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Political Poems by




Mr. William Crowe, Recorder of Blessington's Address to her Majesty, as
copied from the London Gazette.

To the Queen's most Excellent Majesty,

The humble Address of the Sovereign, Recorder, Burgesses, and Freemen, of
the Borough of Blessington.

May it please your Majesty,
Though we stand almost last on the roll of boroughs of this your
majesty's kingdom of Ireland, and therefore, in good manners to our elder
brothers, press but late among the joyful crowd about your royal throne:
yet we beg leave to assure your majesty, that we come behind none in our
good affection to your sacred person and government; insomuch, that the
late surprising accounts from Germany have filled us with a joy not
inferior to any of our fellow-subjects.

We heard with transport that the English warmed the field to that degree,
that thirty squadrons, part of the vanquished enemy, were forced to fly
to water, not able to stand their fire, and drank their last draught in
the Danube, for the waste they had before committed on its injured banks,
thereby putting an end to their master's long-boasted victories: a
glorious push indeed, and worthy a general of the Queen of England. And
we are not a little pleased, to find several gentlemen in considerable
posts of your majesty's army, who drew their first breath in this
country, sharing in the good fortune of those who so effectually put in
execution the command of your gallant, enterprizing general, whose
twin-battles have, with his own title of Marlborough, given immortality
to the otherwise perishing names of Schellenberg and Hogstete: actions
that speak him born under stars as propitious to England as that he now
wears, on both which he has so often reflected lustre, as to have now
abundantly repaid the glory they once lent him. Nor can we but
congratulate with a joy proportioned to the success of your majesty's
fleet, our last campaign at sea, since by it we observe the French
obliged to steer their wonted course for security, to their ports; and
Gibraltar, the Spaniards' ancient defence, bravely stormed, possessed,
and maintained by your majesty's subjects.

May the supplies for reducing the exorbitant power of France be such, as
may soon turn your wreaths of laurel into branches of olive: that, after
the toils of a just and honourable war, carried on by a confederacy of
which your majesty is most truly, as of the faith, styled Defender, we
may live to enjoy, under your majesty's auspicious government, the
blessings of a profound and lasting peace; a peace beyond the power of
him to violate, who, but for his own unreasonable conveniency,
destructive always of his neighbours, never yet kept any. And, to
complete our happiness, may your majesty again prove to your own
family, what you have been so eminently to the true church, a nursing
mother. So wish, and so pray, may it please your majesty, your majesty's
most dutiful and loyal subjects, and devoted humble servants.

This Address was presented January 17, 1704-5.



From a town that consists of a church and a steeple,
With three or four houses, and as many people,
There went an Address in great form and good order,
Composed, as 'tis said, by Will Crowe, their Recorder.[1]
And thus it began to an excellent tune:
Forgive us, good madam, that we did not as soon
As the rest of the cities and towns of this nation
Wish your majesty joy on this glorious occasion.
Not that we're less hearty or loyal than others,
But having a great many sisters and brothers,
Our borough in riches and years far exceeding,
We let them speak first, to show our good breeding.

We have heard with much transport and great satisfaction
Of the victory obtain'd in the late famous action,
When the field was so warm'd, that it soon grew too hot
For the French and Bavarians, who had all gone to pot,
But that they thought best in great haste to retire,
And leap into the water for fear of the fire.
But says the good river, Ye fools, plague confound ye,
Do ye think to swim through me, and that I'll not drown ye?
Who have ravish'd, and murder'd, and play'd such damn'd pranks,
And trod down the grass on my much-injured banks?
Then, swelling with anger and rage to the brink,
He gave the poor Monsieur his last draught of drink.
So it plainly appears they were very well bang'd,
And that some may be drown'd, who deserved to be hang'd.
Great Marlbro' well push'd: 'twas well push'd indeed:
Oh, how we adore you, because you succeed!
And now I may say it, I hope without blushing,
That you have got twins, by your violent pushing;
Twin battles I mean, that will ne'er be forgotten,
But live and be talk'd of, when we're dead and rotten.
Let other nice lords sculk at home from the wars,
Prank'd up and adorn'd with garters and stars,
Which but twinkle like those in a cold frosty night;
While to yours you are adding such lustre and light,
That if you proceed, I'm sure very soon
'Twill be brighter and larger than the sun or the moon:
A blazing star, I foretell, 'twill prove to the Gaul,
That portends of his empire the ruin and fall.

Now God bless your majesty, and our Lord Murrough,[2]
And send him in safety and health to his borough.


[Footnote 1: Subsequently M.P. for Blessington, in the Irish Parliament;
he suffered some injustice from Wharton, when Lord-Lieutenant: he lost
his senses, and died in 1710. See Journal to Stella, "Prose Works," ii,
pp. 39, 54; and Character of the Earl of Wharton, "Prose Works," v, p.
27.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: Murragh Boyle, first Viscount Blessington, author of a
tragedy, "The Lost Princess." He died in 1712.–W. E. B.]

Jack Frenchman's Lamentation


To the Tune of "I tell thee, Dick, where I have been."[2]

  Ye Commons and Peers,
  Pray lend me your ears,
I'll sing you a song, (if I can,)
  How Lewis le Grand
  Was put to a stand,
By the arms of our gracious Queen Anne.

  How his army so great,
  Had a total defeat,
And close by the river Dender:
  Where his grandchildren twain,
  For fear of being slain,
Gallop'd off with the Popish Pretender.

  To a steeple on high,
  The battle to spy,
Up mounted these clever young men;[3]
  But when from the spire,
  They saw so much fire,
Most cleverly came down again.

  Then on horseback they got
  All on the same spot,
By advice of their cousin Vendosme,
  O Lord! cried out he,
  Unto young Burgundy,
Would your brother and you were at home!

  While this he did say,
  Without more delay,
Away the young gentry fled;
  Whose heels for that work,
  Were much lighter than cork,
Though their hearts were as heavy as lead.

  Not so did behave
  Young Hanover brave,[4]
In this bloody field I assure ye:
  When his war-horse was shot
  He valued it not,
But fought it on foot like a fury.

  Full firmly he stood,
  As became his high blood,
Which runs in his veins so blue:
  For this gallant young man,
  Being a-kin to QUEEN ANNE,
Did as (were she a man) she would do.

  What a racket was here,
  (I think 'twas last year,)
For a little misfortune in Spain!
  For by letting 'em win,
  We have drawn the puts in,
To lose all they're worth this campaign.

  Though Bruges and Ghent
  To Monsieur we lent,
With interest they shall repay 'em;
  While Paris may sing,
  With her sorrowful king,
Nunc dimittis instead of Te Deum.

  From this dream of success,
  They'll awaken, we guess,
At the sound of great Marlborough's drums,
  They may think, if they will,
  Of Ahnanza still,
But 'tis Blenheim wherever he comes.

  O Lewis[5] perplex'd,
  What general next!
Thou hast hitherto changed in vain;
  He has beat 'em all round,
  If no new one’s found,
He shall beat 'em over again.

  We'll let Tallard out,
  If he'll take t'other bout;
And much he's improved, let me tell ye,
  With Nottingham ale
  At every meal,
And good beef and pudding in belly.

  But as losers at play,
  Their dice throw away,
While the winners do still win on;
  Let who will command,
  Thou hadst better disband,
For, old Bully, thy doctors[6] are gone.

[Footnote 1: This ballad, upon the battle of Oudenarde, was very popular,
and the tune is often referred to as that of "Ye Commons and

[Footnote 2: "A Ballad upon a Wedding," by Sir John Suckling, occasioned
by the marriage of Roger Boyle, first Lord Orrery, with Lady Margaret
Howard, daughter to the Earl of Suffolk. Suckling's Works, edit. Hazlitt,
vol. i, p. 42.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: In the Dutch accounts of the battle of Oudenarde, it is said
that the Dukes of Burgundy and Berry, with the Chevalier de St. George,
viewed the action at a distance from the top of a steeple, and fled, when
the fate of the day turned against the French. Vendosme commanded the
French upon that occasion.–Scott.]

[Footnote 4: The Electoral Prince of Hanover, afterwards George II,
behaved with great spirit in the engagement, and charged, at the head of
Bulau's dragoons, with great intrepidity. His horse was shot under him,
and he then fought as stated in the text. Smollett's "History of
England," ii, 125.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 5: Louis XIV.]

[Footnote 6: A cant word for false dice.–Scott.]


The Garden Plot


When Naboth's vineyard[1] look'd so fine,
The king cried out, "Would this were mine!"
And yet no reason could prevail
To bring the owner to a sale.
Jezebel saw, with haughty pride,
How Ahab grieved to be denied;
And thus accosted him with scorn:
"Shall Naboth make a monarch mourn?
A king, and weep! The ground's your own;
I'll vest the garden in the crown."
With that she hatch'd a plot, and made
Poor Naboth answer with his head;
And when his harmless blood was spilt,
The ground became his forfeit guilt.


[Footnote 1: This seems to allude to some oppressive procedure by the Earl of Wharton in relation
to Swift's garden, which he called "Naboth's Vineyard," meaning a possession coveted by another
person able to possess himself of it (i Kings, chap, xxi, verses 1-10). For some particulars of the garden,
see "Prose Works," xi, 415.–W. E. B.]


Sid Hamet's Rod

Poor Hall, renown'd for comely hair,
Whose hands, perhaps, were not so fair,
Yet had a Jezebel as near;
Hall, of small scripture conversation,
Yet, howe'er Hungerford's[1] quotation,
By some strange accident had got
The story of this garden-plot;–Wisely
foresaw he might have reason
To dread a modern bill of treason,
If Jezebel should please to want
His small addition to her grant:
Therefore resolved, in humble sort,
To begin first, and make his court;
And, seeing nothing else would do,
Gave a third part, to save the other two.

[Footnote 1: Probably John Hungerford, a member of the October Club. "Prose Works," v, 209.
–W. E. B.]




The rod was but a harmless wand,
  While Moses held it in his hand;
But, soon as e'er he laid it down,
Twas a devouring serpent grown.

Our great magician, Hamet Sid,
Reverses what the prophet did:
His rod was honest English wood,
That senseless in a corner stood,
Till metamorphos'd by his grasp,
It grew an all-devouring asp;
Would hiss, and sting, and roll, and twist.
By the mere virtue of his fist:
But, when he laid it down, as quick
Resum'd the figure of a stick.

So, to her midnight feasts, the hag
Rides on a broomstick for a nag,
That, rais'd by magic of her breech,
O'er sea and land conveys the witch;
But with the morning dawn resumes
The peaceful state of common brooms.
They tell us something strange and odd,
About a certain magic rod,[3]
That, bending down its top, divines
Whene'er the soil has golden mines;
Where there are none, it stands erect,
Scorning to show the least respect:
As ready was the wand of Sid
To bend where golden mines were hid:
In Scottish hills found precious ore,[4]
Where none e'er look'd for it before;
And by a gentle bow divine
How well a cully's purse was lined;
To a forlorn and broken rake,
Stood without motion like a stake.

The rod of Hermes [5] was renown'd
For charms above and under ground;
To sleep could mortal eyelids fix,
And drive departed souls to Styx.
That rod was a just type of Sid's,
Which o'er a British senate's lids
Could scatter opium full as well,
And drive as many souls to hell.
Sid's rod was slender, white, and tall,
Which oft he used to fish withal;
A PLACE was fasten'd to the hook,
And many score of gudgeons took;
Yet still so happy was his fate,
He caught his fish and sav'd his bait.

Sid's brethren of the conj'ring tribe,
A circle with their rod describe,
Which proves a magical redoubt,
To keep mischievous spirits out.
Sid's rod was of a larger stride,
And made a circle thrice as wide,
Where spirits throng'd with hideous din,
And he stood there to take them in;
But when th'enchanted rod was broke,
They vanish'd in a stinking smoke.

Achilles' sceptre was of wood,
Like Sid's, but nothing near so good;
Though down from ancestors divine
Transmitted to the heroes line;
Thence, thro' a long descent of kings,
Came an HEIRLOOM,[6] as Homer sings.
Though this description looks so big,
That sceptre was a sapless twig,
Which, from the fatal day, when first
It left the forest where 'twas nurs'd,
As Homer tells us o'er and o'er,
Nor leaf, nor fruit, nor blossom bore.
Sid's sceptre, full of juice, did shoot
In golden boughs, and golden fruit;
And he, the dragon never sleeping,
Guarded each fair Hesperian Pippin.
No hobby-horse, with gorgeous top,
The dearest in Charles Mather's[7] shop,
Or glittering tinsel of May Fair,
Could with this rod of Sid compare.[8]

Dear Sid, then why wert thou so mad
To break thy rod like naughty lad?[9]
You should have kiss'd it in your distress,
And then return'd it to your mistress;
Or made it a Newmarket switch,[10]
And not a rod for thine own breech.
But since old Sid has broken this,
His next may be a rod in piss.

[Footnote 1: Cid Hamet Ben Eng'li, the supposed inspirer of Cervantes.
See "Don Quixote," last chapter.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: When Swift came to London, in 1710, about the time the
ministry was changed, his reception from Lord Treasurer Godolphin was, as
he wrote to Archbishop King, 9th Sept., "altogether different from what
he ever received from any great man in his life, altogether short, dry,
and morose." To Stella he writes that this coldness had "enraged him so
that he was almost vowing revenge." On the Treasurer's enforced
retirement, Swift's resentment took effect in the above "lampoon" which
was read at Harley's, on the 15th October, 1710, and "ran prodigiously,"
but was not then "suspected for Swift's." See Journal to Stella, Sept. 9
and Oct. 15.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: The virgula divina, said to be attracted by

[Footnote 4: Supposed to allude to the Union.–Swift.]

[Footnote 5: Mercury's Caduceus, by which he could settle all disputes
and differences.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 6: Godolphin's favour arose from his connexion with the family
of Marlborough by the marriage of his son to the Duke's daughter,
Henrietta Churchill.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 7: An eminent toyman in Fleet Street.–Scott.]

[Footnote 8: The allusion is to Godolphin's name, Sidney, and to his
staff of office.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 9: A letter was sent him by the groom of the Queen's stables to
desire he would break his staff, which would be the easiest way both to
her Majesty and him. Mr. Smith, Chancellor of the Exchequer, happening to
come in a little after, my lord broke his staff, and flung the pieces in
the chimney, desiring Mr. Smith to witness that he had obeyed the Queen's
commands. Swift to Archbishop King, Sept. 9, 1710.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 10: Lord Godolphin is satirized by Pope for a strong attachment
to the turf. See his "Moral Essays," Epist. I, 81-5.

  "Who would not praise Patritio's high desert,
  His hand unstain'd, his uncorrupted heart,"
  "He thanks you not, his pride is in piquet,
  Newmarket fame, and judgment at a bet."


The Famous Speech-Maker of England



Risum teneatis?–HORAT., Ars Poetica, 5.

From London to Exon,
By special direction,
Came down the world's wonder,
Sir Salathiel Blunder,
With a quoif on his head
As heavy as lead;
And thus opened and said:

Gentlemen of the Grand Inquest,

      Her majesty, mark it,
      Appointed this circuit
      For me and my brother,
      Before any other;
      To execute laws,
      As you may suppose,
  Upon such as offenders have been.
      So then, not to scatter
      More words on the matter,
  We're beginning just now to begin.

But hold–first and foremost, I must enter a clause,
As touching and concerning our excellent laws;
      Which here I aver,
      Are better by far
Than them all put together abroad and beyond sea;
For I ne'er read the like, nor e'er shall, I fancy
      The laws of our land
      Don't abet, but withstand,
      Inquisition and thrall,
      And whatever may gall,
      And fire withal;
      And sword that devours
      Wherever it scowers:

They preserve liberty and property, for which men pull and haul so,
And they are made for the support of good government also.
      Her majesty, knowing
      The best way of going
    To work for the weal of the nation,
      Builds on that rock,
      Which all storms will mock,
  Since Religion is made the foundation.
      And, I tell you to boot, she
      Resolves resolutely,
      No promotion to give
      To the best man alive,
      In church or in state,
      (I'm an instance of that,)
  But only to such of a good reputation
  For temper, morality, and moderation.
      Fire! fire! a wild-fire,
      Which greatly disturbs the queen's peace
      Lies running about;
      And if you don't put it out,
      (That's positive) will increase:
      And any may spy,
      With half of an eye,
That it comes from our priests and Papistical fry.

      Ye have one of these fellows,
      With fiery bellows,
Come hither to blow and to puff here;
      Who having been toss'd
      From pillar to post,
At last vents his rascally stuff here:

Which to such as are honest must sound very oddly,
When they ought to preach nothing but what's very godly;
As here from this place we charge you to do,
As ye'll answer to man, besides ye know who.

      Ye have a Diocesan,–[l]
      But I don't know the man;–
      The man's a good liver,
      They tell me, however,
      And fiery never!
      Now, ye under-pullers,
      That wear such black colours,
      How well would it look,
      If his measures ye took,
      Thus for head and for rump
      Together to jump;
      For there's none deserve places,
      I speak't to their faces,
      But men of such graces,
And I hope he will never prefer any asses;
Especially when I'm so confident on't,
For reasons of state, that her majesty won't
      Know, I myself I
      Was present and by,
At the great trial, where there was a great company,
  Of a turbulent preacher, who, cursedly hot,
Turn'd the fifth of November, even the gun-powder plot,
Into impudent railing, and the devil knows what:
Exclaiming like fury–it was at Paul's, London–

How church was in danger, and like to be undone,
And so gave the lie to gracious Queen Anne;
And, which is far worse, to our parliament-men:
      And then printed a book,
      Into which men did look:
      True, he made a good text;
      But what follow'd next
Was nought but a dunghill of sordid abuses,
Instead of sound doctrine, with proofs to't, and uses.
      It was high time of day
      That such inflammation
should be extinguish'd without more delay:
But there was no engine could possibly do't,
Till the commons play'd theirs, and so quite put it out.
      So the man was tried for't,
      Before highest court:
      Now it's plain to be seen,
      It's his principles I mean,
Where they suffer'd this noisy and his lawyers to bellow:
      Which over, the blade
      A poor punishment had
      For that racket he made.
      By which ye may know
      They thought as I do,
That he is but at best an inconsiderable fellow.
      Upon this I find here,
      And everywhere,
That the country rides rusty, and is all out of gear:
      And for what?
       May I not
       In opinion vary,
      And think the contrary,
      But it must create
      Unfriendly debate,
      And disunion straight;
      When no reason in nature
      Can be given of the matter,
      Any more than for shapes or for different stature?
If you love your dear selves, your religion or queen,
Ye ought in good manners to be peaceable men:
      For nothing disgusts her
      Like making a bluster:
      And your making this riot,
      Is what she could cry at,
Since all her concern's for our welfare and quiet.
      I would ask any man
      Of them all that maintain
      Their passive obedience
      With such mighty vehemence,
      That damn'd doctrine, I trow!
      What he means by it, ho',
      To trump it up now?
      Or to tell me in short,
      What need there is for't?
      Ye may say, I am hot;
      I say I am not;
Only warm, as the subject on which I am got.
      There are those alive yet,
      If they do not forget,
May remember what mischiefs it did church and state:
      Or at least must have heard
      The deplorable calamities
      It drew upon families,
About sixty years ago and upward.
      And now, do ye see,
      Whoever they be,
      That make such an oration
      In our Protestant nation,
As though church was all on a fire,–
      With whatever cloak
      They may cover their talk,
      And wheedle the folk,
      That the oaths they have took,
      As our governors strictly require;–
I say they are men–(and I'm a judge, ye all know,)
That would our most excellent laws overthrow;
For the greater part of them to church never go;
Or, what's much the same, it by very great chance is,
If e'er they partake of her wise ordinances.
Their aim is, no doubt,
Were they made to speak out,
To pluck down the queen, that they make all this rout;
      And to set up, moreover,
      A bastardly brother;
Or at least to prevent the House of Hanover.
      Ye gentlemen of the jury,
      What means all this fury,
      Of which I'm inform'd by good hands, I assure ye;
This insulting of persons by blows and rude speeches,
And breaking of windows, which, you know, maketh breaches?
      Ye ought to resent it,
      And in duty present it,
      For the law is against it;
Not only the actors engaged in this job,
But those that encourage and set on the mob:
The mob,[2] a paw word, and which I ne'er mention,
But must in this place, for the sake of distinction.
I hear that some bailiffs and some justices
Have strove what they could, all this rage to suppress;
      And I hope many more
      Will exert the like power,
      Since none will, depend on't,
      Get a jot of preferment.
But men of this kidney, as I told you before.–
I'll tell you a story: Once upon a time,
Some hot-headed fellows must needs take a whim,
      And so were so weak
      (Twas a mighty mistake)
      To pull down and abuse
      Bawdy-houses and stews;
Who, tried by the laws of the realm for high-treason,
Were hang'd, drawn, and quarter'd for that very reason.
      When the time came about
      For us all to set out,
We went to take leave of the queen;
      Where were great men of worth,
      Great heads and so forth,
The greatest that ever were seen:
      And she gave us a large
      And particular charge;–
      Good part on't indeed
      Is quite out of my head;–
      But I remember she said,
We should recommend peace and good neighbourhood, wheresoever we came;
and so I do here;
For that every one, not only men and their wives,
Should do all that they can to lead peaceable lives;
And told us withal, that she fully expected
A special account how ye all stood affected;
When we've been at St. James's, you'll hear of the matter.
      Again then I charge ye,
      Ye men of the clergy,
      That ye follow the track all
      Of your own Bishop Blackall,
      And preach, as ye should,
      What's savoury and good;
      And together all cling,
      As it were, in a string;
Not falling out, quarrelling one with another,
Now we're treating with Monsieur,–that son of his mother.

Then proceeded on the common matters of the law; and concluded:

Once more, and no more, since few words are best,
I charge you all present, by way of request,
      If ye honour, as I do,
      Our dear royal widow,
      Or have any compassion
      For church or the nation;
      And would live a long while
      In continual smile,
      And eat roast and boil,
      And not be forgotten,
      When ye are dead and rotten;
That ye would be quiet, and peaceably dwell,
And never fall out, but p–s all in a quill.

[Footnote 1: Dr. Offspring Blackall. He was made Bishop of Exeter in
1707, and died in 1716.–Scott.]

[Footnote 2: Swift hated the word "mob," and insisted that the proper
word to use was "rabble." See "Letters of Swift," edit. Birkbeck Hill, p.
55; and "Prose Works," ix, p. 35, n.–W. E. B.]






This city can omit no opportunity of expressing their hearty affection
for her majesty's person and government; and their regard for your grace,
who has the honour of representing her in this kingdom.

We retain, my lord, a grateful remembrance of the mild and just
Administration of the government of this kingdom by your noble ancestors;
and, when we consider the share your grace had in the happy Revolution,
in 1688, and the many good laws you have procured us since, particularly
that for preventing the farther growth of Popery, we are assured that
that liberty and property, that happy constitution in church and state,
to which we were restored by King William of glorious memory, will
be inviolably preserved under your grace's administration. And we are
persuaded that we cannot more effectually recommend ourselves to your
grace's favour and protection, than by assuring you that we will, to the
utmost of our power, contribute to the honour and safety of her majesty's
government, the maintenance of the succession in the illustrious house
of Hanover, and that we shall at all times oppose the secret and open
attempts of the Pretender, and all his abettors.




An ancient metropolis, famous of late
For opposing the Church, and for nosing the State,
For protecting sedition and rejecting order,
Made the following speech by their mouth, the Recorder:
First, to tell you the name of this place of renown,
Some still call it Dublin, but most Forster's town.




May it please your Grace,
We cannot omit this occasion to tell,
That we love the Queen's person and government well;
Then next, to your Grace we this compliment make,
That our worships regard you, but 'tis for her sake:
Though our mouth be a Whig, and our head a Dissenter,
Yet salute you we must, 'cause you represent her:
Nor can we forget, sir, that some of your line
Did with mildness and peace in this government shine.
But of all your exploits, we'll allow but one fact,
That your Grace has procured us a Popery Act.
By this you may see that the least of your actions
Does conduce still the most to our satisfactions.
And lastly, because in the year eighty-eight
You did early appear in defence of our right,
We give no other proof of your zeal to your Prince;
So we freely forget all your services since.
It's then only we hope, that whilst you rule o'er us,
You'll tread in the steps of King William the glorious,
Whom we're always adoring, tho' hand over head,
For we owe him allegiance, although he be dead;
Which shows that good zeal may be founded in spleen,
Since a dead Prince we worship, to lessen the Queen.
And as for her Majesty, we will defend her
Against our hobgoblin, the Popish Pretender.
Our valiant militia will stoutly stand by her,
Against the sly Jack, and the sturdy High-flier.
She is safe when thus guarded, if Providence bless her,
And Hanover's sure to be next her successor.

Thus ended the speech, but what heart would not pity
His Grace, almost choked with the breath of the City!




To the tune of "Commons and Peers."


    Is now on the stage:
I'll sing you a song, if I can,
    How modern Whigs,
    Dance forty-one jigs,[1]
But God bless our gracious Queen Anne.

    The kirk with applause
    Is established by laws
As the orthodox church of the nation.
    The bishops do own
    It's as good as their own.
And this, Sir, is call'd moderation.

    It's no riddle now
    To let you see how
A church by oppression may speed;
    Nor is't banter or jest,
    That the kirk faith is best
On the other side of the Tweed.

    For no soil can suit
    With every fruit,
Even so, Sir, it is with religion;
    The best church by far
    Is what grows where you are,
Were it Mahomet's ass or his pigeon.

    Another strange story
    That vexes the Tory,
But sure there's no mystery in it,
    That a pension and place
    Give communicants grace,
Who design to turn tail the next minute.

    For if it be not strange,
    That religion should change,
As often as climates and fashions;
    Then sure there's no harm,
    That one should conform.
To serve their own private occasions.

    Another new dance,
    Which of late they advance,
Is to cry up the birth of Pretender,
    And those that dare own
    The queen heir to the crown,
Are traitors, not fit to defend her.

    The subject's most loyal
    That hates the blood royal,
And they for employments have merit,
    Who swear queen and steeple
    Were made by the people,
And neither have right to inherit.

    The monarchy's fixt,
    By making on't mixt,
And by non-resistance o'erthrown;
    And preaching obedience
    Destroys our allegiance,
And thus the Whigs prop up the throne.

    That viceroy [2] is best,
    That would take off the test,
And made a sham speech to attempt it;
    But being true blue,
    When he found 'twould not do,
Swore, damn him, if ever he meant it.

    'Tis no news that Tom Double
    The nation should bubble,
Nor is't any wonder or riddle,
    That a parliament rump
    Should play hop, step, and jump,
And dance any jig to his fiddle.

    But now, sir, they tell,
    How Sacheverell,
By bringing old doctrines in fashion,
    Hath, like a damn'd rogue,
    Brought religion in vogue,
And so open'd the eyes of the nation.

    Then let's pray without spleen,
    May God bless the queen,
And her fellow-monarchs the people;
    May they prosper and thrive,
    Whilst I am alive,
And so may the church with the steeple.


[Footnote 1: Alluding to the year 1641, when the great rebellion broke
out. Scott.]

[Footnote 2: Lord Wharton.]







Atlas, we read in ancient song,
Was so exceeding tall and strong,
He bore the skies upon his back,
Just as the pedler does his pack;
But, as the pedler overpress'd
Unloads upon a stall to rest,
Or, when he can no longer stand
Desires a friend to lend a hand;
So Atlas, lest the ponderous spheres
Should sink, and fall about his ears,
Got Hercules to bear the pile,
That he might sit and rest awhile.

Yet Hercules was not so strong,
Nor could have borne it half so long.
Great statesmen are in this condition;
And Atlas is a politician,
A premier minister of state;
Alcides one of second rate.
Suppose then Atlas ne'er so wise;
Yet, when the weight of kingdoms lies
Too long upon his single shoulders,
Sink down he must, or find upholders.


[Footnote 1: In these free, and yet complimentary verses, Swift cautions
Oxford against his greatest political error, that affectation of mystery,
and wish of engrossing the whole management of public affairs, which
first disgusted, and then alienated, Harcourt and Bolingbroke. On this
point our author has spoken very fully in the "Free Thoughts upon. The
present State of Affairs."–Scott. See "Prose Works," v,
391.–W. E. B. ]






1710-11 [1]

On Britain Europe's safety lies,
Britain is lost if Harley dies:
Harley depends upon your skill:
Think what you save, or what you kill.


[Footnote 1: For details of Guiscard's murderous attack on Harley, see Journal to Stella,
March 8, 1710-11, "Prose Works," ii.–W. E. B.]



An Excellent New Song





An orator dismal of Nottinghamshire,
Who has forty years let out his conscience to hire,
Out of zeal for his country, and want of a place,
Is come up, vi et armis, to break the queen's peace.
He has vamp'd an old speech, and the court, to their sorrow,
Shall hear him harangue against Prior to-morrow.
When once he begins, he never will flinch,
But repeats the same note a whole day like a Finch.[1]
I have heard all the speech repeated by Hoppy,'
And, "mistakes to prevent, I've obtained a copy."




Whereas, notwithstanding I am in great pain,
To hear we are making a peace without Spain;
But, most noble senators, 'tis a great shame,
There should be a peace, while I'm Not-in-game.
The duke show'd me all his fine house; and the duchess
From her closet brought out a full purse in her clutches:
I talk'd of a peace, and they both gave a start,
His grace swore by G–d, and her grace let a f–t:
My long old-fashion'd pocket was presently cramm'd;
And sooner than vote for a peace I'll be damn'd.

But some will cry turn-coat, and rip up old stories,
How I always pretended to be for the Tories:
I answer; the Tories were in my good graces,
Till all my relations were put into places.
But still I'm in principle ever the same,
And will quit my best friends, while I'm Not-in-game.

When I and some others subscribed our names
To a plot for expelling my master King James,
I withdrew my subscription by help of a blot,
And so might discover or gain by the plot:
I had my advantage, and stood at defiance,
For Daniel[2] was got from the den of the lions:
I came in without danger, and was I to blame?
For, rather than hang, I would be Not-in-game.

I swore to the queen, that the Prince of Hanover
During her sacred life would never come over:
I made use of a trope; that "an heir to invite,
Was like keeping her monument always in sight."
But, when I thought proper, I alter'd my note;
And in her own hearing I boldly did vote,
That her Majesty stood in great need of a tutor,
And must have an old or a young coadjutor:
For why; I would fain have put all in a flame,
Because, for some reasons, I was Not-in-game.

Now my new benefactors have brought me about,
And I'll vote against peace, with Spain or without:
Though the court gives my nephews, and brothers, and cousins,
And all my whole family, places by dozens;
Yet, since I know where a full purse may be found,
And hardly pay eighteen-pence tax in the pound:
Since the Tories have thus disappointed my hopes,
And will neither regard my figures nor tropes,
I'll speech against peace while Dismal's my name,
And be a true Whig, while I'm Not-in-game.

[Footnote 1: Lord Nottingham's family name.]

[Footnote 2: This was the Earl's Christian name.]



The Windsor Prophecy[1]



"About three months ago, at Windsor, a poor knight's widow was buried in
the cloisters. In digging the grave, the sexton struck against a small
leaden coffer, about half a foot in length, and four inches wide. The
poor man, expecting he had discovered a treasure, opened it with some
difficulty; but found only a small parchment, rolled up very fast, put
into a leather case; which case was tied at the top, and sealed with St.
George, the impression on black wax, very rude and gothic. The parchment
was carried to a gentleman of learning, who found in it the following
lines, written in a black old English letter, and in the orthography of
the age, which seems to be about two hundred years ago. I made a shift to
obtain a copy of it; but the transcriber, I find, hath in many parts
altered the spelling to the modern way. The original, as I am informed,
is now in the hands of the ingenious Dr. Woodward, F. R. S. where, I
suppose, the curious will not be refused the satisfaction of seeing it.


"The lines seem to be a sort of prophecy, and written in verse, as old
prophecies usually are, but in a very hobbling kind of measure. Their
meaning is very dark, if it be any at all; of which the learned reader
can judge better than I: however it be, several persons were of opinion
that they deserved to be published, both as they discover somewhat of the
genius of a former age, and may be an amusement to the



The subject of this virulent satire was Elizabeth, Baroness Percy,
daughter and heiress of Josceline, Earl of Northumberland, who died in
1670. She was born in 1666. In 1679 she was married to Henry Cavendish,
Earl of Ogle, who died in 1680. In 1681, she married Thomas Thynne, a man
of great wealth, a friend of the Duke of Monmouth and the Issachar of
Dryden's "Absalom and Achitophel." A few months afterwards, in February
1681-2, Thynne was assassinated in the Haymarket by foreigners, who were
devoted friends of Count Konigsmark, and appear to have acted under his
direction. The Count had been in London shortly before Lady Ogle's
marriage to Thynne, and had then paid his addresses to her. He fled the
day after the murder, but was brought back, and was tried with the
principals as an accessory, but was acquitted. Four months after the
murder of Thynne, his widow was married to Charles Seymour, Duke of
Somerset, on 30th May, 1682, and ultimately became the favourite and
friend of Queen Anne, and a zealous partisan of the Whig party. Hence
Swift's "Prophecy." See "State Trials," vol. ix, and "Notes and
Queries," 1st S., v. 269.–W. E. B.




When a holy black Swede, the son of Bob,[2]
With a saint[3] at his chin and a seal at his fob,
Shall not see one[4] New-Years-day in that year,
Then let old England make good cheer:
Windsor[5] and Bristol[5] then shall be
Joined together in the Low-countree.[5]

Then shall the tall black Daventry Bird[6]
Speak against peace right many a word;
And some shall admire his coneying wit,
For many good groats his tongue shall slit.
But spight of the Harpy[7] that crawls on all four,
There shall be peace, pardie, and war no more
But England must cry alack and well-a-day,
If the stick be taken from the dead sea.[8]
And, dear Englond, if ought I understond,
Beware of Carrots[9] from Northumberlond.

Carrots sown Thynne a deep root may get,
If so be they are in Somer set:
Their Conyngs[10] mark thou; for I have been told,
They assassine when younge, and poison when old.

Root out these Carrots, O thou,[11] whose name
is backwards and forwards always the same;
And keep thee close to thee always that name
Which backwards and forwards is [12] almost the same.

And, England, wouldst thou be happy still,
Burn those Carrots under a Hill.[13]

[Footnote 1: Although Swift was advised by Mrs. Masham "not to let the
Prophecy be published," and he acted on her advice, many copies were
"printed and given about, but not sold." To Stella, Swift writes: "I
doubt not but you will have the Prophecy in Ireland although it is not
published here, only printed copies given to friends." See Journal to
Stella, 26, 27 Dec. 1711, and Jan. 4, 1711-12.–W. E. B.]


[Footnote 2: Dr. John Robinson, Bishop of Bristol, one of the
plenipotentiaries at Utrecht.–Scott.]


[Footnote 3: He was Dean of Windsor, and lord privy seal.]


[Footnote 4: The New Style, which was not adopted in Great Britain and
Ireland till it was brought in by Lord Chesterfield in 1752, was then
Observed in most parts of Europe. The bishop set out from England the
Latter end of December, O. S.; and on his arrival at Utrecht, by the
Variation of the style, he found January somewhat advanced.]


[Footnote 5: Alluding to the deanery and bishopric being possessed by the
same person, then at Utrecht.]


[Footnote 6: Earl of Nottingham.]


[Footnote 7: Duke of Marlborough.]


[Footnote 8: The treasurer's wand, taken from Harley, whose second title
was Lord Mortimer.]


[Footnote 9: The Duchess of Somerset.[1]]


[Footnote 10: Count Konigsmark.[2] ]


[Footnote 11: ANNA.]


[Footnote 12: MASHAM.]


[Footnote 13: Lady Masham's maiden name.]


[embedded footnote 1: She had red hair, post, 165. ]


[embedded footnote 2: Or Coningsmark.]








This day (the year I dare not tell)
  Apollo play'd the midwife's part;
Into the world Corinna fell,
  And he endued her with his art.

But Cupid with a Satyr comes;
  Both softly to the cradle creep;
Both stroke her hands, and rub her gums,
  While the poor child lay fast asleep.

Then Cupid thus: "This little maid
  Of love shall always speak and write;"
"And I pronounce," the Satyr said,
  "The world shall feel her scratch and bite."

Her talent she display'd betimes;
  For in a few revolving moons,
She seem'd to laugh and squall in rhymes,
  And all her gestures were lampoons.

At six years old, the subtle jade
  Stole to the pantry-door, and found
The butler with my lady's maid:
  And you may swear the tale went round.

She made a song, how little miss
  Was kiss'd and slobber'd by a lad:
And how, when master went to p–,
  Miss came, and peep'd at all he had.

At twelve, a wit and a coquette;
  Marries for love, half whore, half wife;
Cuckolds, elopes, and runs in debt;
  Turns authoress, and is Curll's for life.

Her common-place book all gallant is,
  Of scandal now a cornucopia;
She pours it out in Atalantis
  Or memoirs of the New Utopia.

[Footnote 1: This ballad refers to some details in the life of Mrs. de la
Rivière Manley, a political writer, who was born about 1672, and died in
July, 1724. The work by which she became famous was "Secret memoirs and
manners of several persons of quality of both sexes, from the New
Atalantis." She was Swift's amanuensis and assistant in "The Examiner,"
and succeeded him as Editor. In his Journal to Stella, Jan. 26, 1711-12,
he writes: "Poor Mrs. Manley, the author, is very ill of a dropsy and
sore leg; the printer tells me he is afraid she cannot live long. I am
heartily sorry for her. She has very generous principles for one of her
sort; and a great deal of good sense and invention: She is about forty,
very homely and very fat." Swift's subsequent severe attack upon her in
these verses can only be accounted for, but cannot be excused by, some
change in his political views. See "The Tatler," Nos. 35, 63, edit.
1786.–W. E. B.]



The Fable of Midas


[1] –1711-12


Collated with Stella's copy.–Forster.


Midas, we are in story told,[2]
Turn'd every thing he touch'd to gold:
He chipp'd his bread; the pieces round
Glitter'd like spangles on the ground:
A codling, ere it went his lip in,
Would straight become a golden pippin.
He call'd for drink; you saw him sup
Potable gold in golden cup:
His empty paunch that he might fill,
He suck'd his victuals thro' a quill.
Untouch'd it pass'd between his grinders,
Or't had been happy for gold-finders:
He cock'd his hat, you would have said
Mambrino's[3] helm adorn'd his head;
Whene'er he chanced his hands to lay
On magazines of corn or hay,
Gold ready coin'd appear'd instead
Of paltry provender and bread;
Hence, we are by wise farmers told[4]
Old hay is equal to old gold:[5]
And hence a critic deep maintains
We learn'd to weigh our gold by grains.

This fool had got a lucky hit;
And people fancied he had wit,
Two gods their skill in music tried
And both chose Midas to decide:
He against Ph[oelig]bus' harp decreed,
And gave it for Pan's oaten reed:
The god of wit, to show his grudge,
Clapt asses' ears upon the judge,
A goodly pair, erect and wide,
Which he could neither gild nor hide.

And now the virtue of his hands
Was lost among Pactolus' sands,
Against whose torrent while he swims
The golden scurf peels off his limbs:
Fame spreads the news, and people travel
From far, to gather golden gravel;
Midas, exposed to all their jeers,
Had lost his art, and kept his ears.

This tale inclines the gentle reader
To think upon a certain leader;
To whom, from Midas down, descends
That virtue in the fingers' ends.
What else by perquisites are meant,
By pensions, bribes, and three per cent.?
By places and commissions sold,
And turning dung itself to gold?
By starving in the midst of store,
As t'other Midas did before?

None e'er did modern Midas chuse
Subject or patron of his muse,
But found him thus their merit scan,
That Phoebus must give place to Pan:
He values not the poet's praise,
Nor will exchange his plums [6] for bays.
To Pan alone rich misers call;
And there's the jest, for Pan is ALL.
Here English wits will be to seek,
Howe'er, 'tis all one in the Greek.

Besides, it plainly now appears
Our Midas, too, has ass's ears:
Where every fool his mouth applies,
And whispers in a thousand lies;
Such gross delusions could not pass
Thro' any ears but of an ass.

But gold defiles with frequent touch,
There's nothing fouls the hand so much;
And scholars give it for the cause
Of British Midas' dirty paws;
Which, while the senate strove to scour,
They wash'd away the chemic power.[7]
While he his utmost strength applied,
To swim against this popular tide,
The golden spoils flew off apace,
Here fell a pension, there a place:

The torrent merciless imbibes
Commissions, perquisites, and bribes,
By their own weight sunk to the bottom;
Much good may't do 'em that have caught 'em!
And Midas now neglected stands,
With ass's ears, and dirty hands.

[Footnote 1: This cutting satire upon the Duke of Marlborough was written
about the time when he was deprived of his employments. See Journal to
Stella, Feb. 14, 1711-12, "Prose Works," ii, 337.]


[Footnote 2: Ovid, "Met.," lib. xi; Hyginus, "Fab." 191.–W. E. B.]


[Footnote 3: Almonte and Mambrino, two Saracens of great valour, had each
a golden helmet. Orlando Furioso took Almonte's, and his friend Rinaldo
that of Mambrino. "Orlando Furioso," Canto I, St. 28. And readers of "Don
Quixote" may remember how the knight argued with Sancho Panza that the
barber's bason was the helmet of Mambrino.–"Don Quixote," pt. I, book 3,
ch. 7.–W. E. B.]


[Footnote 4: Stella.]


[Footnote 5: The Duke of Marlborough was accused of having received large
sums, as perquisites, from the contractors, who furnished bread, forage,
etc., to the army.–Scott.]


[Footnote 6: Scott prints this word "plumes," substituting a false
meaning for the real point of the poem.–Forster.]


[Footnote 7: The result of the investigations of the House of Commons was
the removal of the Duke of Marlborough from his command, and all his








Written A.D. 1712.–Stella.


Imitated from Horace, Lib. i, Epist. 5.



Toland, the Deist, distinguished himself as a party writer in behalf
of the Whigs. He wrote a pamphlet on the demolition of Dunkirk, and
another called "The Art of Reasoning," in which he directly charged
Oxford with the purpose of bringing in the Pretender. The Earl of
Nottingham, here, as elsewhere, called Dismal from his swarthy
complexion, was bred a rigid High-Churchman, and was only induced to
support the Whigs, in their resolutions against a peace, by their
consenting to the bill against occasional conformity. He was so
distinguished for regularity, as to be termed by Rowe


  "The sober Earl of Nottingham,
  Of sober sire descended."–HOR., Odes, ii, 4.

From these points of his character, we may estimate the severity of
the following satire, which represents this pillar of High-Church
principles as invited by the republican Toland to solemnize the 30th
January, by attending the Calves' Head Club.–Scott.


       If, dearest Dismal, you for once can dine
Upon a single dish, and tavern wine,
Toland to you this invitation sends,
To eat the calfs head with your trusty friends.
Suspend awhile your vain ambitious hopes,
Leave hunting after bribes, forget your tropes.
To-morrow we our mystic feast prepare,
Where thou, our latest proselyte, shall share:
When we, by proper signs and symbols, tell,
How by brave hands the royal traitor fell;
The meat shall represent the tyrant's head,
The wine, his blood our predecessors shed;
Whilst an alluding hymn some artist sings,
We toast, Confusion to the race of kings!
At monarchy we nobly show our spight,
And talk, what fools call treason, all the night.

    Who, by disgraces or ill fortune sunk,
Feels not his soul enliven'd when he's drunk?
Wine can clear up Godolphin's cloudy face,
And fill Jack Smith with hopes to keep his place:
By force of wine, ev'n Scarborough is brave,
Hal[2] grows more pert, and Somers not so grave:
Wine can give Portland wit, and Cleaveland sense,
Montague learning, Bolton eloquence:
Cholmondeley, when drunk, can never lose his wand;
And Lincoln then imagines he has land.

    My province is, to see that all be right,
Glasses and linen clean, and pewter bright;
From our mysterious club to keep out spies,
And Tories (dress'd like waiters) in disguise.
You shall be coupled as you best approve,
Seated at table next the man you love.
Sunderland, Orford, Boyle, and Richmond's grace
Will come; and Hampden shall have Walpole's place;
Wharton, unless prevented by a whore,
Will hardly fail; and there is room for more;
But I love elbow-room whene'er I drink;
And honest Harry is too apt to stink.

    Let no pretence of bus'ness make you stay;
Yet take one word of counsel[3] by the way.
If Guernsey calls, send word you're gone abroad;
He'll teaze you with King Charles, and Bishop Laud,
Or make you fast, and carry you to prayers;
But, if he will break in, and walk up stairs,
Steal by the back-door out, and leave him there;
Then order Squash to call a hackney chair.


[Footnote 1: Collated with Stella's copy.–Forster. See Journal to
Stella, July 1, 1712, "Prose Works," ii, 375; and ix, 256,
287.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: Right Honourable Henry Boyle.–Scott.]

[Footnote 3: Scott prints "comfort."–Forster.]


Peace and Dunkirk



To the tune of "The King shall enjoy his own again."

Spite of Dutch friends and English foes,
Poor Britain shall have peace at last:
Holland got towns, and we got blows;
  But Dunkirk's ours, we'll hold it fast.

    We have got it in a string,
    And the Whigs may all go swing,
For among good friends I love to be plain;
    All their false deluded hopes
    Will, or ought to end in ropes;
"But the Queen shall enjoy her own again."

Sunderland’s run out of his wits,
  And Dismal double Dismal looks;
Wharton can only swear by fits,
  And strutting Hal is off the hooks;
    Old Godolphin, full of spleen,
    Made false moves, and lost his Queen:
Harry look'd fierce, and shook his ragged mane:
    But a Prince of high renown
    Swore he'd rather lose a crown,
"Than the Queen should enjoy her own again."

Our merchant-ships may cut the line,
  And not be snapt by privateers.
And commoners who love good wine
  Will drink it now as well as peers:
    Landed men shall have their rent,
    Yet our stocks rise cent, per cent.
The Dutch from hence shall no more millions drain:
    We'll bring on us no more debts,
    Nor with bankrupts fill gazettes;
"And the Queen shall enjoy her own again."

The towns we took ne'er did us good:
  What signified the French to beat?
We spent our money and our blood,
  To make the Dutchmen proud and great:
    But the Lord of Oxford swears,
    Dunkirk never shall be theirs.
The Dutch-hearted Whigs may rail and complain;
    But true Englishmen may fill
    A good health to General Hill:
"For the Queen now enjoys her own again."



Imitation of Horace






Harley, the nation's great support,
Returning home one day from court,
His mind with public cares possest,
All Europe's business in his breast,
Observed a parson near Whitehall,
Cheap'ning old authors on a stall.
The priest was pretty well in case,
And show'd some humour in his face;
Look'd with an easy, careless mien,
A perfect stranger to the spleen;
Of size that might a pulpit fill,
But more inclining to sit still.
My lord, (who, if a man may say't,
Loves mischief better than his meat),
Was now disposed to crack a jest
And bid friend Lewis[2] go in quest.
(This Lewis was a cunning shaver,
And very much in Harley's favour)–
In quest who might this parson be,
What was his name, of what degree;
If possible, to learn his story,
And whether he were Whig or Tory.

Lewis his patron's humour knows;
Away upon his errand goes,
And quickly did the matter sift;
Found out that it was Doctor Swift,
A clergyman of special note
For shunning those of his own coat;
Which made his brethren of the gown
Take care betimes [3] to run him down:
No libertine, nor over nice,
Addicted to no sort of vice;
Went where he pleas'd, said what he thought;
Not rich, but owed no man a groat;
In state opinions à la mode,
He hated Wharton like a toad;
Had given the faction many a wound,
And libell'd all the junto round;
Kept company with men of wit,
Who often father'd what he writ:
His works were hawk'd in ev'ry street,
But seldom rose above a sheet:
Of late, indeed, the paper-stamp
Did very much his genius cramp;
And, since he could not spend his fire,
He now intended[4] to retire.

Said Harley, "I desire to know
From his own mouth, if this be so:
Step to the doctor straight, and say,
I'd have him dine with me to-day."
Swift seem'd to wonder what he meant,
Nor could believe my lord had sent;
So never offer'd once to stir,
But coldly said, "Your servant, sir!"
"Does he refuse me?" Harley cry'd:
"He does; with insolence and pride."

Some few days after, Harley spies
The doctor fasten'd by the eyes
At Charing-cross, among the rout,
Where painted monsters are hung out:
He pull'd the string, and stopt his[5] coach,
Beck'ning the doctor to approach.
Swift, who could[6] neither fly nor hide,
Came sneaking to[7] the chariot side,
And offer'd many a lame excuse:
He never meant the least abuse–
"My lord–the honour you design'd–
Extremely proud–but I had dined–
I am sure I never should neglect–
No man alive has more respect"–
Well, I shall think of that no more,
If you'll be sure to come at four."

The doctor now obeys the summons,
Likes both his company and commons;
Displays his talent, sits till ten;
Next day invited, comes again;
Soon grows domestic, seldom fails,
Either at morning or at meals;
Came early, and departed late;
In short, the gudgeon took the bait.
My lord would carry on the jest,
And down to Windsor takes his guest.
Swift much admires the place and air,
And longs to be a Canon there;
In summer round the Park to ride,
In winter–never to reside.
A Canon!–that's a place too mean:
No, doctor, you shall be a Dean;
Two dozen canons round your stall,
And you the tyrant o'er them all:
You need but cross the Irish seas,
To live in plenty, power, and ease.
Poor Swift departed, and, what's worse,
With borrow'd money in his purse,
Travels at least a hundred leagues,
And suffers numberless fatigues.

Suppose him now a dean complete,
Demurely[8] lolling in his seat,
And silver verge, with decent pride,
Stuck underneath his cushion side.
Suppose him gone through all vexations,
Patents, instalments, abjurations,
First-fruits, and tenths, and chapter-treats;
Dues, payments, fees, demands, and cheats.
(The wicked laity’s contriving
To hinder clergymen from thriving.)
Now all the doctor's money’s spent,
His tenants wrong him in his rent,
The farmers spitefully combine,
Force him to take his tithes in kine,
And Parvisol[9] discounts arrears
By bills, for taxes and repairs.

Poor Swift, with all his losses vex'd,
Not knowing where to turn him next,
Above a thousand pounds in debt,
Takes horse, and in a mighty fret
Rides day and night at such a rate,
He soon arrives at Harley's gate;
But was so dirty, pale, and thin,
Old Read[10] would hardly let him in.

Said Harley, "Welcome, rev'rend dean!
What makes your worship look so lean?
Why, sure you won't appear in town
In that old wig and rusty gown?
I doubt your heart is set on pelf
So much that you neglect yourself.
What! I suppose, now stocks are high,
You've some good purchase in your eye?
Or is your money out at use?"–

"Truce, good my lord, I beg a truce!"
The doctor in a passion cry'd,
"Your raillery is misapply'd;
Experience I have[11] dearly bought;
You know I am not worth a groat:
But you resolved to have your jest,
And 'twas a folly to contest;
Then, since you now have done your worst,
Pray leave me where you found me first."

[Footnote 1: Collated with Stella's copy.–Forster.]

[Footnote 2: Erasmus Lewis, Esq., the treasurer's secretary.]

[Footnote 3: By time.–Stella.]

[Footnote 4: Is now contented,–Stella.]

[Footnote 5: The.–Stella.]

[Footnote 6: Would.–Stella.]

[Footnote 7: By.–Stella.]

[Footnote 8: "Devoutly" is the word in Stella's transcript: but it must
be admitted that "demurely" is more in keeping.–Forster.]

[Footnote 9: The Dean's agent, a Frenchman.]

[Footnote 10: The lord treasurer's porter.]

[Footnote 11: I have experience.–Stella.]



The Author upon Himself


A few of the first lines were wanting in the copy sent us by a friend of
the Author's from London.–Dublin Edition.



       *       *       *       *       *
       *       *       *       *       *
       *       *  By an old —- pursued,
A crazy prelate,[1] and a royal prude;[2]
By dull divines, who look with envious eyes
On ev'ry genius that attempts to rise;
And pausing o'er a pipe, with doubtful nod,
Give hints, that poets ne'er believe in God.
So clowns on scholars as on wizards look,
And take a folio for a conj'ring book.

Swift had the sin of wit, no venial crime:
Nay, 'twas affirm'd, he sometimes dealt in rhyme;
Humour and mirth had place in all he writ;
He reconcil'd divinity and wit:
He moved and bow'd, and talk'd with too much grace;
Nor show'd the parson in his gait or face;
Despised luxurious wines and costly meat;
Yet still was at the tables of the great;
Frequented lords; saw those that saw the queen;
At Child's or Truby's,[3] never once had been;
Where town and country vicars flock in tribes,
Secured by numbers from the laymen's gibes;
And deal in vices of the graver sort,
Tobacco, censure, coffee, pride, and port.

But, after sage monitions from his friends,
His talents to employ for nobler ends;
To better judgments willing to submit,
He turns to politics his dang'rous wit.

And now, the public Int'rest to support,
By Harley Swift invited, comes to court;
In favour grows with ministers of state;
Admitted private, when superiors wait:
And Harley, not ashamed his choice to own,
Takes him to Windsor in his coach alone.
At Windsor Swift no sooner can appear,
But St. John comes, and whispers in his ear:
The waiters stand in ranks: the yeomen cry,
Make room, as if a duke were passing by.

Now Finch[4] alarms the lords: he hears for certain
This dang'rous priest is got behind the curtain.
Finch, famed for tedious elocution, proves
That Swift oils many a spring which Harley moves.
Walpole and Aislaby,[5] to clear the doubt,
Inform the Commons, that the secret's out:
"A certain doctor is observed of late
To haunt a certain minister of state:
From whence with half an eye we may discover
The peace is made, and Perkin must come over."

York is from Lambeth sent, to show the queen
A dang'rous treatise[6] writ against the spleen;
Which, by the style, the matter, and the drift,
'Tis thought could be the work of none but Swift.
Poor York! the harmless tool of others' hate;
He sues for pardon,[7] and repents too late.

Now angry Somerset her vengeance vows
On Swift's reproaches for her ******* spouse:[8]
From her red locks her mouth with venom fills,
And thence into the royal ear instils.
The queen incensed, his services forgot,
Leaves him a victim to the vengeful Scot.[9]
Now through the realm a proclamation spread,
To fix a price on his devoted head.[10]
While innocent, he scorns ignoble flight;
His watchful friends preserve him by a sleight.

By Harley's favour once again he shines;
Is now caress'd by candidate divines,
Who change opinions with the changing scene:
Lord! how were they mistaken in the dean!
Now Delawar[11] again familiar grows;
And in Swift's ear thrusts half his powder'd nose.
The Scottish nation, whom he durst offend,
Again apply that Swift would be their friend.[12]

By faction tired, with grief he waits awhile,
His great contending friends to reconcile;
Performs what friendship, justice, truth require:
What could he more, but decently retire?


[Footnote 1: Dr. John Sharpe, who, for some unbecoming reflections in his
sermons, had been suspended, May 14, 1686, was raised from the Deanery of
Canterbury, to the Archbishopric of York, July 5, 1691; and died February
2, 1712-13. According to Dr. Swift's account, the archbishop had
represented him to the queen as a person that was not a Christian; the
great lady [the Duchess of Somerset] had supported the aspersion; and the
queen, upon such assurances, had given away the bishopric contrary to her
majesty's first intentions [which were in favour of Swift]. See Orrery's
"Remarks on the Life of Swift," p. 48.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: Queen Anne.]

[Footnote 3: Coffeehouses frequented by the clergy. In the preceding
poem, Swift gives the same trait of his own character:
  "A clergyman of special note
  For shunning those of his own coat."
His feeling towards his order was exactly the reverse of his celebrated
misanthropical expression of hating mankind, but loving individuals. On
the contrary, he loved the church, but disliked associating with
individual clergymen.–Scott. See his letter to Pope, Sept. 29, 1725,
in Pope's Works, edit. Elwin and Courthope, vii, 53, and the unjust
remarks of the commentators.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 4: Daniel Finch, Earl of Nottingham, who made a speech in the
House of Lords against the author.]

[Footnote 5: John Aislaby, then M.P. for Ripon. They both spoke against
him in the House of Commons.–Scott.]

[Footnote 6: The Tale of a Tub.]

[Footnote 7: He sent a message to the author to desire his pardon, and
that he was very sorry for what he had said and done.]

[Footnote 8: Insert murder'd. The duchess's first husband, Thomas
Thynne, Esq., was assassinated in Pall Mall by banditti, the emissaries
of Count Königsmark. As the motive of this crime was the count's love to
the lady, with whom Thynne had never cohabited, Swift seems to throw upon
her the imputation of being privy to the crime. See the "Windsor
Prophecy," ante, p. 150.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 9: The Duke of Argyle.]

[Footnote 10: For writing "The Public Spirit of the Whigs."]

[Footnote 11: Then lord-treasurer of the household, who cautiously
avoided Swift while the proclamation was impending.]

[Footnote 12: He was visited by the Scots lords more than ever.]



The Fagot[1]

Written in the year 1713, when the Queen's ministers were quarrelling
among themselves.

    Observe the dying father speak:
Try, lads, can you this bundle break?
Then bids the youngest of the six
Take up a well-bound heap of sticks.
They thought it was an old man's maggot;
And strove, by turns, to break the fagot:
In vain: the complicated wands
Were much too strong for all their hands.
See, said the sire, how soon 'tis done:
Then took and broke them one by one.
So strong you'll be, in friendship ty'd;
So quickly broke, if you divide.
Keep close then, boys, and never quarrel:
Here ends the fable, and the moral.

   This tale may be applied in few words,
To treasurers, comptrollers, stewards;
And others, who, in solemn sort,
Appear with slender wands at court;
Not firmly join'd to keep their ground,
But lashing one another round:
While wise men think they ought to fight
With quarterstaffs instead of white;
Or constable, with staff of peace,
Should come and make the clatt'ring cease;
Which now disturbs the queen and court,
And gives the Whigs and rabble sport.

  In history we never found
The consul's fasces[2] were unbound:
Those Romans were too wise to think on't,
Except to lash some grand delinquent,
How would they blush to hear it said,
The praetor broke the consul's head!
Or consul in his purple gown,
Came up and knock'd the praetor down!

  Come, courtiers: every man his stick!
Lord treasurer,[3] for once be quick:
And that they may the closer cling,
Take your blue ribbon for a string.
Come, trimming Harcourt,[4] bring your mace;
And squeeze it in, or quit your place:
Dispatch, or else that rascal Northey[5]
Will undertake to do it for thee:
And be assured, the court will find him
Prepared to leap o'er sticks, or bind them.

  To make the bundle strong and safe,
Great Ormond, lend thy general's staff:
And, if the crosier could be cramm'd in
A fig for Lechmere, King, and Hambden!
You'll then defy the strongest Whig
With both his hands to bend a twig;
Though with united strength they all pull,
From Somers,[6] down to Craggs[7] and Walpole.

[Footnote 1: This fable is one of the vain remonstrances by which Swift
strove to close the breach between Oxford and Bolingbroke, in the last
period of their administration, which, to use Swift's own words, was
"nothing else but a scene of murmuring and discontent, quarrel and
misunderstanding, animosity and hatred;" so that these two great men had
scarcely a common friend left, except the author himself, who laboured
with unavailing zeal to reconcile their dissensions.–Scott. With this
exception, the notes are from the Dublin Edition.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: The bundle of rods carried before the Consuls at Rome.]

[Footnote 3: The dilatory Earl of Oxford.]

[Footnote 4: Lord Chancellor.]

[Footnote 5: Sir Edward Northey, attorney-general, brought in by Lord
Harcourt; yet very desirous of the Great Seal.]

[Footnote 6: Who had been at different times Lord Chancellor and
President of the Council.]

[Footnote 7: Afterwards Secretary of State].



Imitation of Horace




    I often wish'd that I had clear,
For life, six hundred pounds a-year,
A handsome house to lodge a friend,
A river at my garden's end,
A terrace walk, and half a rood
Of land, set out to plant a wood.

  Well, now I have all this and more,
I ask not to increase my store;[2]
But should be perfectly content,
Could I but live on this side Trent;[3]
Nor cross the channel twice a-year,
To spend six months with statesmen here.

  I must by all means come to town,
'Tis for the service of the crown.
"Lewis, the Dean will be of use;
Send for him up, take no excuse."
The toil, the danger of the seas,
Great ministers ne'er think of these;
Or let it cost a hundred pound,
No matter where the money's found,
It is but so much more in debt,
And that they ne'er consider'd yet.

  "Good Mr. Dean, go change your gown,
Let my lord know you're come to town."
I hurry me in haste away,
Not thinking it is levee-day;
And find his honour in a pound,
Hemm'd by a triple circle round,
Chequer'd with ribbons blue and green:
How should I thrust myself between?
Some wag observes me thus perplex'd,
And, smiling, whispers to the next,
"I thought the Dean had been too proud,
To justle here among a crowd!"
Another, in a surly fit,
Tells me I have more zeal than wit.
"So eager to express your love,
You ne'er consider whom you shove,
But rudely press before a duke."
I own I'm pleased with this rebuke,
And take it kindly meant, to show
What I desire the world should know.

  I get a whisper, and withdraw;
When twenty fools I never saw
Come with petitions fairly penn'd,
Desiring I would stand their friend.

  This humbly offers me his case;
That begs my interest for a place;
A hundred other men's affairs,
Like bees, are humming in my ears.
"To-morrow my appeal comes on;
Without your help, the cause is gone–"
"The duke expects my lord and you,
About some great affair, at two–"
"Put my Lord Bolingbroke in mind,
To get my warrant quickly sign'd:
Consider, 'tis my first request."–
Be satisfied I'll do my best:
Then presently he falls to tease,
"You may for certain, if you please;
I doubt not if his lordship knew—
And Mr. Dean, one word from you[4]—-"

  'Tis (let me see) three years and more,
(October next it will be four,)
Since Harley bid me first attend,[5]
And chose me for an humble friend;
Would take me in his coach to chat,
And question me of this and that;
As "What's o'clock?" And, "How's the wind?"
"Whose chariot's that we left behind?"
Or gravely try to read the lines
Writ underneath the country signs;[6]
And mark at Brentford how they spell
Hear is good Eal and Bear to cell.
Or, "Have you nothing new to-day
To shew from Parnell, Pope and Gay?"
Such tattle often entertains
My lord and me as far as Staines,
As once a-week we travel down
To Windsor, and again to town;
Where all that passes inter nos
Might be proclaim'd at Charing-cross.

  Yet some I know with envy swell,
Because they see me used so well:
"How think you of our friend the Dean?
I wonder what some people mean!
My lord and he are grown so great,
Always together, tête-à-tête;
What! they admire him for his jokes?–
See but the fortune of some folks!"

  There flies about a strange report
Of mighty news arrived at court:
I'm stopp'd by all the fools I meet,
And catechised in every street.
"You, Mr. Dean, frequent the great:
Inform us, will the emperor treat?
Or do the prints and papers lie?"
Faith, sir, you know as much as I.
"Ah, Doctor, how you love to jest!
'Tis now no secret"–I protest
It's one to me–"Then tell us, pray,
When are the troops to have their pay?"
And, though I solemnly declare
I know no more than my lord mayor,
They stand amazed, and think me grown
The closest mortal ever known.
Thus in a sea of folly toss'd,
My choicest[7] hours of life are lost:
Yet always wishing to retreat,
O, could I see my country-seat!
There leaning near a gentle brook,
Sleep, or peruse some ancient book;
And there in sweet oblivion drown
Those cares that haunt the court and town.[8]

[Footnote 1: Collated with Stella's copy in the Duke of Bedford's

[Footnote 2: Here followed twenty lines inserted by Pope when he
published the Miscellanies. The version is here printed as written by
Swift.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: Swift was perpetually expressing his deep discontent at his
Irish preferment, and forming schemes for exchanging it for a smaller in
England, and courted Queen Caroline and Sir Robert Walpole to effect such
a change. A negotiation had nearly taken place between the Dean and Mr.
Talbot for the living of Burfield, in Berkshire. Mr. Talbot himself
informed me of this negotiation. Burfield is in the neighbourhood of
Bucklebury, Lord Bolingbroke's seat.–Warton.]

[Footnote 4: Very happily turned from "Si vis, potes—-."–Warton.]

[Footnote 5: The rise and progress of Swift's intimacy with Lord Oxford
is minutely detailed in his Journal to Stella. And the reasons why a man,
that served the ministry so effectually, was so tardily, and so
difficultly, and so poorly rewarded, are explained in Sheridan's Life of
Swift. See also Coxe's "Memoirs of Walpole." Both Gay and Swift conceived
every thing was to be gained by the interest of Mrs. Howard, to whom they
paid incessant court.–Bowles.]

[Footnote 6: Another of their amusements in these excursions consisted in
Lord Oxford and Swift's counting the poultry on the road, and whichever
reckoned thirty-one first, or saw a cat, or an old woman, won the game.
Bolingbroke, overtaking them one day in their road to Windsor, got into
Lord Oxford's coach, and began some political conversation; Lord Oxford
said, "Swift, I am up; there is a cat." Bolingbroke was disgusted with
this levity, and went again into his own carriage. This was
  "Nugari et discincti ludere," [HORAT., Sat., ii, I, 73]
with a witness.–Warton.]

[Footnote 7: Stella's transcript, "sweetest."–Forster.]

[Footnote 8: Thus far was translated by Dr. Swift in 1714. The remaining
part of the satire was afterwards added by Pope, in whose works the whole
is printed. See Pope's Works, edit. Elwin and Courthope.–W. E. B.]



Horace paraphrased




Dick, thou'rt resolved, as I am told,
Some strange arcana to unfold,
And with the help of Buckley's[1] pen,
To vamp the good old cause again:
Which thou (such Burnet's shrewd advice is)
Must furbish up, and nickname Crisis.
Thou pompously wilt let us know
What all the world knew long ago,
(E'er since Sir William Gore was mayor,
And Harley fill'd the commons' chair,)
That we a German prince must own,
When Anne for Heaven resigns her throne.

But, more than that, thou'lt keep a rout,
With–who is in–and who is out;
Thou'lt rail devoutly at the peace,
And all its secret causes trace,
The bucket-play 'twixt Whigs and Tories,
Their ups and downs, with fifty stories
Of tricks the Lord of Oxford knows,
And errors of our plenipoes.

Thou'lt tell of leagues among the great,
Portending ruin to our state:
And of that dreadful coup d'éclat,
Which has afforded thee much chat.
The queen, forsooth! (despotic,) gave
Twelve coronets without thy leave!
A breach of liberty, 'tis own'd,
For which no heads have yet atoned!
Believe me, what thou'st undertaken
May bring in jeopardy thy bacon;
For madmen, children, wits, and fools,
Should never meddle with edged tools.
But, since thou'st got into the fire,
And canst not easily retire,
Thou must no longer deal in farce,
Nor pump to cobble wicked verse;
Until thou shall have eased thy conscience,
Of spleen, of politics, and nonsense;
And, when thou'st bid adieu to cares,
And settled Europe's grand affairs,
'Twill then, perhaps, be worth thy while
For Drury Lane to shape thy style:
"To make a pair of jolly fellows,
The son and father, join to tell us,
How sons may safely disobey,
And fathers never should say nay;
By which wise conduct they grow friends
At last–and so the story ends."[2]
When first I knew thee, Dick, thou wert
Renown'd for skill in Faustus' art;[3]
Which made thy closet much frequented
By buxom lasses–some repented
Their luckless choice of husbands–others
Impatient to be like their mothers,
Received from thee profound directions
How best to settle their affections.
Thus thou, a friend to the distress'd,
Didst in thy calling do thy best.

But now the senate (if things hit,
And thou at Stockbridge[4] wert not bit)
Must feel thy eloquence and fire,
Approve thy schemes, thy wit admire,
Thee with immortal honours crown,
While, patriot-like, thou'lt strut and frown.

What though by enemies 'tis said,
The laurel, which adorns thy head,
Must one day come in competition,
By virtue of some sly petition:
Yet mum for that; hope still the best,
Nor let such cares disturb thy rest.

Methinks I hear thee loud as trumpet,
As bagpipe shrill or oyster-strumpet;
Methinks I see thee, spruce and fine,
With coat embroider'd richly shine,
And dazzle all the idol faces,
As through the hall thy worship paces;
(Though this I speak but at a venture,
Supposing thou hast tick with Hunter,)
Methinks I see a blackguard rout
Attend thy coach, and hear them shout
In approbation of thy tongue,
Which (in their style) is purely hung.
Now! now you carry all before you!
Nor dares one Jacobite or Tory
Pretend to answer one syl-lable,
Except the matchless hero Abel.[5]
What though her highness and her spouse,
In Antwerp[6] keep a frugal house,
Yet, not forgetful of a friend,
They'll soon enable thee to spend,
If to Macartney[7] thou wilt toast,
And to his pious patron's ghost.
Now, manfully thou'lt run a tilt
"On popes, for all the blood they've spilt,
For massacres, and racks, and flames,
For lands enrich'd by crimson streams,
For inquisitions taught by Spain,
Of which the Christian world complain."
Dick, we agree–all's true thou'st said,
As that my Muse is yet a maid.
But, if I may with freedom talk,
All this is foreign to thy walk:
Thy genius has perhaps a knack
At trudging in a beaten track,
But is for state affairs as fit
As mine for politics and wit.
Then let us both in time grow wise,
Nor higher than our talents rise;
To some snug cellar let's repair,
From duns and debts, and drown our care;
Now quaff of honest ale a quart,
Now venture at a pint of port;
With which inspired, we'll club each night
Some tender sonnet to indite,
And with Tom D'Urfey, Phillips, Dennis,
Immortalize our Dolls and Jennys.

[Footnote 1: Samuel Buckley, publisher of "The Crisis."]

[Footnote 2: This is said to be a plot of a comedy with which Mr. Steele
has long threatened the town.–Swift.]

[Footnote 3: Alluding to Steele's advice in "The Tatler" to distressed
females, in his character of Bickerstaff.]

[Footnote 4: The borough which, for a very short time, Steele represented
in Parliament.]

[Footnote 5: Abel Roper, the printer and publisher of a Tory newspaper
called "The Post Boy," often mentioned by Swift, who contributed news to
it. See "Prose Works," ii, 420; v, 290; ix, 183.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 6: The Duke and Duchess of Marlborough then resided at

[Footnote 7: General Macartney, second to Lord Mohun, in the fatal duel
with the Duke of Hamilton. For an account of the duel, see Journal to
Stella of Nov. 15, 1712, "Prose Works," ii, and x, xxii, and
178.–W. E. B.]



Dennis' Invitation to Steele






Fit to be bound up with "The Crisis"

    If thou canst lay aside a spendthrift's air,
And condescend to feed on homely fare,
Such as we minters, with ragouts unstored,
Will, in defiance of the law, afford:
Quit thy patrols with Toby's Christmas box,[1]
And come to me at The Two Fighting Cocks;
Since printing by subscription now is grown
The stalest, idlest cheat about the town;
And ev'n Charles Gildon, who, a Papist bred,
Has an alarm against that worship spread,
Is practising those beaten paths of cruising,
And for new levies on proposals musing.

  'Tis true, that Bloomsbury-square’s a noble place:
But what are lofty buildings in thy case?
What's a fine house embellish'd to profusion,
Where shoulder dabbers are in execution?
Or whence its timorous tenant seldom sallies,
But apprehensive of insulting bailiffs?
This once be mindful of a friend's advice,
And cease to be improvidently nice;
Exchange the prospects that delude thy sight,
From Highgate's steep ascent and Hampstead's height,
With verdant scenes, that, from St. George's Field,
More durable and safe enjoyments yield.

  Here I, even I, that ne'er till now could find
Ease to my troubled and suspicious mind,
But ever was with jealousies possess'd,
Am in a state of indolence and rest;
Fearful no more of Frenchmen in disguise,
Nor looking upon strangers as on spies,[2]
But quite divested of my former spleen,
Am unprovoked without, and calm within:
And here I'll wait thy coming, till the sun
Shall its diurnal course completely run.
Think not that thou of sturdy bub shalt fail,
My landlord's cellar stock'd with beer and ale,
With every sort of malt that is in use,
And every country's generous produce.
The ready (for here Christian faith is sick,
Which makes us seldom trespass upon tick)
Instantly brings the choicest liquors out,
Whether we ask for home-brew'd or for stout,
For mead or cider, or, with dainties fed,
Ring for a flask or two of white or red,
Such as the drawer will not fail to swear
Was drunk by Pilkington[3]when third time mayor.
That name, methinks, so popularly known
For opposition to the church and crown,
Might make the Lusitanian grape to pass,
And almost give a sanction to the glass;
Especially with thee, whose hasty zeal
Against the late rejected commerce bill
Made thee rise up, like an audacious elf,
To do the speaker honour, not thyself.

  But if thou soar'st above the common prices,
By virtue of subscription to thy Crisis,
And nothing can go down with thee but wines
Press'd from Burgundian and Campanian vines,
Bid them be brought; for, though I hate the French,
I love their liquors, as thou lovest a wench;
Else thou must humble thy expensive taste,
And, with us, hold contentment for a feast.

  The fire's already lighted; and the maid
Has a clean cloth upon the table laid,
Who never on a Saturday had struck,
But for thy entertainment, up a buck.
Think of this act of grace, which by your leave
Susan would not have done on Easter Eve,
Had she not been inform'd over and over,
'Twas for th'ingenious author of The Lover.[4]

  Cease, therefore, to beguile thyself with hopes,
Which is no more than making sandy ropes,
And quit the vain pursuit of loud applause,
That must bewilder thee in faction's cause.
Pr'ythee what is't to thee who guides the state?
Why Dunkirk's demolition is so late?
Or why her majesty thinks fit to cease
The din of war, and hush the world to peace?
The clergy too, without thy aid, can tell
What texts to choose, and on what topics dwell;
And, uninstructed by thy babbling, teach
Their flocks celestial happiness to reach.
Rather let such poor souls as you and I,
Say that the holidays are drawing nigh,
And that to-morrow's sun begins the week,
Which will abound with store of ale and cake,
With hams of bacon, and with powder'd beef,
Stuff d to give field-itinerants relief.

  Then I, who have within these precincts kept,
And ne'er beyond the chimney-sweeper's stept,
Will take a loose, and venture to be seen,
Since 'twill be Sunday, upon Shanks's green;
There, with erected looks and phrase sublime,
To talk of unity of place and time,
And with much malice, mix'd with little satire,
Explode the wits on t'other side o' th' water.

  Why has my Lord Godolphin's special grace
Invested me with a queen's waiter's place,
If I, debarr'd of festival delights,
Am not allow'd to spend the perquisites?
He's but a short remove from being mad,
Who at a time of jubilee is sad,
And, like a griping usurer, does spare
His money to be squander'd by his heir;
Flutter'd away in liveries and in coaches,
And washy sorts of feminine debauches.
As for my part, whate'er the world may think,
I'll bid adieu to gravity, and drink;
And, though I can't put off a woful mien,
Will be all mirth and cheerfulness within:
As, in despight of a censorious race,
I most incontinently suck my face.
What mighty projects does not he design,
Whose stomach flows, and brain turns round with wine?
Wine, powerful wine, can thaw the frozen cit,
And fashion him to humour and to wit;
Makes even Somers to disclose his art
By racking every secret from his heart,
As he flings off the statesman's sly disguise,
To name the cuckold's wife with whom he lies.[5]
Ev'n Sarum, when he quaffs it’stead of tea,
Fancies himself in Canterbury's see,
And S****, when he carousing reels,
Imagines that he has regain'd the seals:
W****, by virtue of his juice, can fight,
And Stanhope of commissioners make light.
Wine gives Lord Wingham aptitude of parts,
And swells him with his family's deserts:
Whom can it not make eloquent of speech;
Whom in extremest poverty not rich?
Since, by the means of the prevailing grape,
Th***n can Lechmere's warmth not only ape,
But, half seas o'er, by its inspiring bounties,
Can qualify himself in several counties.
What I have promised, thou may'st rest assured
Shall faithfully and gladly be procured.
Nay, I'm already better than my word,
New plates and knives adorn the jovial board:
And, lest you at their sight shouldst make wry faces
The girl has scour'd the pots, and wash'd the glasses
Ta'en care so excellently well to clean 'em,
That thou may'st see thine own dear picture in 'em.

  Moreover, due provision has been made,
That conversation may not be betray'd;
I have no company but what is proper
To sit with the most flagrant Whig at supper.
There's not a man among them but must please,
Since they're as like each other as are pease.
Toland and Hare have jointly sent me word
They'll come; and Kennet thinks to make a third,
Provided he's no other invitation
From men of greater quality and station.
Room will for Oldmixon and J–s be left:
But their discourses smell so much of theft,
There would be no abiding in the room,
Should two such ignorant pretenders come.
However, by this trusty bearer write,
If I should any other scabs invite;
Though, if I may my serious judgment give,
I'm wholly for King Charles's number five:
That was the stint in which that monarch fix'd,
Who would not be with noisiness perplex'd:
And that, if thou'lt agree to think it best,
Shall be our tale of heads, without one other guest.

  I've nothing more, now this is said, to say,
But to request thou'lt instantly away,
And leave the duties of thy present post,
To some well-skill'd retainer in a host:
Doubtless he'll carefully thy place supply,
And o'er his grace's horses have an eye.
While thou, who slunk thro' postern more than once,
Dost by that means avoid a crowd of duns,
And, crossing o'er the Thames at Temple Stairs,
Leav'st Phillips with good words to cheat their ears.

[Footnote 1: Allusion to a pamphlet written against Steele, under the
name of Toby (Edward King), Abel Roper's kinsman and shopman.]

[Footnote 2: Dennis had a notion, that he was much dreaded by the French
for his writings, and actually fled from the coast, on hearing that some
unknown strangers had approached the town, where he was residing, never
doubting that they were the messengers of Gallic vengeance. At the time
of the peace of Utrecht, he was anxious for the introduction of a clause
for his special protection, and was hardly consoled by the Duke of
Marlborough's assurances, that he did not think such a precaution
necessary in his own case, although he had been almost as obnoxious to
France as Mr. Dennis.–Scott.]

[Footnote 3: Sir Thomas Pilkington, a leading member of the Skinners'
Company, and a staunch Whig. He was elected Lord Mayor for the third time
In 1690, and died in 1691.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 4: A comedy by Steele.]

[Footnote 5: See the Examiner, "Prose Works," ix, 171 n., for the
grounds of this charge.–W. E. B.]





Soon after the author's coming to live in Ireland, upon the Queen's

'Tis true–then why should I repine
To see my life so fast decline?
But why obscurely here alone,
Where I am neither loved nor known?
My state of health none care to learn;
My life is here no soul's concern:
And those with whom I now converse
Without a tear will tend my hearse.
Removed from kind Arbuthnot's aid,
Who knows his art, but not his trade,
Preferring his regard for me
Before his credit, or his fee.
Some formal visits, looks, and words,
What mere humanity affords,
I meet perhaps from three or four,
From whom I once expected more;
Which those who tend the sick for pay,
Can act as decently as they:
But no obliging, tender friend,
To help at my approaching end.
My life is now a burthen grown
To others, ere it be my own.

Ye formal weepers for the sick,
In your last offices be quick;
And spare my absent friends the grief
To hear, yet give me no relief;
Expired to-day, entomb'd to-morrow,
When known, will save a double sorrow.

[Footnote 1: Queen Anne died 1st August, 1714.]





A bitch, that was full pregnant grown
By all the dogs and curs in town,
Finding her ripen'd time was come,
Her litter teeming from her womb,
Went here, and there, and everywhere,
To find an easy place to lay her.

At length to Music's house[2] she came,
And begg'd like one both blind and lame;
"My only friend, my dear," said she,
"You see 'tis mere necessity
Hath sent me to your house to whelp:
I die if you refuse your help."

With fawning whine, and rueful tone,
With artful sigh, and feigned groan,
With couchant cringe, and flattering tale,
Smooth Bawty[3] did so far prevail,
That Music gave her leave to litter;
(But mark what follow'd–faith! she bit her;)
Whole baskets full of bits and scraps,
And broth enough to fill her paps;
For well she knew, her numerous brood,
For want of milk, would suck her blood.

But when she thought her pains were done,
And now 'twas high time to be gone,
In civil terms, "My friend," said she,
"My house you've had on courtesy;
And now I earnestly desire,
That you would with your cubs retire;
For, should you stay but one week longer,
I shall be starved with cold and hunger."
The guest replied–"My friend, your leave
I must a little longer crave;
Stay till my tender cubs can find
Their way–for now, you see, they're blind;
But, when we've gather'd strength, I swear,
We'll to our barn again repair."

The time pass'd on; and Music came
Her kennel once again to claim,
But Bawty, lost to shame and honour,
Set all her cubs at once upon her;
Made her retire, and quit her right,
And loudly cried–"A bite! bite!"



Thus did the Grecian wooden horse
Conceal a fatal armed force:
No sooner brought within the walls,
But Ilium's lost, and Priam falls.

[Footnote 1: See post, "A Tale of a Nettle."]

[Footnote 2: The Church of England.]

[Footnote 3: A Scotch name for bitch, alluding to the kirk.]







These spirited verses, although they have not the affecting pathos of
those addressed by Pope to the same great person, during his misfortunes,
evince the firmness of Swift's political principles and personal
attachment.–Scott. See Moral Essays, Epistle V, Pope's "Works," edit.
Elwin and Courthope, iii, 191.–W. E. B.


    How blest is he who for his country dies,
Since death pursues the coward as he flies!
The youth in vain would fly from Fate's attack;
With trembling knees, and Terror at his back;
Though Fear should lend him pinions like the wind,
Yet swifter Fate will seize him from behind.

  Virtue repulsed, yet knows not to repine;
But shall with unattainted honour shine;
Nor stoops to take the staff, nor lays it down,
Just as the rabble please to smile or frown.

  Virtue, to crown her favourites, loves to try
Some new unbeaten passage to the sky;
Where Jove a seat among the gods will give
To those who die, for meriting to live.

  Next faithful Silence hath a sure reward;
Within our breast be every secret barr'd!
He who betrays his friend, shall never be
Under one roof, or in one ship, with me:
For who with traitors would his safety trust,
Lest with the wicked, Heaven involve the just?
And though the villain’scape a while, he feels
Slow vengeance, like a bloodhound, at his heels.






Good Halifax and pious Wharton cry,
The Church has vapours; there's no danger nigh.
In those we love not, we no danger see,
And were they hang'd, there would no danger be.
But we must silent be, amidst our fears,
And not believe our senses, but the Peers.
So ravishers, that know no sense of shame,
First stop her mouth, and then debauch the dame.




High Church is undone,
As sure as a gun,
  For old Peter Patch is departed;
And Eyres and Delaune,
And the rest of that spawn,
  Are tacking about broken-hearted.

For strong Gill of Sarum,
That decoctum amarum,
  Has prescribed a dose of cant-fail;
Which will make them resign
Their flasks of French wine,
  And spice up their Nottingham ale.

It purges the spleen
Of dislike to the queen,
  And has one effect that is odder;
When easement they use,
They always will chuse
  The Conformity Bill for bumfodder.







Not asking or expecting aught,
  One day I went to view the court,
Unbent and free from care or thought,
  Though thither fears and hopes resort.

A piece of tapestry took my eye,
  The faded colours spoke it old;
But wrought with curious imagery,
  The figures lively seem'd and bold.

Here you might see the youth prevail,
  (In vain are eloquence and wit,)
The boy persists, Apollo's frail;
  Wisdom to nature does submit.

There mounts the eager charioteer;
  Soon from his seat he's downward hurl'd;
Here Jove in anger doth appear,
  There all, beneath, the flaming world.

What does this idle fiction mean?
  Is truth at court in such disgrace,
It may not on the walls be seen,
  Nor e'en in picture show its face?

No, no, 'tis not a senseless tale,
  By sweet-tongued Ovid dress'd so fine;[1]
It does important truths conceal,
  And here was placed by wise design.

A lesson deep with learning fraught,
  Worthy the cabinet of kings;
Fit subject of their constant thought,
  In matchless verse the poet sings.

Well should he weigh, who does aspire
  To empire, whether truly great,
His head, his heart, his hand, conspire
  To make him equal to that seat.

If only fond desire of sway,
  By avarice or ambition fed,
Make him affect to guide the day,
  Alas! what strange confusion's bred!

If, either void of princely care,
  Remiss he holds the slacken'd rein;
If rising heats or mad career,
  Unskill'd, he knows not to restrain:

Or if, perhaps, he gives a loose,
  In wanton pride to show his skill,
How easily he can reduce
  And curb the people's rage at will;

In wild uproar they hurry on;–
  The great, the good, the just, the wise,
(Law and religion overthrown,)
  Are first mark'd out for sacrifice.

When, to a height their fury grown,
  Finding, too late, he can't retire,
He proves the real Phaethon,
  And truly sets the world on fire.

[Footnote 1: "Metamorphoseon," lib. ii.]





A man with expense and infinite toil,
By digging and dunging, ennobled his soil;
There fruits of the best your taste did invite,
And uniform order still courted the sight.
No degenerate weeds the rich ground did produce,
But all things afforded both beauty and use:
Till from dunghill transplanted, while yet but a seed,
A nettle rear'd up his inglorious head.
The gard'ner would wisely have rooted him up,
To stop the increase of a barbarous crop;
But the master forbid him, and after the fashion
Of foolish good nature, and blind moderation,
Forbore him through pity, and chose as much rather,
To ask him some questions first, how he came thither.
Kind sir, quoth the nettle, a stranger I come,
For conscience compell'd to relinquish my home,
'Cause I wouldn't subscribe to a mystery dark,
That the prince of all trees is the Jesuit's bark,[2]
An erroneous tenet I know, sir, that you,
No more than myself, will allow to be true.
To you, I for refuge and sanctuary sue,
There's none so renown'd for compassion as you;
And, though in some things I may differ from these,
The rest of your fruitful and beautiful trees;
Though your digging and dunging, my nature much harms,
And I cannot comply with your garden in forms:
Yet I and my family, after our fashion,
Will peaceably stick to our own education.
Be pleased to allow them a place for to rest 'em,
For the rest of your trees we will never molest 'em;
A kind shelter to us and protection afford,
We'll do you no harm, sir, I'll give you my word.
The good man was soon won by this plausible tale,
So fraud on good-nature doth often prevail.
He welcomes his guest, gives him free toleration
In the midst of his garden to take up his station,
And into his breast doth his enemy bring,
He little suspected the nettle could sting.
'Till flush'd with success, and of strength to be fear'd,
Around him a numerous offspring he rear'd.
Then the master grew sensible what he had done,
And fain he would have his new guest to be gone;
But now 'twas too late to bid him turn out,
A well rooted possession already was got.
The old trees decay'd, and in their room grew
A stubborn, pestilent, poisonous crew.
The master, who first the young brood had admitted,
They stung like ingrates, and left him unpitied.
No help from manuring or planting was found,
The ill weeds had eat out the heart of the ground.
All weeds they let in, and none they refuse
That would join to oppose the good man of the house.
Thus one nettle uncropp'd, increased to such store,
That 'twas nothing but weeds what was garden before.

[Footnote 1: These verses relate to the proposed repeal of the Test Act,
and may be compared with the "Fable of the Bitches," ante, p.181.]

[Footnote 2: In allusion to the supremacy of Rome.–Scott.]





    His Grace! impossible! what, dead!
Of old age too, and in his bed!
And could that mighty warrior fall,
And so inglorious, after all?
Well, since he's gone, no matter how,
The last loud trump must wake him now;
And, trust me, as the noise grows stronger,
He'd wish to sleep a little longer.

   And could he be indeed so old
As by the newspapers we're told?
Threescore, I think, is pretty high;
'Twas time in conscience he should die!
This world he cumber'd long enough;
He burnt his candle to the snuff;
And that's the reason, some folks think,
He left behind so great a stink.
Behold his funeral appears,
Nor widows' sighs, nor orphans' tears,
Wont at such times each heart to pierce,
Attend the progress of his hearse.
But what of that? his friends may say,
He had those honours in his day.
True to his profit and his pride,
He made them weep before he died.

  Come hither, all ye empty things!
Ye bubbles raised by breath of kings!
Who float upon the tide of state;
Come hither, and behold your fate!
Let Pride be taught by this rebuke,
How very mean a thing's a duke;
From all his ill-got honours flung,
Turn'd to that dirt from whence he sprung.[2]

[Footnote 1: The Duke of Marlborough died on the 16th June,
1722.–W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: See the "Fable of Midas," ante, p. 150; and The Examiner,
"Prose Works," ix, 95.–W. E. B.]

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