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Behold him in the evening-tide of life,
And each shall have his own.-Hence, ye profane!
Shall rush with all th' impatience of a man [sent,
'Tis but a night, a long and moonless night; We make the grave our bed, and then are gone.
Thus, at the shut of even, the weary bird Leaves the wide air, and in some lonely brake Cowers down, and dozes till the dawn of day; Then claps his well-fledg'd wings, and bears away.
SWIFT-A. D. 1667-1745.
WRITTEN IN A LADY'S IVORY
TABLE-BOOK, 1699. Peruse my leaves through every part, And think thou seest my owner's heart, Scrawlid o'er with trifles thus, and quite As hard, as senseless, and as light; Expos'd to every coxcomb's eyes, But hid with caution from the wise. Here you may read, “ Dear charming saint!" Beneath, " A new receipt for paint;" Here, in beau-spelling, “ Tru tel deth;" There, in her own, “ For an el breth ;" Here, “ Lovely nymph, pronounce my doom!" There, “ A safe way to use perfume:" Here, a page fill'd with billet-doux; On t'other side, “ Laid out for shoes"“ Madam, I die without your grace"“ Item, for half a yard of lace.” Who that had wit would place it here, For every peeping fop to jeer ; In power of spittle and a clout, Whene'er he please, to blot it out; And then, to heighten the disgrace, Clap his own nonser.se in the place? Whoe'er expects to hold his part In such a book, and such a heart, If he be wealthy, and a fool, Is in all points the fittest tool; Of whom it may be justly said, He's a gold pencil tipp'd with lead.
I keep in my pocket, ty'd about my middle, next to
my smock. So when I went to put up my purse, as God would
have it, my smock was unript, And, instead of putting it into my pocket, down it
slipt; Then the bell rung, and I went down to put my
Lady to bed; And, God knows, I thought my money was as safe as
my maidenhead. So, when I came up again, I found my pocket feel
very light: But when I search'd, and miss'd my purse, Lord! I
thought I should have sunk outright. Lord! Madam, says Mary, how d'ye do? Indeed,
says I, never worse: But pray, Mary, can you tell what I have done with
my purse? Lord help me! said Mary, I never stirrid out of
this place; Nay, said I, I had it in Lady Betty's chamber, that's
a plain case. So Mary got me to bed, and cover'd me up warm: However, she stole away my garters, that I might
do myself no harm, So I tumbled and toss'd all night, as you may very
well think, But hardly ever set my eyes together, or slept a wink. So I was adream'd, methought that we went and
search'd the folks round, And in a corner of Mrs. Duke's box, ty’d in a rag,
the money was found. So next morning we told Whittle, and he fell a
swearing; Then my dame Wadgar came; and she, you know,
is thick of hearing. Dame, said I, as loud as I could bawl, do
know what a loss I have had ? Nay, said she, my Lord Conway's folks are all very
MRS. HARRIS'S PETITION, 1699, To their Excellencies the Lords Justices of Ireland,
the humble petition of Frances Harris, Who must starve, and die a maid, if it miscarries;
Humbly sheweth, That I went to warm myself in Lady Betty's cham
ber, because I was cold; And I bad in a purse seven pounds, four shillings,
and sixpence, besides farthings, in money and
gold; So, because I had been buying things for my Lady
last night, I was resolv'd to telt my money, to see if it was right. Now, you must know, because my trunk has a very
bad lock, Therefore all the money I have, which, God knows,
is a very small stock,
For my Lord Dromedary comes a Tuesday without
fail. Pugh! said I, but that's not the business that I ail. Says Cary, says he, I have been a servant this five
and twenty years come spring, And in all the places I liv'd I never heard of such
a thing. Yes, says the steward, I remember, when I was at
my Lady Shrewsbury's, Such a thing as this happen'd just about the time
So I went to the party suspected, and I found her For that, he said, (an't please your Excellencies) I full of grief,
must petition you. (Now, you must know, of all things in the world, I The premises tenderly considerod, I desire your hate a thief.) [about: Excellencies' protection,
[lection; However, I am resolv’d to bring the discourse slily And that I may have a share in next Sunday's col. Mrs. Dukes, said I, here's an ugly accident has And, over and above, that I may have your Ercelhappen'd out:
lencies' letter, 'Tis not that I value the money three skips of a louse; With an order for the chaplain aforesaid, or, instead But the thing I stand upon is the credit of the house. of him, a better; 'Tis true, seven pounds, four shillings, and sixpence, And then your poor petitioner, both night and day, makes a great hole in my wages:
Or the chaplain (for 'tis his trade), as in duty bound, Besides, as they say, service is no inheritance in
shall ever pray.
TO THE EARL OF PETERBOROW,
WHO COMMANDED THE BRITISH FORCES IN SPAIN.
Mordanto fills the trump of fame,
In journies he outrides the post,
Knows every prince in Europe's face,
Now, Mrs. Dukes, you know, and every body un
derstands, That though 'tis hard to judge, yet money can't go
without hands. The devil take me! said she (blessing herself) if
ever I saw't !
her all to naught.
here anon. So the chaplain came in. Now the servants say he
is my sweetheart, Because he's always in my chamber, and I always
take his part. So as the devil would have it, before I was aware,
out I blunder'd, Parson, said I, can you cast a nativity, when a
body's plunder'd! (Now, you must know, he hates to be call'd parson
like the devil!) Truly, says he, Mrs. Nab, it might become you to
be more civil; If your money be gone, as a learned divine says, d'ye see,
(me; You are no text for my handling; so take that from I was never taken for a conjurer before, I'd have
you to know.
His body active as his mind,
Lord! said I, don't be angry, I am sure I never
thought you so; You know I honour the cloth; I design to be a
parson's wife; I never took one in your coat for a conjurer in all
my life; With that he twisted his girdle at me like a rope, as who should say,
[away. Now you may go lang yourself for me, and so went Well: I thought I would have swoon'd. Lord !
said I, what shall I do! I have lost my money, and shall lose my true love too! Then my Lord callid me: Harry, said my Lord,
A skeleton in outward figure,
So wonderful his expedition,
Shines in all climates like a star;
I'll give you something towards thy loss; and, s
, says my Lady, so will I. Oh! but, said I, what if, after all, the chaplain
won't come to ?
Heroic actions early bred in,
And (like a wag set down to write) BUILT FROM THE RUINS OF WHITEHALL, 1706. Would whisper to himself, a bite; In times of old, when time was young,
Then, from this motley, mingled style, And poets their own verses sung,
Proceeded to erect his pile. A verse would draw a stone or beam,
So men of old, to gain renown, did That now would overload a team;
Build Babel with their tongues confounded. Lead them a dance of many a mile,
Jove saw the cheat, but thought it best Then rear them to a goodly pile.
To turn the matter to a jest : Each number had its different power:
Down from Olympus too he slides, Heroic strains could build a tower;
Laughing as if he'd burst his sides : Sonnets, or elegies to Chloris,
Ay, thought the god, are these your tricks? Might raise a house about two stories;
Why then old plays deserve old bricks; A lyric ode would slate ; a catch
And, since you're sparing of your stuff, Would tile ; an epigram would thatch.
Your building shall be small enough. But, to their own or landlord's cost,
He spake, and grudging, lent his aid; Now poets feel this art is lost.
Th' experienc'd bricks, that knew their trade, Not one of all our tuneful throng
(As being bricks at second-hand), Can raise a lodging for a song:
Now move, and now in order stand. For Jove consider'd well the case,
The building, as the poet writ, Observ'd they grew a numerous race ;
Rose in proportion to his wit: And, should they build as fast as write,
And first the prologue built a wall "Twould ruin undertakers quite.
So wide as to encompass all. This evil therefore to prevent,
The scene a wood produc'd, no more He wisely chang'd their element:
Than a few scrubby trees before. On earth the god of wealth was made
The plot as yet lay deep; and so Sole patron of the building trade;
A cellar next was dug below: Leaving the wits the spacious air,
But this a work so hard was found, With licence to build castles there:
Two acts it cost him under ground: And, 'tis conceiv'd, their old pretence
Two other acts, we may presume, To lodge in garrets comes from thence.
Were spent in building each a room. Premising thus, in modern way,
Thus far advanc'd, he made a shift The better half we have to say:
To raise a roof with act the fifth. Sing, Muse, the house of poet Van
The epilogue behind did frame In higher strains than we began.
A place not decent here to name. Van (for 'tis fit the reader know it)
Now poets from all quarters ran Is both a herald and a poet ;
To see the house of brother Van; No wonder then if nicely skilled
Look'd high and low, walk'd often round; In both capacities to build.
But no such house was to be found. As herald, he can in a day
One asks the waterman hard-by, Repair a house gone to decay;
“ Where may the poets palace lie ?". Or, by achievement, arms, device,
Another of the Thames inquires, Erect a new one in a trice;
If he has seen its gilded spires ? And, as a poet, he has skill
At length they in the rubbish spy To build in speculation still.
A thing resembling a goose-pye. Great Jove! he cry'd, the art restore
Thither in haste the poets throng, To build by verse as heretofore,
And gaze in silent wonder long, And make my Muse the architect;
Till one in rapture thus began What palaces shall we erect !
To praise the pile and builder Van: No longer shall forsaken Thames
Thrice happy poet! who mayșt trail Lament his old Whitehall in fames ;
Thy house about thee like a snail ; A pile shall from its ashes rise,
Or, harness'd to a nag, at ease Fit to invade or prop the skies.
Take journeys in it like a chaise ; Jove smil'd, and, like a gentle god,
Or in a boat, whene'er thou wilt, Consenting with the usual nod,
Canst make it serve thee for a tilt! Told Van, he knew his talent best,
Capacious house! 'tis own'd by all And left the choice to his own breast.
Thou’rt well contriv'd, though thou art small : So Van resolv'd to write a farce;
For every wit in Britain's isle But, well perceiving wit was scarce,
May lodge within thy spacious pile. With cunning that defect supplies;
Like Bacchus thou, as poets feign, Takes a French play as lawful prize;
Thy mother burnt, are born again, Steals hence his plot and every joke,
Born like a phenix from the flame; Not once suspecting Jove would smoke;
But neither bulk nor shape the same:
ON THE EVER-LAMENTED LOSS OF THE TWO YEW
As animals of largest size
Good folks, you need not be afraid, Corrupt to maggots, worms, and flies;
We are but saints, the hermits said ; A type of modern wit and style,
No hurt shall come to you or yours: The rubbish of an ancient pile.
But for that pack of churlish boors, So chemists boast they have a power
Not fit to live on Christian ground, From the dead ashes of a flower
They and their houses shall be drown'd; Some faint resemblance to produce,
Whilst you shall see your cottage rise, But not the virtue, taste, or juice:
And grow a church before your eyes. So modern rhymers wisely blast
They scarce had spoke, when fair and soft The poetry of ages past ;
The roof began to mount aloft; Which after they have overthrown,
Aloft rose every beam and rafter; They from its ruins build their own.
The heavy wall climb'd slowly after.
The chimney widen'd, and grew higher, Became a steeple with a spire.
The kettle to the top was hoist,
And there stood fasten'd to a joist,
Its inclination for below:
In vain ; for a superior force,
Apply'd at bottom, stops its course :
Doom'd ever in suspence to dwell, The saints would often leave their cells,
'Tis now no kettle, but a bell. And stroll about, but hide their quality,
A wooden jack, which had almost To try good people's hospitality.
Lost by disuse the art to roast, It happen'd on a winter's night,
A sudden alteration feels, As authors of the legend write,
Increas'd by new intestine wheels; Two brother-hermits, saints by trade,
And, what exalts the wonder more, Taking their tour in masquerade,
The number made the motion slower: Disguis’d in tatter'd habits, went
The flier, though 't had leaden feet, To a small village down in Kent;
Turu'd round so quick, you scarce could see 't ; Where, in the strollers' canting strain,
But, slacken'd by some secret power, They begg'd from door to door in vain,
Now hardly moves an inch an hour. Tried every tone might pity win;
The jack and chimney, near ally'd, But not a soul would let them in.
Had never left each other's side: Our wandering saints, in woful state,
The chimney to the steeple grown, Treated at this ungodly rate,
The jack would not be left alone; Having through all the village past,
But, up against the steeple rear’d, To a small cottage came at last !
Became a clock, and still adher'd; Where dwelt a good old honest ye’man,
And still its love to household cares, Call'd in the neighbourhood Philemon ;
By a shrill voice at noon, declares, Who kindly did these saints invite
Warning the cook-maid not to burn In his poor hut to pass the night;
That roast-meat which it cannot turn. And then the hospitable sire
The groaning-chair began to crawl, Bid goody Baucis mend the fire ;
Like a huge snail, along the wall; While he from out the chimney took
There stuck aloft in public view, A flitch of bacon off the hook,
And, with sinall change, a pulpit grew. And freely from the fattest side
The porringers, that in a row Cut out large slices to be fry'd;
Hung high, and made a glittering show, Then stepp'd aside to fetch them drink,
To a less noble substance chang'd, Fill'd a large jug up to the brink,
Were now but leathern buckets rang'd. And saw it fairly twice go round;
The ballads, pasted on the wall, Yet (what is wonderful !) they found,
Of Joan of France, and English Moll, 'Twas still replenish'd to the top,
Fair Rosamond, and Robin Hood, As if they ne'er had touch'd a drop.
The Little Children in the Wood, The good old couple were amaz’d,
Now seem'd to look abundance better, And often on each other gaz'd;
Improv'd in picture, size, and letter; For both were frighten’d to the heart,
And, high in order plac'd, describe And just began to cry,–What ar't!
The heraldry of every tribe. Then softly turn'd aside to view
A bedstead of the antique mode, Whether the lights were burning blue.
Compact of timber many a load, The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on't,
Such as our ancestors did use, Told them their calling, and their errand.
Was metamorphos'd into pews;