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Imitated in the Manner of Dr. Swist.
'Tis true, my lord, I gave my word,
I would be with you June the third ;
Changed it to August, and (in short)
Have kept it—as you do at court.
You humour me when I am sick,
Why not when I am splenetic?
In town, what objects could I meet ?
The shops shut up in every street,
And funerals blackening all the doors,
And yet more melancholy whores :
And what a dust in every place!
And a thin court that wants your face,
And fevers raging up and down,
And W* and H** both in town!
• The dog-days are no more the case.' 'Tis true, but winter comes apace: Then southward let your bard retire, Hold out some montha 'twixt sun and fire, And you shall see, the first warm weather, Me and the butterflies together.
My lord, your favours well I know: 'Tis with distinction you bestow; And not to every one that comes, Just as a Scotsman does his plums. 'Pray take them, sir-Enough 's a feast : Eat
some, and pocket'up the rest – What, rob your hoys ? those pretty rogues! "No, sir, you'll leave them to the hogs.' Thus fools with compliments besiege ye, Contriving never to oblige ye. Scatter your favours on a fop, Ingratitude 's the certain erop;
And 'tis but just, I'll tell you wherefore,
You give the things you never care for.
A wise man always is or should
Be mighty ready to do good ;
But makes a difference in his thought
Betwixt a guinea and a groat.
Now this I'll say, you'll find in me
A safe companion and a free;
But if you'd have me always near
A word, pray,
your honour's ear;
I hope it is your resolution
To give me back my constitution !
The sprightly wit, the lively eye,
The engaging smile, the gaiety,
That laugh'd down many a summer sun,
And kept you up so oft till one!
And all that voluntary vein,
As when Belinda raised my strain,
A weasel once made shift to slink
In at a corn loft through a chink;
But having amply stuff'd his skin,
Could not get out as he got in;
Which one belonging to the house
('Twas not a man, it was a mouse)
Observing, cried, “You 'scape not so ;
Lean as you came, sir, you must go.'
Sir, you may spare your application,
I'm no such beast, nor his relation;
Not one that temperance advance,
Cramm'd to the throat with ortolans ;
Extremely ready to resign
All that may make me none of mine;
South-sea subscriptions take who please,
Leave me but liberty and ease.
"Twag what I said to Craggs and Child,
Who praised my modesty, and smiled.
Give me,' I cried (enough for me,)
My bread, and independency !
So bought an annual rent or two,
And lived—just as you see I do;
Near fifty, and without a wife,
I trust that sinking fund, my life.
Can I retrench? Yes, mighty well,
Shrink back to my paternal cell,
A little house, with trees a-row,
And, like its master, very low.
There died my father, no man's debtor,
And there I'll die, nor worse nor better.
To set this matter full before ye,
Our old friend Swift will tell his story.
'Harley, the nation's great support
But you may read it, I stop short.
THE LATTER PART OF SATIRE VI. B. II.*
O CHARMING noons! and nights divine !
Or when I sup, or when I dine,
My friends above, my folks below,
Chatting and laughing all a-row,
The beans and bacon set before 'em,
The grace-cup served with all decorum :
Each willing to be pleased, and please,
And e'en the very dogs at ease!
Here no man prates of idle things,
How this or that Italian sings,
A neighbour’s madness, or his spouse's,
Or what 's in either of the houses :
But something much more our concern,
And quite a scandal not to learn:
Which is the happier, or the wiser,
A man of merit, or a miser ?
Whether we ought to choose our friends,
For their own worth, or our own ends ?
* See thc first part in Swift's Poems.
What good, or better, we may call,
And what the very best of all ?
Our friend Dan Prior, told (you know)
A tale extremely •à-propos :'
Name a town life, and in a trice
He had a story of two mice.
Once on a time (so runs the fable)
A country mouse, right hospitable,
Received a town mouse at his board,
Just as a farmer might a lord.
A frugal mouse upon the whole,
Yet loved his friend, and had a soul,
Knew what was handsome, and would do't,
On just occasion, 'coûte qui coûte.'
He brought him bacon, (nothing lean ;)
Pudding that might have pleased a dean;
Cheese, such as men in Suffolk make,
But wish'd it Stilton for his sake;
Yet, to his guest though no way sparing,
He ate himself the rind and paring.
Our courtier scarce could touch a bit,
But show'd his breeding and his wit;
He did his best to seem to eat,
And cried, 'I vow you're mighty neat;
But, lord, my friend, this savage scene!
For God's sake come, and live with men:
Consider, mice, like men, must die,
Both small and great, both you and I :
Then spend your life in joy and sport;
(This doctrine, friend, I learn'd at court.')
The veriest hermit in the nation
May yield, God knows, to strong temptation.
Away they come, through thick and thin
To a tall house near Lincoln's-inn:
('Twas on the night of a debate,
When all their lordships had sat late.)
Behold the place, where if a poct
Shined in description, he might show it :
Tell how the moon-bcam trembling falls,
And tips with silver all the walls;
Palladian walls, Venetian doors,
Grotesco roofs, and stucco floors:
But let it (in a word) be said,
The moon was up, and men a-bed,
The napkins white, the carpet red;
The guests withdrawn had left the treat,
And down the mice sat,'tête à tête.'
Our courtier walks from dish to dish,
Tastes for his friend of fowl and fish;
Tells all their names, lays down the law :
"Que ça est bon! Ah, goûtez ça!
That jelly's rich, this malmsey healing,
Pray dip your whiskers and your tail in.
Was ever such a happy swain ?
He stuffs, and swills, and stuffs again.
"I'm quite ashamed-'tis mighty rude
To eat so much—but all's so good.
I have a thousand thanks to give
My lord alone knows how to live.'
No sooner said, but from the hall
Rush chaplain, butler, dogs and all :
'A rat, a rat! clap to the door-
The cat comes bouncing on the floor.
O for the heart of Homer's mice,
Or gods to save them in a trice!
(It was by Providence they think,
For your damn'd stucco has no chink.)
* An't please your honour,' quoth the peasant,
• This same desert is not so pleasant :
Give me again my hollow tree,
A crust of bread, and liberty!'