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-Answer to Lines from May Fair



In pity to the empty'ng Town, Some God May Fair invented, When Nature would invite us down, To be by Art prevented.


What a corrupted taste is ours When milk maids in mock state Instead of garlands made of Flowers Adorn their pails with plate.


So are the joys which Nature yields Inverted in May Fair, In painted cloth we look for fields, And step in Booths for air.


Here a Dog dancing on his hams And puppets mov'd by wire, Do far exceed your frisking lambs, Or song of feather'd quire.

V Howe'er, such verse as yours I grant Would be but too inviting: Were fair Ardelia not my Aunt, Or were it Worsley's writing.[2]

[Footnote 1: Some ladies, among whom were Mrs. Worsley and Mrs. Finch, to the latter of whom Swift addressed, under the name of Ardelia, the preceding poem, appear to have written verses to him from May Fair, offering him such temptations as that fashionable locality supplied to detain him from the country and its pleasures: and thus he replies.--Forster.]

[Footnote 1: There is some playful allusion in this last stanza, not now decipherable.--Forster.]

Jonathan Swift

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