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-Bouts Rimez

[1]

ON SIGNORA DOMITILLA


Our schoolmaster may roar i' th' fit,
  Of classic beauty, haec et illa;
Not all his birch inspires such wit
  As th'ogling beams of Domitilla.

Let nobles toast, in bright champaign, Nymphs higher born than Domitilla; I'll drink her health, again, again, In Berkeley's tar,[2] or sars'parilla.

At Goodman's Fields I've much admired The postures strange of Monsieur Brilla; But what are they to the soft step, The gliding air of Domitilla?

Virgil has eternized in song The flying footsteps of Camilla;[3] Sure, as a prophet, he was wrong; He might have dream'd of Domitilla.

Great Theodose condemn'd a town For thinking ill of his Placilla:[4] And deuce take London! if some knight O' th' city wed not Domitilla.

Wheeler,[5] Sir George, in travels wise, Gives us a medal of Plantilla; But O! the empress has not eyes, Nor lips, nor breast, like Domitilla.

Not all the wealth of plunder'd Italy, Piled on the mules of king At-tila, Is worth one glove (I'll not tell a bit a lie) Or garter, snatch'd from Domitilla.

Five years a nymph at certain hamlet, Y-cleped Harrow of the Hill, a- --bused much my heart, and was a damn'd let To verse--but now for Domitilla.

Dan Pope consigns Belinda's watch To the fair sylphid Momentilla,[6] And thus I offer up my catch To the snow-white hands of Domitilla.


[Footnote 1: Verses to be made upon a given name or word, at the end of a line, and to which rhymes must be found.--W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: Berkeley, Bishop of Cloyne, famous, inter alia, for his enthusiasm in urging the use of tar-water for all kinds of complaints. See his Works, edit. Fraser. Fielding mentions it favourably as a remedy for dropsy, in the Introduction to his "Journal of a voyage to Lisbon"; and see Austin Dobson's note to his edition of the "Journal."--W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: "Aeneid," xi.]

[Footnote 4: Qu. Flaccilla? see Gibbon, iii, chap, xxvii.--W. E. B.]

[Footnote 5: Who lived from 1650 to 1723, and wrote and published several books of travels in Greece and Italy, etc.--W. E. B.]

[Footnote 6: See "The Rape of the Lock."]


Jonathan Swift

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