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-Written by Swift on his own Deafness

SEPTEMBER, 1734


Vertiginosus, inops, surdus, male gratus amicis;
Non campana sonans, tonitru non ab Jove missum,
Quod mage mirandum, saltem si credere fas est,
Non clamosa meas mulier jam percutit aures.



The Dean's Complaint

TRANSLATED AND ANSWERED


DOCTOR. Deaf, giddy, helpless, left alone.

ANSWER. Except the first, the fault's your own.

DOCTOR. To all my friends a burden grown.

ANSWER. Because to few you will be shewn. Give them good wine, and meat to stuff, You may have company enough.

DOCTOR. No more I hear my church's bell, Than if it rang out for my knell.

ANSWER. Then write and read, 'twill do as well.

DOCTOR. At thunder now no more I start, Than at the rumbling of a cart.

ANSWER. Think then of thunder when you f--t.

DOCTOR. Nay, what's incredible, alack! No more I hear a woman's clack.

ANSWER. A woman's clack, if I have skill, Sounds somewhat like a throwster's mill; But louder than a bell, or thunder: That does, I own, increase my wonder.


Jonathan Swift

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