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-On Paddy's Character

Of the "Intelligencer" [1]

1729


As a thorn bush, or oaken bough,
Stuck in an Irish cabin's brow,
Above the door, at country fair,
Betokens entertainment there;
So bays on poets' brows have been
Set, for a sign of wit within.
And as ill neighbours in the night
Pull down an alehouse bush for spite;
The laurel so, by poets worn,
Is by the teeth of Envy torn;
Envy, a canker-worm, which tears
Those sacred leaves that lightning spares.

And now, t'exemplify this moral: Tom having earn'd a twig of laurel, (Which, measured on his head, was found Not long enough to reach half round, But, like a girl's cockade, was tied, A trophy, on his temple-side,) Paddy repined to see him wear This badge of honour in his hair; And, thinking this cockade of wit Would his own temples better fit, Forming his Muse by Smedley's model, Lets drive at Tom's devoted noddle, Pelts him by turns with verse and prose Hums like a hornet at his nose. At length presumes to vent his satire on The Dean, Tom's honour'd friend and patron. The eagle in the tale, ye know, Teazed by a buzzing wasp below, Took wing to Jove, and hoped to rest Securely in the thunderer's breast: In vain; even there, to spoil his nod, The spiteful insect stung the god.


[Footnote 1: For particulars of this publication, the work of two only, Swift and Sheridan, see "Prose Works," vol. ix, p. 311. The satire seems To have provoked retaliation from Tighe, Prendergast, Smedley, and even from Delany. Hence this poem.--W. E. B.]


Jonathan Swift

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