from my sir-loin.
If I make it a barrack, the crown is my tenant;
My dear, I have ponder'd again and again on't:
In poundage and drawbacks I lose half my rent,
Whatever they give me, I must be content,
Or join with the court in every debate;
And rather than that, I would lose my estate."


  Thus ended the knight; thus began his meek wife:
"It must, and it shall be a barrack, my life.
I'm grown a mere mopus; no company comes
But a rabble of tenants, and rusty dull rums.[5]
With parsons what lady can keep herself clean?
I'm all over daub'd when I sit by the Dean.
But if you will give us a barrack, my dear,
The captain I'm sure will always come here;
I then shall not value his deanship a straw,
For the captain, I warrant, will keep him in awe;
Or, should he pretend to be brisk and alert,
Will tell him that chaplains should not be so pert;
That men of his coat should be minding their prayers,
And not among ladies to give themselves airs."


  Thus argued my lady, but argued in vain;
The knight his opinion resolved to maintain.


  But Hannah,[6] who listen'd to all that was past,
And could not endure so vulgar a taste,
As soon as her ladyship call'd to be dress'd,
Cried, "Madam, why surely my master's possess'd,
Sir Arthur the maltster! how fine it will sound!
I'd rather the bawn were sunk under ground.
But, madam, I guess'd there would never come good,
When I saw him so often with Darby and Wood.[7]
And now my dream's out; for I was a-dream'd
That I saw a huge rat--O dear, how I scream'd!
And after, methought, I had lost my new shoes;
And Molly, she said, I should hear some ill news.


  "Dear Madam, had you but the spirit to tease,
You might have a barrack whenever you please:
And, madam, I always believed you so stout,
That for twenty denials you would not give out.
If I had a husband like him, I purtest,
Till he gave me my will, I would give him no rest;
And, rather than come in the same pair of sheets
With such a cross man, I would lie in the streets:
But, madam, I beg you, contrive and invent,
And worry him out, till he gives his consent.
Dear madam, whene'er of a barrack I think,
An I were to be hang'd, I can't sleep a wink:
For if a new crotchet comes into my brain,
I can't get it out, though I'd never so fain.
I fancy already a barrack contrived
At Hamilton's bawn, and the troop is arrived;
Of this to be sure, Sir Arthur has warning,
And waits on the captain betimes the next morning.


  "Now see, when they meet, how their honours behave;
'Noble captain, your servant'--'Sir Arthur, your slave;
You honour me much'--'The honour is mine.'--
''Twas a sad rainy night'--'But the morning is fine.'--
'Pray, how does my lady?'--'My wife's at your service.'--
'I think I have seen her picture by Jervas.'--
'Good-morrow, good captain'--'I'll wait on you down'--
'You shan't stir a foot'--'You'll think me a clown.'--
'For all the world, captain, not half an inch farther'--
'You must be obey'd--Your servant, Sir Arthur!
My humble respects to my lady unknown.'--
'I hope you will use my house as your own.'"


  "Go bring me my smock, and leave off your prate,
Thou hast certainly gotten a cup in thy pate."


  "Pray, madam, be quiet: what was it I said?
You had like to have put it quite out of my head.
Next day to be sure, the captain will come,
At the head of his troop, with trumpet and drum.
Now, madam, observe how he marches in state:
The man with the kettle-drum enters the gate:
Dub, dub, adub, dub. The trumpeters follow.
Tantara, tantara; while all the boys holla.
See now comes the captain all daub'd with gold lace:
O la! the sweet gentleman! look in his face;
And see how he rides like a lord of the land,
With the fine flaming sword that he holds in his hand;
And his horse, the dear creter, it prances and rears;
With ribbons in knots at its tail and its ears:
At last comes the troop, by word of command,
Drawn up in our court; when the captain cries, STAND!
Your ladyship lifts up the sash to be seen,
For sure I had dizen'd you out like a queen.
The captain, to show he is proud of the favour,
Looks up to your window, and cocks up his beaver;
(His beaver is cock'd: pray, madam, mark that,
For a captain of horse never takes off his hat,
Because he has never a hand that is idle,
For the right holds the sword, and the left holds the bridle;)
Then flourishes thrice his sword in the air,
As a compliment due to a lady so fair;
(How I tremble to think of the blood it has spilt!)
Then he lowers down the point, and kisses the hilt.
Your ladyship smiles, and thus you begin:
'Pray, captain, be pleased to alight and walk in.'
The captain salutes you with congee profound,
And your ladyship curtseys half way to the ground.
'Kit, run to your master, and bid him come to us;
I'm sure he'll be proud of the honour you do us;
And, captain, you'll do us the favour to stay,
And take a short dinner here with us to-day:
You're heartily welcome; but as for good cheer,
You come in the very worst time of the year;
If I had expected so worthy a guest--'
'Lord, madam! your ladyship sure is in jest;
You banter me, madam; the kingdom must grant--'
'You officers, captain, are so complaisant!'"--


  "Hist, hussey, I think I hear somebody coming "--
"No madam: 'tis only Sir Arthur a-humming.
To shorten my tale, (for I hate a long story,)
The captain at dinner appears in his glory;
The dean and the doctor[8] have humbled their pride,
For the captain's entreated to sit by your side;
And, because he's their betters, you carve for him first;
The parsons for envy are ready to burst.
The servants, amazed, are scarce ever able
To keep off their eyes, as they wait at the table;
And Molly and I have thrust in our nose,
To peep at the captain in all his fine clo'es.
Dear madam, be sure he's a fine spoken man,
Do but hear on the clergy how glib his tongue ran;
And, 'madam,' says he, 'if such dinners you give,
You'll ne'er want for parsons as long as you live.
I ne'er knew a parson without a good nose;
But the devil's as welcome, wherever he goes:
G--d d--n me! they bid us reform and repent,
But, z--s! by their looks, they never keep Lent:
Mister curate, for all your grave looks, I'm afraid
You cast a sheep's eye on her ladyship's maid:
I wish she would lend you her pretty white hand
In mending your cassock, and smoothing your band:
(For the Dean was so shabby, and look'd like a ninny,
That the captain supposed he was curate to Jinny.)
'Whenever you see a cassock and gown,
A hundred to one but it covers a clown.
Observe how a parson comes into a room;
G--d d--n me, he hobbles as bad as my groom;
A scholard, when just from his college broke loose,
Can hardly tell how to cry bo to a goose;
Your Noveds, and Bluturks, and Omurs,[9] and stuff
By G--, they don't signify this pinch of snuff.
To give a young gentleman right education,
The army's the only good school in the nation:
My schoolmaster call'd me a dunce and a fool,
But at cuffs I was always the cock of the school;
I never could take to my book for the blood o' me,
And the puppy confess'd he expected no good o' me.
He caught me one morning coquetting his wife,
But he maul'd me, I ne'er was so maul'd in my life: [10]
So I took to the road, and, what's very odd,
The first man I robb'd was a parson, by G--.
Now, madam, you'll think it a strange thing to say,
But the sight of a book makes me sick to this day.


  "Never since I was born did I hear so much wit,
And, madam, I laugh'd till I thought I should split.
So then you look'd scornful, and snift at the Dean,
As who should say, 'Now, am I skinny[11] and lean?'
But he durst not so much as once open his lips,
And the doctor was plaguily down in the hips."
Thus merciless Hannah ran on in her talk,
Till she heard the Dean call, "Will your ladyship walk?"
Her ladyship answers, "I'm just coming down:"
Then, turning to Hannah, and forcing a frown,
Although it was plain in her heart she was glad,
Cried, "Hussey, why sure the wench is gone mad!
How could these chimeras get into your brains!--
Come hither and take this old gown for your pains.
But the Dean, if this secret should come to his ears,
Will never have done with his gibes and his jeers:
For your life, not a word of the matter I charge ye:
Give me but a barrack, a fig for the clergy."

[Footnote 1: A bawn was a place near the house, enclosed with mud or stone walls, to keep the cattle from being stolen in the night, now little used.--Dublin Edition.] [Footnote 2: Sir Arthur Acheson, at whose seat this was written.] [Footnote 3: John, Lord Carteret, then Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, since Earl of Granville, in right of his mother.] [Footnote 4: The army in Ireland was lodged in strong buildings, called barracks. See "Verses on his own Death," and notes, vol. i, 247.--W. E. B.] [Footnote 5: A cant-word in Ireland for a poor country clergyman.] [Footnote 6: My lady's waiting-woman.] [Footnote 7: Two of Sir Arthur's managers.] [Footnote 8: Dr. Jinny, a clergyman in the neighbourhood.] [Footnote 9: Ovids, Plutarchs, Homers.] [Footnote 10: These four lines were added by Swift in his own copy of the Miscellanies, edit. 1732.--W. E. B.] [Footnote 11: Nicknames for my lady, see ante, pp. 94, 95.--W. E. B.]


DRAPIER'S-HILL.[1] 1730
We give the world to understand,
Our thriving Dean has purchased land;
A purchase which will bring him clear
Above his rent four pounds a-year;
Provided to improve the ground,
He will but add two hundred pound;
And from his endless hoarded store,
To build a house, five hundred more.
Sir Arthur, too, shall have his will,
And call the mansion Drapier's-Hill;
That, when a nation, long enslaved,
Forgets by whom it once was saved;
When none the Drapier's praise shall sing,
His signs aloft no longer swing,
His medals and his prints forgotten,
And all his handkerchiefs [2] are rotten,
His famous letters made waste paper,
This hill may keep the name of Drapier;
In spite of envy, flourish still,
And Drapier's vie with Cooper's-Hill.

[Footnote 1: The Dean gave this name to a farm called Drumlach, which he took of Sir Arthur Acheson, whose seat lay between that and Market-Hill; and intended to build a house upon it, but afterwards changed his mind.] [Footnote 2: Medals were cast, many signs hung up, and handkerchiefs made, with devices in honour of the Dean, under the name of M. B. Drapier. See "Verses on his own death," vol. i.--W. E. B.]


THE DEAN'S REASONS FOR NOT BUILDING AT DRAPIER'S-HILL
 I will not build on yonder mount;
And, should you call me to account,
Consulting with myself, I find
It was no levity of mind.
Whate'er I promised or intended,
No fault of mine, the scheme is ended;
Nor can you tax me as unsteady,
I have a hundred causes ready;
All risen since that flattering time,
When Drapier's-Hill appear'd in rhyme.

  I am, as now too late I find,
The greatest cully of mankind;
The lowest boy in Martin's school
May turn and wind me like a fool.
How could I form so wild a vision,
To seek, in deserts, Fields Elysian?
To live in fear, suspicion, variance,
With thieves, fanatics, and barbarians?

  But here my lady will object;
Your deanship ought to recollect,
That, near the knight of Gosford[1] placed,
Whom you allow a man of taste,
Your intervals of time to spend
With so conversable a friend,
It would not signify a pin
Whatever climate you were in.

  'Tis true, but what advantage comes
To me from all a usurer's plums;
Though I should see him twice a-day,
And am his neighbour 'cross the way:
If all my rhetoric must fail
To strike him for a pot of ale?

  Thus, when the learned and the wise
Conceal their talents from our eyes,
And from deserving friends withhold
Their gifts, as misers do their gold;
Their knowledge to themselves confined
Is the same avarice of mind;
Nor makes their conversation better,
Than if they never knew a letter.
Such is the fate of Gosford's knight,
Who keeps his wisdom out of sight;
Whose uncommunicative heart
Will scarce one precious word impart:
Still rapt in speculations deep,
His outward senses fast asleep;
Who, while I talk, a song will hum,
Or with his fingers beat the drum;
Beyond the skies transports his mind,
And leaves a lifeless corpse behind.

  But, as for me, who ne'er could clamber high,
To understand Malebranche or Cambray;
Who send my mind (as I believe) less
Than others do, on errands sleeveless;
Can listen to a tale humdrum,
And with attention read Tom Thumb;
My spirits with my body progging,
Both hand in hand together jogging;
Sunk over head and ears in matter.
Nor can of metaphysics smatter;
Am more diverted with a quibble
Than dream of words intelligible;
And think all notions too abstracted
Are like the ravings of a crackt head;
What intercourse of minds can be
Betwixt the knight sublime and me,
If when I talk, as talk I must,
It is but prating to a bust?

  Where friendship is by Fate design'd,
It forms a union in the mind:
But here I differ from the knight
In every point, like black and white:
For none can say that ever yet
We both in one opinion met:
Not in philosophy, or ale;
In state affairs, or planting kale;
In rhetoric, or picking straws;
In roasting larks, or making laws;
In public schemes, or catching flies;
In parliaments, or pudding pies.

  The neighbours wonder why the knight
Should in a country life delight,
Who not one pleasure entertains
To cheer the solitary scenes:
His guests are few, his visits rare;
Nor uses time, nor time will spare;
Nor rides, nor walks, nor hunts, nor fowls,
Nor plays at cards, or dice, or bowls;
But seated in an easy-chair,
Despises exercise and air.
His rural walks he ne'er adorns;
Here poor Pomona sits on thorns:
And there neglected Flora settles
Her bum upon a bed of nettles.
Those thankless and officious cares
I used to take in friends' affairs,
From which I never could refrain,
And have been often chid in vain;
From these I am recover'd quite,
At least in what regards the knight.
Preserve his health, his store increase;
May nothing interrupt his peace!
But now let all his tenants round
First milk his cows, and after, pound;
Let every cottager conspire
To cut his hedges down for fire;
The naughty boys about the village
His crabs and sloes may freely pillage;
He still may keep a pack of knaves
To spoil his work, and work by halves;
His meadows may be dug by swine,
It shall be no concern of mine;
For why should I continue still
To serve a friend against his will?

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


THE REVOLUTION AT MARKET-HILL 1730
 From distant regions Fortune sends
An odd triumvirate of friends;
Where Phoebus pays a scanty stipend,
Where never yet a codling ripen'd:
Hither the frantic goddess draws
Three sufferers in a ruin'd cause:
By faction banish'd, here unite,
A Dean,[1] a Spaniard,[2] and a Knight;[3]
Unite, but on conditions cruel;
The Dean and Spaniard find it too well,
Condemn'd to live in service hard;
On either side his honour's guard:
The Dean to guard his honour's back,
Must build a castle at Drumlack;[4]
The Spaniard, sore against his will,
Must raise a fort at Market-Hill.
And thus the pair of humble gentry
At north and south are posted sentry;
While in his lordly castle fixt,
The knight triumphant reigns betwixt:
And, what the wretches most resent,
To be his slaves, must pay him rent;
Attend him daily as their chief,
Decant his wine, and carve his beef.
O Fortune! 'tis a scandal for thee
To smile on those who are least worthy:
Weigh but the merits of the three,
His slaves have ten times more than he.

  Proud baronet of Nova Scotia!
The Dean and Spaniard must reproach ye:
Of their two fames the world enough rings:
Where are thy services and sufferings?
What if for nothing once you kiss'd,
Against the grain, a monarch's fist?
What if, among the courtly tribe,
You lost a place and saved a bribe?
And then in surly mood came here,
To fifteen hundred pounds a-year,
And fierce against the Whigs harangu'd?
You never ventured to be hang'd.
How dare you treat your betters thus?
Are you to be compared with us?

  Come, Spaniard, let us from our farms
Call forth our cottagers to arms:
Our forces let us both unite,
Attack the foe at left and right;
From Market-Hill's[5] exalted head,
Full northward let your troops be led;
While I from Drapier's-Mount descend,
And to the south my squadrons bend.
New-River Walk, with friendly shade,
Shall keep my host in ambuscade;
While you, from where the basin stands,
Shall scale the rampart with your bands.
Nor need we doubt the fort to win;
I hold intelligence within.
True, Lady Anne no danger fears,
Brave as the Upton fan she wears;[6]
Then, lest upon our first attack
Her valiant arm should force us back,
And we of all our hopes deprived;
I have a stratagem contrived.
By these embroider'd high-heel shoes
She shall be caught as in a noose:
So well contriv'd her toes to pinch,
She'll not have power to stir an inch:
These gaudy shoes must Hannah [7] place
Direct before her lady's face;
The shoes put on, our faithful portress
Admits us in, to storm the fortress,
While tortured madam bound remains,
Like Montezume,[8] in golden chains;
Or like a cat with walnuts shod,
Stumbling at every step she trod.
Sly hunters thus, in Borneo's isle,
To catch a monkey by a wile,
The mimic animal amuse;
They place before him gloves and shoes;
Which, when the brute puts awkward on:
All his agility is gone;
In vain to frisk or climb he tries;
The huntsmen seize the grinning prize.

  But let us on our first assault
Secure the larder and the vault;
The valiant Dennis,[9] you must fix on,
And I'll engage with Peggy Dixon:[10]
Then, if we once can seize the key
And chest that keeps my lady's tea,
They must surrender at discretion!
And, soon as we have gain'd possession,
We'll act as other conquerors do,
Divide the realm between us two;
Then, (let me see,) we'll make the knight
Our clerk, for he can read and write.
But must not think, I tell him that,
Like Lorimer [11] to wear his hat;
Yet, when we dine without a friend,
We'll place him at the lower end.
Madam, whose skill does all in dress lie,
May serve to wait on Mrs. Leslie;
But, lest it might not be so proper
That her own maid should over-top her,
To mortify the creature more,
We'll take her heels five inches lower.

  For Hannah, when we have no need of her,
'Twill be our interest to get rid of her;
And when we execute our plot,
'Tis best to hang her on the spot;
As all your politicians wise,
Dispatch the rogues by whom they rise.

[Footnote 1: Dr. Swift.] [Footnote 2: Colonel Henry Leslie, who served and lived long in Spain.--Dublin Edition.] [Footnote 3: Sir Arthur Acheson.] [Footnote 4: The Irish name of a farm the Dean took of Sir Arthur Acheson, and was to build on, but changed his mind, and called it Drapier's Hill. See the poem so named, and "The Dean's Reasons for not building at Drapier's-Hill," ante, p.107. --W. E. B.] [Footnote 5: A village near Sir Arthur Acheson's.] [Footnote 6: A parody on the phrase, "As brave as his sword."--Scott.] [Footnote 7: My lady's waiting-maid.] [Footnote 8: Montezuma or Mutezuma, the last Emperor of Mexico and the richest, taken prisoner by Hernando Cortes, about 1511, who also obtained possession of the whole empire. Hakluyt's "Navigations," etc., vols. viii, ix.--W. E. B.] [Footnote 9: The butler.] [Footnote 10: The housekeeper.] [Footnote 11: The agent.]


ROBIN AND HARRY.[1] 1730
  Robin to beggars with a curse,
Throws the last shilling in his purse;
And when the coachman comes for pay,
The rogue must call another day.

  Grave Harry, when the poor are pressing
Gives them a penny and God's blessing;
But always careful of the main,
With twopence left, walks home in rain.

  Robin from noon to night will prate,
Run out in tongue, as in estate;
And, ere a twelvemonth and a day,
Will not have one new thing to say.
Much talking is not Harry's vice;
He need not tell a story twice:
And, if he always be so thrifty,
His fund may last to five-and-fifty.

  It so fell out that cautious Harry,
As soldiers use, for love must marry,
And, with his dame, the ocean cross'd;
(All for Love, or the World well Lost!) [2]
Repairs a cabin gone to ruin,
Just big enough to shelter two in;
And in his house, if anybody come,
Will make them welcome to his modicum
Where Goody Julia milks the cows,
And boils potatoes for her spouse;
Or darns his hose, or mends his breeches,
While Harry's fencing up his ditches.

  Robin, who ne'er his mind could fix,
To live without a coach-and-six,
To patch his broken fortunes, found
A mistress worth five thousand pound;
Swears he could get her in an hour,
If gaffer Harry would endow her;
And sell, to pacify his wrath,
A birth-right for a mess of broth.

  Young Harry, as all Europe knows,
Was long the quintessence of beaux;
But, when espoused, he ran the fate
That must attend the married state;
From gold brocade and shining armour,
Was metamorphosed to a farmer;
His grazier's coat with dirt besmear'd;
Nor twice a-week will shave his beard.

  Old Robin, all his youth a sloven,
At fifty-two, when he grew loving,
Clad in a coat of paduasoy,
A flaxen wig, and waistcoat gay,
Powder'd from shoulder down to flank,
In courtly style addresses Frank;
Twice ten years older than his wife,
Is doom'd to be a beau for life;
Supplying those defects by dress,
Which I must leave the world to guess.

[Footnote 1: A lively account of these two gentlemen occurs in Dr. King's Anecdotes of his Own Times, p. 137 et seq., who confirms the peculiarities which Swift has enumerated in the text.--Scott.] [Footnote 2: The title of Dryden's Play, founded on the story of Antony and Cleopatra.--W. E. B.]


A PANEGYRIC ON THE DEAN IN THE PERSON OF A LADY IN THE NORTH [l] 1730
  Resolved my gratitude to show,
Thrice reverend Dean, for all I owe,
Too long I have my thanks delay'd;
Your favours left too long unpaid;
But now, in all our sex's name,
My artless Muse shall sing your fame.

  Indulgent you to female kind,
To all their weaker sides are blind:
Nine more such champions as the Dean
Would soon restore our ancient reign;
How well to win the ladies' hearts,
You celebrate their wit and parts!
How have I felt my spirits raised,
By you so oft, so highly praised!
Transform'd by your convincing tongue
To witty, beautiful, and young,
I hope to quit that awkward shame,
Affected by each vulgar dame,
To modesty a weak pretence;
And soon grow pert on men of sense;
To show my face with scornful air;
Let others match it if they dare.

  Impatient to be out of debt,
O, may I never once forget
The bard who humbly deigns to chuse
Me for the subject of his Muse!
Behind my back, before my nose,
He sounds my praise in verse and prose.

  My heart with emulation burns,
To make you suitable returns;
My gratitude the world shall know;
And see, the printer's boy below;
Ye hawkers all, your voices lift;
"A Panegyric on Dean Swift!"
And then, to mend the matter still,
"By Lady Anne of Market-Hill!"[2]

  I thus begin: My grateful Muse
Salutes the Dean in different views;
Dean, butler, usher, jester, tutor;
Robert and Darby's[3] coadjutor;
And, as you in commission sit,
To rule the dairy next to Kit;[4]
In each capacity I mean
To sing your praise. And first as Dean:
Envy must own, you understand your
Precedence, and support your grandeur:
Nor of your rank will bate an ace,
Except to give Dean Daniel[5] place.
In you such dignity appears,
So suited to your state and years!
With ladies what a strict decorum!
With what devotion you adore 'em!
Treat me with so much complaisance,
As fits a princess in romance!
By your example and assistance,
The fellows learn to know their distance.
Sir Arthur, since you set the pattern,
No longer calls me snipe and slattern,
Nor dares he, though he were a duke,
Offend me with the least rebuke.

  Proceed we to your preaching [5] next!
How nice you split the hardest text!
How your superior learning shines
Above our neighbouring dull divines!
At Beggar's Opera not so full pit
Is seen as when you mount our pulpit.

  Consider now your conversation:
Regardful of your age and station,
You ne'er were known by passion stirr'd
To give the least offensive word:
But still, whene'er you silence break,
Watch every syllable you speak:
Your style so clear, and so concise,
We never ask to hear you twice.
But then a parson so genteel,
So nicely clad from head to heel;
So fine a gown, a band so clean,
As well become St. Patrick's Dean,
Such reverential awe express,
That cowboys know you by your dress!
Then, if our neighbouring friends come here
How proud are we when you appear,
With such address and graceful port,
As clearly shows you bred at court!

  Now raise your spirits, Mr. Dean,
I lead you to a nobler scene.
When to the vault you walk in state,
In quality of butler's [6] mate;
You next to Dennis [7] bear the sway:
To you we often trust the key:
Nor can he judge with all his art
So well, what bottle holds a quart:
What pints may best for bottles pass
Just to give every man his glass:
When proper to produce the best;
And what may serve a common guest.
With Dennis you did ne'er combine,
Not you, to steal your master's wine,
Except a bottle now and then,
To welcome brother serving-men;
But that is with a good design,
To drink Sir Arthur's health and mine,
Your master's honour to maintain:
And get the like returns again.

  Your usher's[8] post must next be handled:
How blest am I by such a man led!
Under whose wise and careful guardship
I now despise fatigue and hardship,
Familiar grown to dirt and wet,
Though draggled round, I scorn to fret:
From you my chamber damsels learn
My broken hose to patch and darn.

  Now as a jester I accost you;
Which never yet one friend has lost you.
You judge so nicely to a hair,
How far to go, and when to spare;
By long experience grown so wise,
Of every taste to know the size;
There's none so ignorant or weak
To take offence at what you speak.[9]
Whene'er you joke, 'tis all a case
Whether with Dermot, or his grace;
With Teague O'Murphy, or an earl;
A duchess, or a kitchen girl.
With such dexterity you fit
Their several talents with your wit,
That Moll the chambermaid can smoke,
And Gahagan[10] take every joke.

  I now become your humble suitor
To let me praise you as my tutor.[11]
Poor I, a savage[12] bred and born,
By you instructed every morn,
Already have improved so well,
That I have almost learnt to spell:
The neighbours who come here to dine,
Admire to hear me speak so fine.
How enviously the ladies look,
When they surprise me at my book!
And sure as they're alive at night,
As soon as gone will show their spight:
Good lord! what can my lady mean,
Conversing with that rusty Dean!
She's grown so nice, and so penurious,[13]
With Socrates and Epicurius!
How could she sit the livelong day,
Yet never ask us once to play?

  But I admire your patience most;
That when I'm duller than a post,
Nor can the plainest word pronounce,
You neither fume, nor fret, nor flounce;
Are so indulgent, and so mild,
As if I were a darling child.
So gentle is your whole proceeding,
That I could spend my life in reading.

  You merit new employments daily:
Our thatcher, ditcher, gardener, baily.
And to a genius so extensive
No work is grievous or offensive:
Whether your fruitful fancy lies
To make for pigs convenient styes;
Or ponder long with anxious thought
To banish rats that haunt our vault:
Nor have you grumbled, reverend Dean,
To keep our poultry sweet and clean;
To sweep the mansion-house they dwell in,
And cure the rank unsavoury smelling.

  Now enter as the dairy handmaid:
Such charming butter [14] never man made.
Let others with fanatic face
Talk of their milk for babes of grace;
From tubs their snuffling nonsense utter;
Thy milk shall make us tubs of butter.
The bishop with his foot may burn it,[15]
But with his hand the Dean can churn it.
How are the servants overjoy'd
To see thy deanship thus employ'd!
Instead of poring on a book,
Providing butter for the cook!
Three morning hours you toss and shake
The bottle till your fingers ache;
Hard is the toil, nor small the art,
The butter from the whey to part:
Behold a frothy substance rise;
Be cautious or your bottle flies.
The butter comes, our fears are ceased;
And out you squeeze an ounce at least.

  Your reverence thus, with like success,
(Nor is your skill or labour less,)
When bent upon some smart lampoon,
Will toss and turn your brain till noon;
Which in its jumblings round the skull,
Dilates and makes the vessel full:
While nothing comes but froth at first,
You think your giddy head will burst;
But squeezing out four lines in rhyme,
Are largely paid for all your time.

  But you have raised your generous mind
To works of more exalted kind.
Palladio was not half so skill'd in
The grandeur or the art of building.
Two temples of magnific size
Attract the curious traveller's eyes,
That might be envied by the Greeks;
Raised up by you in twenty weeks:
Here gentle goddess Cloacine
Receives all offerings at her shrine.
In separate cells, the he's and she's,
Here pay their vows on bended knees:
For 'tis profane when sexes mingle,
And every nymph must enter single;
And when she feels an inward motion,
Come fill'd with reverence and devotion.
The bashful maid, to hide her blush,
Shall creep no more behind a bush;
Here unobserved she boldly goes,
As who should say, to pluck a rose,[16]

  Ye, who frequent this hallow'd scene,
Be not ungrateful to the Dean;
But duly, ere you leave your station,
Offer to him a pure libation,
Or of his own or Smedley's lay,
Or billet-doux, or lock of hay:
And, O! may all who hither come,
Return with unpolluted thumb!

  Yet, when your lofty domes I praise
I sigh to think of ancient days.
Permit me then to raise my style,
And sweetly moralize a-while.

  Thee, bounteous goddess Cloacine,
To temples why do we confine?
Forbid in open air to breathe,
Why are thine altars fix'd beneath?
When Saturn ruled the skies alone,
(That golden age to gold unknown,)
This earthly globe, to thee assign'd,
Received the gifts of all mankind.
Ten thousand altars smoking round,
Were built to thee with offerings crown'd;
And here thy daily votaries placed
Their sacrifice with zeal and haste:
The margin of a purling stream
Sent up to thee a grateful steam;
Though sometimes thou wert pleased to wink,
If Naiads swept them from the brink:
Or where appointing lovers rove,
The shelter of a shady grove;
Or offer'd in some flowery vale,
Were wafted by a gentle gale,
There many a flower abstersive grew,
Thy favourite flowers of yellow hue;
The crocus and the daffodil,
The cowslip soft, and sweet jonquil.


  But when at last usurping Jove
Old Saturn from his empire drove,
Then gluttony, with greasy paws
Her napkin pinn'd up to her jaws,
With watery chops, and wagging chin,
Braced like a drum her oily skin;
Wedged in a spacious elbow-chair,
And on her plate a treble share,
As if she ne'er could have enough,
Taught harmless man to cram and stuff.
She sent her priests in wooden shoes
From haughty Gaul to make ragouts;
Instead of wholesome bread and cheese,
To dress their soups and fricassees;
And, for our home-bred British cheer,
Botargo, catsup, and caviare.

  This bloated harpy, sprung from hell,
Confined thee, goddess, to a cell:
Sprung from her womb that impious line,
Contemners of thy rites divine.
First, lolling Sloth, in woollen cap,
Taking her after-dinner nap:
Pale Dropsy, with a sallow face,
Her belly burst, and slow her pace:
And lordly Gout, wrapt up in fur,
And wheezing Asthma, loth to stir:
Voluptuous Ease, the child of wealth,
Infecting thus our hearts by stealth.
None seek thee now in open air,
To thee no verdant altars rear;
But, in their cells and vaults obscene,
Present a sacrifice unclean;
From whence unsavoury vapours rose,
Offensive to thy nicer nose.
Ah! who, in our degenerate days,
As nature prompts, his offering pays?
Here nature never difference made
Between the sceptre and the spade.

  Ye great ones, why will ye disdain
To pay your tribute on the plain?
Why will you place in lazy pride
Your altars near your couches' side:
When from the homeliest earthen ware
Are sent up offerings more sincere,
Than where the haughty duchess locks
Her silver vase in cedar box?

  Yet some devotion still remains
Among our harmless northern swains,
Whose offerings, placed in golden ranks,
Adorn our crystal rivers' banks;
Nor seldom grace the flowery downs,
With spiral tops and copple [27] crowns;
Or gilding in a sunny morn
The humble branches of a thorn.
So poets sing, with golden bough
The Trojan hero paid his vow.[28]

  Hither, by luckless error led,
The crude consistence oft I tread;
Here when my shoes are out of case,
Unweeting gild the tarnish'd lace;
Here, by the sacred bramble tinged,
My petticoat is doubly fringed.

  Be witness for me, nymph divine,
I never robb'd thee with design;
Nor will the zealous Hannah pout
To wash thy injured offering out.
But stop, ambitious Muse, in time,
Nor dwell on subjects too sublime.
In vain on lofty heels I tread,
Aspiring to exalt my head;
With hoop expanded wide and light,
In vain I 'tempt too high a flight.

  Me Phoebus [29] in a midnight dream [30]
Accosting, said, "Go shake your cream [31]
Be humbly-minded, know your post;
Sweeten your tea, and watch your toast.
Thee best befits a lowly style;
Teach Dennis how to stir the guile;[32]
With Peggy Dixon[33] thoughtful sit,
Contriving for the pot and spit.
Take down thy proudly swelling sails,
And rub thy teeth and pare thy nails;
At nicely carving show thy wit;
But ne'er presume to eat a bit:
Turn every way thy watchful eye,
And every guest be sure to ply:
Let never at your board be known
An empty plate, except your own.
Be these thy arts;[34] nor higher aim
Than what befits a rural dame.

  "But Cloacina, goddess bright,
Sleek----claims her as his right;
And Smedley,[35] flower of all divines,
Shall sing the Dean in Smedley's lines."

[Footnote 1: The Lady of Sir Arthur Acheson.] [Footnote 2: A village near Sir Arthur Acheson's house where the author passed two summers.--Dublin Edition.] [Footnote 3: The names of two overseers.] [Footnote 4: My lady's footman.] [Footnote 4: Dr. Daniel, Dean of Down, who wrote several poems.] [Footnote 5: The author preached but once while he was there.] [Footnote 6: He sometimes used to direct the butler.] [Footnote 7: The butler.] [Footnote 8: He sometimes used to walk with the lady. See ante, p. 96.] [Footnote 9: The neighbouring ladies were no great understanders of raillery.] [Footnote 10: The clown that cut down the old thorn at Market-Hill.] [Footnote 11: See ante, "My Lady's Lamentation," p. 97.--W. E. B.] [Footnote 12: Lady Acheson was daughter of Philip Savage, M. P. for Wexford, and Chancellor of the Exchequer in Ireland.--W. E. B.] [Footnote 13: Understood here as dainty, particular.--W. E. B.] [Footnote 14: A way of making butter for breakfast, by filling a bottle with cream, and shaking it till the butter comes.] [Footnote 15: It is a common saying, when the milk burns, that the devil or the bishop has set his foot in it.] [Footnote 16: See vol. i, p. 203.--W. E. B.] [Footnote 27: Fragments of stone.] [Footnote 28: Virg., "Aeneidos," lib. vi.] [Footnote 29: "Cynthius aurem Vellit et admonuit."--VIRG., Ecloga vi, 3.] [Footnote 30: "Post mediam noctem visus, cum somnia vera."--HOR., Sat, I, x, 33.] [Footnote 31: In the bottle to make butter.] [Footnote 32: The quantity of ale or beer brewed at one time.] [Footnote 33: Mrs. Dixon, the housekeeper.] [Footnote 34: "Hac tibi erunt artes."--VIRG., Aen., vi, 852.] [Footnote 35: A very stupid, insolent, factious, deformed, conceited person; a vile pretender to poetry, preferred by the Duke of Grafton for his wit.]


TWELVE ARTICLES[1]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Footnote 1: Addressed to Lady Acheson.--W. E. B.] [Footnote 2: That is, will do no harm--we shall not disagree. "At Blank-Blank Square;--for we will break no squares By naming streets." Don Juan, Canto XIII, st. xxv. See Mr. Coleridge's note on this; Byron's Works, edit. 1903.--W. E. B.]


Jonathan Swift