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Poems (Volume II.)
by Jonathan Swift
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Hester Vanhomrigh (Vanessa) From a Picture in the possession G. Villiers Brinus Esq;

THE POEMS OF JONATHAN SWIFT, D.D.

EDITED BY WILLIAM ERNST BROWNING

BARRISTER, INNER TEMPLE AUTHOR OF "THE LIFE OF LORD CHESTERFIELD"

VOL. II

LONDON G. BELL AND SONS, LTD. 1910

CHISWICK PRESS: CHARLES WHITTINGHAM AND CO. TOOKS COURT, CHANCERY LANE, LONDON.



CONTENTS OF VOLUME II

PAGE

Cadenus and Vanessa 1 To Love 23 A Rebus by Vanessa 24 The Dean's Answer 25 Stella's Birth-Day 26 Stella's Birth-Day 26 To Stella 28 To Stella 32 Stella to Dr. Swift 35 To Stella 37 On the Great Buried Bottle 37 Epitaph 38 Stella's Birth-Day 38 Stella at Wood-Park 40 A New Year's Gift for Bec 43 Dingley and Brent 44 To Stella 45 Verses by Stella 46 A Receipt to restore Stella's Youth 46 Stella's Birth-Day 48 Bec's Birth-Day 49 On the Collar of Tiger 51 Stella's Birth-Day 51 Death and Daphne 54 Daphne 57

RIDDLES

Pethox the Great 59 On a Pen 62 On Gold 63 On the Posteriors 64 On a Horn 65 On a Corkscrew 66 The Gulf of all Human Possessions 67 Louisa to Strephon 70 A Maypole 71 On the Moon 72 On a Circle 73 On Ink 73 On the Five Senses 74 Fontinella to Florinda 75 An Echo 76 On a Shadow in a Glass 77 On Time 78 On the Gallows 78 On the Vowels 79 On Snow 79 On a Cannon 80 On a Pair of Dice 80 On a Candle 80 To Lady Carteret by Delany 82 Answered by Dr. Swift 83 To Lady Carteret 83 Answered by Sheridan 84 A Riddle 84 Answer by Mr. F——r 84 A Letter to Dr. Helsham 85 Probatur aliter 87

POEMS COMPOSED AT MARKET HILL

On cutting down the Thorn 89 To Dean Swift 92 Dean Swift at Sir Arthur Acheson's 93 On a very old Glass at Market Hill 94 Answered extempore by Dr. Swift 95 Epitaph 95 My Lady's Lamentation 95 A Pastoral Dialogue 99 The Grand Question debated 101 Drapier's Hill 106 The Dean's Reasons 107 The Revolution at Market Hill 110 Robin and Harry 113 A Panegyric on the Dean 115 Twelve Articles 125

POLITICAL POETRY

Parody 127 Jack Frenchman's Lamentation 129 The Garden Plot 132 Sid Hamet's Rod 133 The Famous Speech-Maker 136 Parody on the Recorder's Speech 143 Ballad 144 Atlas; or the Minister of State 147 Lines on Harley's being stabbed 148 An Excellent New Song 148 The Windsor Prophecy 150 Corinna, a Ballad 152 The Fable of Midas 153 Toland's Invitation to Dismal 156 Peace and Dunkirk 157 Imitation of Horace, Epist. I, vii 159 The Author upon Himself 163 The Fagot 166 Imitation of Horace, Sat. VI, ii 167 Horace paraphrased, Odes II, i 171 Dennis' Invitation to Steele 175 In Sickness 180 The Fable of the Bitches 181 To the Earl of Oxford in the Tower 182 On the Church's Danger 183 A Poem on High Church 183 The Story of Phaethon 184 A Tale of a Nettle 186 A Satirical Elegy 187

POEMS CHIEFLY RELATING TO IRISH POLITICS

Parody on Pratt's Speech 189 An Excellent New Song 192 The Run upon the Bankers 193 Upon the Horrid Plot 196 Quibbling Elegy on Judge Boat 198 The Epitaph 199 Verses on Whitshed's Motto 200 Prometheus 201 Verses on the Order of the Bath 203 Epigram on Wood's Brass Money 203 A Simile 204 Wood an Insect 205 Wood the Ironmonger 206 Wood's Petition 207 A New Song on Wood's Halfpence 209 A Serious Poem 211 An Excellent New Song 215 Verses on the Judge who condemned the Drapier's Printer 217 On the Same 218 On the Same 218 Epigram 218 Horace paraphrased, Odes I, xiv 219 Verses on St. Patrick's Well 221 On reading Dr. Young's Satire 224 The Dog and Thief 226 Mad Mullinix and Timothy 226 Tim and the Fables 234 Tom and Dick 235 Dick, a Maggot 236 Clad all in Brown 237 Dick's Variety 238 Traulus. Part I 239 Traulus. Part II 242 A Fable of the Lion 244 On the Irish Bishops 246 Horace, Odes IV, ix 248 On Walpole and Pulteney 250 Brother Protestants 252 Bettesworth's Exultation 254 Epigram to Serjeant Kite 255 The Yahoo's Overthrow 256 On the Archbishop of Cashel and Bettesworth 259 On the Irish Club 259 On Noisy Tom 260 On Dr. Rundle 261 Epigram 263 The Legion Club 264 On a Printer's being sent to Newgate 272 Vindication of the Libel 272 A Friendly Apology 274 Ay and No 275 A Ballad 276 A Wicked Treasonable Libel 277 Epigrams against Carthy 278-283 Poetical Epistle to Sheridan 283 Lines written on a Window 284 Lines written underneath by Sheridan 285 The Upstart 285 On the Arms of the Town of Waterford 286 Translation 287 Verses on Blenheim 287 An Excellent New Song 288 An Excellent New Song upon the Archbishop of Dublin 289 To the Archbishop of Dublin 291 To the Citizens 292 Punch's Petition to the Ladies 294 Epigram 296 Epigram on Josiah Hort 297 Epigram 297

TRIFLES

George Rochfort's Verses 298 A Left-handed Letter 298 To the Dean of St. Patrick's 300 To Mr. Thomas Sheridan 301 Ad Amicum Eruditum Thomam Sheridan 302 To the Dean of St. Patrick's 305 To the Dean of St. Patrick's 306 An Answer by Delany 306 A Reply by Sheridan 307 Another Reply by Sheridan 308 To Thomas Sheridan 309 Swift to Sheridan 310 An Answer by Sheridan 310 To Dr. Sheridan 311 The Answer by Dr. Sheridan 312 Dr. Sheridan to Dr. Swift 313 The Dean's Answer 314 Dr. Sheridan's Reply to the Dean 314 To the Same by Dr. Sheridan 315 The Dean of St. Patrick's to Thomas Sheridan 316 To the Dean of St. Patrick's 317 The Dean to Thomas Sheridan 318 To Dr. Sheridan 320 1 P.S. 321 2 P.S. 321 3 P.S. 321 Dr. Sheridan's Answer 322 Dr. Swift's Reply 322 A Copy of a Copy of Verses 323 George-Nim-Dan-Dean's Answer 324 George-Nim-Dan-Dean's Invitation 326 To George-Nim-Dan-Dean, Esq 328 To Mr. Thomas Sheridan 330 On Dr. Sheridan's Circular Verses 331 On Dan Jackson's Picture 332 On the Same Picture 332 On the Same 333 On the Same Picture 333 On the Same Picture 333 Dan Jackson's Defence 335 Mr. Rochfort's Reply 336 Dr. Delany's Reply 338 Sheridan's Reply 339 A Rejoinder 340 Another Rejoinder 342 Sheridan's Submission 343 The Pardon 344 The Last Speech and Dying Words of Daniel Jackson 345 To the Rev. Daniel Jackson 347 Sheridan to Swift 349 Sheridan to Swift 350 Swift to Sheridan 350 Mary the Cook Maid's Letter 351 A Portrait from the Life 352 On Stealing a Crown when the Dean was asleep 353 The Dean's Answer 353 A Prologue to a Play 354 The Epilogue 355 The Song 355 A New Year's Gift for the Dean of St. Patrick's 356 To Quilca 358 The Blessings of a Country Life 359 The Plagues of a Country Life 359 A Faithful Inventory 359 Palinodia 361 A Letter to the Dean 362 An Invitation to Dinner 364 On the Five Ladies at Sot's Hole 365 The Five Ladies' Answer to the Beau 367 The Beau's Reply 368 Dr. Sheridan's Ballad on Ballyspellin 368 Answer by Dr. Swift 371 An Epistle to two Friends 373 To Dr. Sheridan 374 Dr. Helsham's Answer 374 A True and Faithful Inventory 376 A New Simile for the Ladies 377 An Answer to a Scandalous Poem 381 Peg Radcliffe the Hostess's Invitation 386 Verses by Sheridan 387

VERSES ADDRESSED TO SWIFT AND TO HIS MEMORY

To Dr. Swift on his Birth-Day 390 On Dr. Swift 390 To the Rev. Dr. Swift, Dean of St. Patrick's, a Birth-Day Poem, Nov. 30, 1736 391 Epigrams occasioned by Dr. Swift's intended Hospital for Idiots and Lunatics 393 On the Dean of St. Patrick's Birth-Day 394 An Epistle to Robert Nugent, Esq. 396 On the Drapier, by Dr. Dunkin 399 Epitaph proposed for Dr. Swift 400 To the Memory of Dr. Swift 401 A Schoolboy's Theme 403 Verses on the Battle of the Books 404 On Dr. Swift's leaving his Estate to Idiots 404 On several Petty Pieces lately published against Dean Swift 405 On Faulkner's Edition of Swift 405 Epigram on Lord Orrery's Remarks 406 To Dr. Delany, on his Book entitled "Observations on Lord Orrery's Remarks" 406 Epigram on Faulkner 407 An Inscription 407 An Epigram occasioned by the above 407 Index 409



POEMS OF JONATHAN SWIFT

POEMS ADDRESSED TO VANESSA AND STELLA

CADENUS AND VANESSA[1] 1713

The shepherds and the nymphs were seen Pleading before the Cyprian queen. The counsel for the fair began, Accusing the false creature Man. The brief with weighty crimes was charged On which the pleader much enlarged; That Cupid now has lost his art, Or blunts the point of every dart;— His altar now no longer smokes, His mother's aid no youth invokes: This tempts freethinkers to refine, And bring in doubt their powers divine; Now love is dwindled to intrigue, And marriage grown a money league; Which crimes aforesaid (with her leave) Were (as he humbly did conceive) Against our sovereign lady's peace, Against the statute in that case, Against her dignity and crown: Then pray'd an answer, and sat down. The nymphs with scorn beheld their foes; When the defendant's counsel rose, And, what no lawyer ever lack'd, With impudence own'd all the fact; But, what the gentlest heart would vex, Laid all the fault on t'other sex. That modern love is no such thing As what those ancient poets sing: A fire celestial, chaste, refined, Conceived and kindled in the mind; Which, having found an equal flame, Unites, and both become the same, In different breasts together burn, Together both to ashes turn. But women now feel no such fire, And only know the gross desire. Their passions move in lower spheres, Where'er caprice or folly steers, A dog, a parrot, or an ape, Or some worse brute in human shape, Engross the fancies of the fair, The few soft moments they can spare, From visits to receive and pay, From scandal, politics, and play; From fans, and flounces, and brocades, From equipage and park parades, From all the thousand female toys, From every trifle that employs The out or inside of their heads, Between their toilets and their beds. In a dull stream, which moving slow, You hardly see the current flow; If a small breeze obstruct the course, It whirls about, for want of force, And in its narrow circle gathers Nothing but chaff, and straws, and feathers. The current of a female mind Stops thus, and turns with every wind: Thus whirling round together draws Fools, fops, and rakes, for chaff and straws. Hence we conclude, no women's hearts Are won by virtue, wit, and parts: Nor are the men of sense to blame, For breasts incapable of flame; The faults must on the nymphs be placed Grown so corrupted in their taste. The pleader having spoke his best, Had witness ready to attest, Who fairly could on oath depose, When questions on the fact arose, That every article was true; Nor further those deponents knew: Therefore he humbly would insist, The bill might be with costs dismiss'd. The cause appear'd of so much weight, That Venus, from her judgment seat, Desired them not to talk so loud, Else she must interpose a cloud: For if the heavenly folks should know These pleadings in the courts below, That mortals here disdain to love, She ne'er could show her face above; For gods, their betters, are too wise To value that which men despise. And then, said she, my son and I Must stroll in air, 'twixt land and sky; Or else, shut out from heaven and earth, Fly to the sea, my place of birth: There live with daggled mermaids pent, And keep on fish perpetual Lent. But since the case appear'd so nice, She thought it best to take advice. The Muses, by the king's permission, Though foes to love, attend the session, And on the right hand took their places In order; on the left, the Graces: To whom she might her doubts propose On all emergencies that rose. The Muses oft were seen to frown; The Graces half ashamed look'd down; And 'twas observed, there were but few Of either sex among the crew, Whom she or her assessors knew. The goddess soon began to see, Things were not ripe for a decree; And said, she must consult her books, The lovers' Fletas, Bractons, Cokes. First to a dapper clerk she beckon'd To turn to Ovid, book the second: She then referr'd them to a place In Virgil, vide Dido's case: As for Tibullus's reports, They never pass'd for law in courts: For Cowley's briefs, and pleas of Waller, Still their authority was smaller. There was on both sides much to say: She'd hear the cause another day; And so she did; and then a third; She heard it—there she kept her word: But, with rejoinders or replies, Long bills, and answers stuff'd with lies, Demur, imparlance, and essoign, The parties ne'er could issue join: For sixteen years the cause was spun, And then stood where it first begun. Now, gentle Clio, sing, or say What Venus meant by this delay? The goddess much perplex'd in mind To see her empire thus declined, When first this grand debate arose, Above her wisdom to compose, Conceived a project in her head To work her ends; which, if it sped, Would show the merits of the cause Far better than consulting laws. In a glad hour Lucina's aid Produced on earth a wondrous maid, On whom the Queen of Love was bent To try a new experiment. She threw her law-books on the shelf, And thus debated with herself. Since men allege, they ne'er can find Those beauties in a female mind, Which raise a flame that will endure For ever uncorrupt and pure; If 'tis with reason they complain, This infant shall restore my reign. I'll search where every virtue dwells, From courts inclusive down to cells: What preachers talk, or sages write; These will I gather and unite, And represent them to mankind Collected in that infant's mind. This said, she plucks in Heaven's high bowers A sprig of amaranthine flowers. In nectar thrice infuses bays, Three times refined in Titan's rays; Then calls the Graces to her aid, And sprinkles thrice the newborn maid: From whence the tender skin assumes A sweetness above all perfumes: From whence a cleanliness remains, Incapable of outward stains: From whence that decency of mind, So lovely in the female kind, Where not one careless thought intrudes; Less modest than the speech of prudes; Where never blush was call'd in aid, That spurious virtue in a maid, A virtue but at second-hand; They blush because they understand. The Graces next would act their part, And show'd but little of their art; Their work was half already done, The child with native beauty shone; The outward form no help required: Each, breathing on her thrice, inspired That gentle, soft, engaging air, Which in old times adorn'd the fair: And said, "Vanessa be the name By which thou shall be known to fame: Vanessa, by the gods enroll'd: Her name on earth shall not be told." But still the work was not complete; When Venus thought on a deceit. Drawn by her doves, away she flies, And finds out Pallas in the skies. Dear Pallas, I have been this morn To see a lovely infant born: A boy in yonder isle below, So like my own without his bow, By beauty could your heart be won, You'd swear it is Apollo's son; But it shall ne'er be said, a child So hopeful, has by me been spoil'd: I have enough besides to spare, And give him wholly to your care. Wisdom's above suspecting wiles; The Queen of Learning gravely smiles, Down from Olympus comes with joy, Mistakes Vanessa for a boy; Then sows within her tender mind Seeds long unknown to womankind: For manly bosoms chiefly fit, The seeds of knowledge, judgment, wit. Her soul was suddenly endued With justice, truth, and fortitude; With honour, which no breath can stain, Which malice must attack in vain; With open heart and bounteous hand. But Pallas here was at a stand; She knew, in our degenerate days, Bare virtue could not live on praise; That meat must be with money bought: She therefore, upon second thought, Infused, yet as it were by stealth, Some small regard for state and wealth; Of which, as she grew up, there staid A tincture in the prudent maid: She managed her estate with care, Yet liked three footmen to her chair. But, lest he should neglect his studies Like a young heir, the thrifty goddess (For fear young master should be spoil'd) Would use him like a younger child; And, after long computing, found 'Twould come to just five thousand pound. The Queen of Love was pleased, and proud, To see Vanessa thus endow'd: She doubted not but such a dame Through every breast would dart a flame, That every rich and lordly swain With pride would drag about her chain; That scholars would forsake their books, To study bright Vanessa's looks; As she advanced, that womankind Would by her model form their mind, And all their conduct would be tried By her, as an unerring guide; Offending daughters oft would hear Vanessa's praise rung in their ear: Miss Betty, when she does a fault, Lets fall her knife, or spills the salt, Will thus be by her mother chid, "'Tis what Vanessa never did!" Thus by the nymphs and swains adored, My power shall be again restored, And happy lovers bless my reign— So Venus hoped, but hoped in vain. For when in time the Martial Maid Found out the trick that Venus play'd, She shakes her helm, she knits her brows, And, fired with indignation, vows, To-morrow, ere the setting sun, She'd all undo that she had done. But in the poets we may find A wholesome law, time out of mind, Had been confirm'd by Fate's decree, That gods, of whatsoe'er degree, Resume not what themselves have given, Or any brother god in Heaven: Which keeps the peace among the gods, Or they must always be at odds: And Pallas, if she broke the laws, Must yield her foe the stronger cause; A shame to one so much adored For wisdom at Jove's council-board. Besides, she fear'd the Queen of Love Would meet with better friends above. And though she must with grief reflect, To see a mortal virgin deck'd With graces hitherto unknown To female breasts, except her own: Yet she would act as best became A goddess of unspotted fame. She knew, by augury divine, Venus would fail in her design: She studied well the point, and found Her foe's conclusions were not sound, From premises erroneous brought, And therefore the deduction's naught, And must have contrary effects, To what her treacherous foe expects. In proper season Pallas meets The Queen of Love, whom thus she greets, (For gods, we are by Homer told, Can in celestial language scold:)— Perfidious goddess! but in vain You form'd this project in your brain; A project for your talents fit, With much deceit and little wit. Thou hast, as thou shall quickly see, Deceived thyself, instead of me; For how can heavenly wisdom prove An instrument to earthly love? Know'st thou not yet, that men commence Thy votaries for want of sense? Nor shall Vanessa be the theme To manage thy abortive scheme: She'll prove the greatest of thy foes; And yet I scorn to interpose, But, using neither skill nor force, Leave all things to their natural course. The goddess thus pronounced her doom: When, lo! Vanessa in her bloom Advanced, like Atalanta's star, But rarely seen, and seen from far: In a new world with caution slept, Watch'd all the company she kept, Well knowing, from the books she read, What dangerous paths young virgins tread: Would seldom at the Park appear, Nor saw the play-house twice a year; Yet, not incurious, was inclined To know the converse of mankind. First issued from perfumers' shops, A crowd of fashionable fops: They ask'd her how she liked the play; Then told the tattle of the day; A duel fought last night at two, About a lady—you know who; Mention'd a new Italian, come Either from Muscovy or Rome; Gave hints of who and who's together; Then fell to talking of the weather; Last night was so extremely fine, The ladies walk'd till after nine: Then, in soft voice and speech absurd, With nonsense every second word, With fustian from exploded plays, They celebrate her beauty's praise; Run o'er their cant of stupid lies, And tell the murders of her eyes. With silent scorn Vanessa sat, Scarce listening to their idle chat; Farther than sometimes by a frown, When they grew pert, to pull them down. At last she spitefully was bent To try their wisdom's full extent; And said, she valued nothing less Than titles, figure, shape, and dress; That merit should be chiefly placed In judgment, knowledge, wit, and taste; And these, she offer'd to dispute, Alone distinguish'd man from brute: That present times have no pretence To virtue, in the noble sense By Greeks and Romans understood, To perish for our country's good. She named the ancient heroes round, Explain'd for what they were renown'd; Then spoke with censure or applause Of foreign customs, rites, and laws; Through nature and through art she ranged And gracefully her subject changed; In vain! her hearers had no share In all she spoke, except to stare. Their judgment was, upon the whole, —That lady is the dullest soul!— Then tapt their forehead in a jeer, As who should say—She wants it here! She may be handsome, young, and rich, But none will burn her for a witch! A party next of glittering dames, From round the purlieus of St. James, Came early, out of pure good will, To see the girl in dishabille. Their clamour, 'lighting from their chairs Grew louder all the way up stairs; At entrance loudest, where they found The room with volumes litter'd round. Vanessa held Montaigne, and read, While Mrs. Susan comb'd her head. They call'd for tea and chocolate, And fell into their usual chat, Discoursing with important face, On ribbons, fans, and gloves, and lace; Show'd patterns just from India brought, And gravely ask'd her what she thought, Whether the red or green were best, And what they cost? Vanessa guess'd As came into her fancy first; Named half the rates, and liked the worst. To scandal next—What awkward thing Was that last Sunday in the ring? I'm sorry Mopsa breaks so fast: I said her face would never last. Corinna, with that youthful air, Is thirty, and a bit to spare: Her fondness for a certain earl Began when I was but a girl! Phillis, who but a month ago Was married to the Tunbridge beau, I saw coquetting t'other night In public with that odious knight! They rallied next Vanessa's dress: That gown was made for old Queen Bess. Dear madam, let me see your head: Don't you intend to put on red? A petticoat without a hoop! Sure, you are not ashamed to stoop! With handsome garters at your knees, No matter what a fellow sees. Filled with disdain, with rage inflamed Both of herself and sex ashamed, The nymph stood silent out of spite, Nor would vouchsafe to set them right. Away the fair detractors went, And gave by turns their censures vent. She's not so handsome in my eyes: For wit, I wonder where it lies! She's fair and clean, and that's the most: But why proclaim her for a toast? A baby face; no life, no airs, But what she learn'd at country fairs; Scarce knows what difference is between Rich Flanders lace and Colberteen. [2] I'll undertake, my little Nancy In flounces has a better fancy; With all her wit, I would not ask Her judgment how to buy a mask. We begg'd her but to patch her face, She never hit one proper place; Which every girl at five years old Can do as soon as she is told. I own, that out-of-fashion stuff Becomes the creature well enough. The girl might pass, if we could get her To know the world a little better. (To know the world! a modern phrase For visits, ombre, balls, and plays.) Thus, to the world's perpetual shame, The Queen of Beauty lost her aim; Too late with grief she understood Pallas had done more harm than good; For great examples are but vain, Where ignorance begets disdain. Both sexes, arm'd with guilt and spite, Against Vanessa's power unite: To copy her few nymphs aspired; Her virtues fewer swains admired. So stars, beyond a certain height, Give mortals neither heat nor light. Yet some of either sex, endow'd With gifts superior to the crowd, With virtue, knowledge, taste, and wit She condescended to admit: With pleasing arts she could reduce Men's talents to their proper use; And with address each genius held To that wherein it most excell'd; Thus, making others' wisdom known, Could please them, and improve her own. A modest youth said something new; She placed it in the strongest view. All humble worth she strove to raise, Would not be praised, yet loved to praise. The learned met with free approach, Although they came not in a coach: Some clergy too she would allow, Nor quarrell'd at their awkward bow; But this was for Cadenus' sake, A gownman of a different make; Whom Pallas once, Vanessa's tutor, Had fix'd on for her coadjutor. But Cupid, full of mischief, longs To vindicate his mother's wrongs. On Pallas all attempts are vain: One way he knows to give her pain; Vows on Vanessa's heart to take Due vengeance, for her patron's sake; Those early seeds by Venus sown, In spite of Pallas now were grown; And Cupid hoped they would improve By time, and ripen into love. The boy made use of all his craft, In vain discharging many a shaft, Pointed at colonels, lords, and beaux: Cadenus warded off the blows; For, placing still some book betwixt, The darts were in the cover fix'd, Or, often blunted and recoil'd, On Plutarch's Moral struck, were spoil'd. The Queen of Wisdom could foresee, But not prevent, the Fates' decree: And human caution tries in vain To break that adamantine chain. Vanessa, though by Pallas taught, By Love invulnerable thought, Searching in books for wisdom's aid, Was, in the very search, betray'd. Cupid, though all his darts were lost, Yet still resolved to spare no cost: He could not answer to his fame The triumphs of that stubborn dame, A nymph so hard to be subdued, Who neither was coquette nor prude. I find, said he, she wants a doctor, Both to adore her, and instruct her: I'll give her what she most admires Among those venerable sires. Cadenus is a subject fit, Grown old in politics and wit, Caress'd by ministers of state, Of half mankind the dread and hate. Whate'er vexations love attend, She needs no rivals apprehend. Her sex, with universal voice, Must laugh at her capricious choice. Cadenus many things had writ: Vanessa much esteem'd his wit, And call'd for his poetic works: Meantime the boy in secret lurks; And, while the book was in her hand, The urchin from his private stand Took aim, and shot with all his strength A dart of such prodigious length, It pierced the feeble volume through, And deep transfix'd her bosom too. Some lines, more moving than the rest, Stuck to the point that pierced her breast, And, borne directly to the heart, With pains unknown increased her smart. Vanessa, not in years a score, Dreams of a gown of forty-four; Imaginary charms can find In eyes with reading almost blind: Cadenus now no more appears Declined in health, advanced in years. She fancies music in his tongue; Nor farther looks, but thinks him young. What mariner is not afraid To venture in a ship decay'd? What planter will attempt to yoke A sapling with a falling oak? As years increase, she brighter shines; Cadenus with each day declines: And he must fall a prey to time, While she continues in her prime. Cadenus, common forms apart, In every scene had kept his heart; Had sigh'd and languish'd, vow'd and writ, For pastime, or to show his wit, But books, and time, and state affairs, Had spoil'd his fashionable airs: He now could praise, esteem, approve, But understood not what was love. His conduct might have made him styled A father, and the nymph his child. That innocent delight he took To see the virgin mind her book, Was but the master's secret joy In school to hear the finest boy. Her knowledge with her fancy grew; She hourly press'd for something new; Ideas came into her mind So fast, his lessons lagg'd behind; She reason'd, without plodding long, Nor ever gave her judgment wrong. But now a sudden change was wrought; She minds no longer what he taught. Cadenus was amazed to find Such marks of a distracted mind: For, though she seem'd to listen more To all he spoke, than e'er before, He found her thoughts would absent range, Yet guess'd not whence could spring the change. And first he modestly conjectures His pupil might be tired with lectures; Which help'd to mortify his pride, Yet gave him not the heart to chide: But, in a mild dejected strain, At last he ventured to complain: Said, she should be no longer teazed, Might have her freedom when she pleased; Was now convinced he acted wrong To hide her from the world so long, And in dull studies to engage One of her tender sex and age; That every nymph with envy own'd, How she might shine in the grand monde: And every shepherd was undone To see her cloister'd like a nun. This was a visionary scheme: He waked, and found it but a dream; A project far above his skill: For nature must be nature still. If he were bolder than became A scholar to a courtly dame, She might excuse a man of letters; Thus tutors often treat their better; And, since his talk offensive grew, He came to take his last adieu. Vanessa, fill'd with just disdain, Would still her dignity maintain, Instructed from her early years To scorn the art of female tears. Had he employ'd his time so long To teach her what was right and wrong; Yet could such notions entertain That all his lectures were in vain? She own'd the wandering of her thoughts; But he must answer for her faults. She well remember'd to her cost, That all his lessons were not lost. Two maxims she could still produce, And sad experience taught their use; That virtue, pleased by being shown, Knows nothing which it dares not own; Can make us without fear disclose Our inmost secrets to our foes; That common forms were not design'd Directors to a noble mind. Now, said the nymph, to let you see My actions with your rules agree; That I can vulgar forms despise, And have no secrets to disguise; I knew, by what you said and writ, How dangerous things were men of wit; You caution'd me against their charms, But never gave me equal arms; Your lessons found the weakest part, Aim'd at the head, but reach'd the heart. Cadenus felt within him rise Shame, disappointment, guilt, surprise. He knew not how to reconcile Such language with her usual style: And yet her words were so exprest, He could not hope she spoke in jest. His thoughts had wholly been confined To form and cultivate her mind. He hardly knew, till he was told, Whether the nymph were young or old; Had met her in a public place, Without distinguishing her face; Much less could his declining age Vanessa's earliest thoughts engage; And, if her youth indifference met, His person must contempt beget; Or grant her passion be sincere, How shall his innocence be clear? [3]Appearances were all so strong, The world must think him in the wrong; Would say, he made a treacherous use Of wit, to flatter and seduce; The town would swear, he had betray'd By magic spells the harmless maid: And every beau would have his joke, That scholars were like other folk; And, when Platonic flights were over, The tutor turn'd a mortal lover! So tender of the young and fair! It show'd a true paternal care— Five thousand guineas in her purse! The doctor might have fancied worse.— Hardly at length he silence broke, And falter'd every word he spoke; Interpreting her complaisance, Just as a man sans consequence. She rallied well, he always knew: Her manner now was something new; And what she spoke was in an air As serious as a tragic player. But those who aim at ridicule Should fix upon some certain rule, Which fairly hints they are in jest, Else he must enter his protest: For let a man be ne'er so wise, He may be caught with sober lies; A science which he never taught, And, to be free, was dearly bought; For, take it in its proper light, 'Tis just what coxcombs call a bite. But, not to dwell on things minute, Vanessa finish'd the dispute; Brought weighty arguments to prove That reason was her guide in love. She thought he had himself described, His doctrines when she first imbibed; What he had planted, now was grown; His virtues she might call her own; As he approves, as he dislikes, Love or contempt her fancy strikes. Self-love, in nature rooted fast, Attends us first, and leaves us last; Why she likes him, admire not at her; She loves herself, and that's the matter. How was her tutor wont to praise The geniuses of ancient days! (Those authors he so oft had named, For learning, wit, and wisdom, famed;) Was struck with love, esteem, and awe, For persons whom he never saw. Suppose Cadenus flourish'd then, He must adore such godlike men. If one short volume could comprise All that was witty, learn'd, and wise, How would it be esteem'd and read, Although the writer long were dead! If such an author were alive, How all would for his friendship strive, And come in crowds to see his face! And this she takes to be her case. Cadenus answers every end, The book, the author, and the friend; The utmost her desires will reach, Is but to learn what he can teach: His converse is a system fit Alone to fill up all her wit; While every passion of her mind In him is centred and confined. Love can with speech inspire a mute, And taught Vanessa to dispute. This topic, never touch'd before, Display'd her eloquence the more: Her knowledge, with such pains acquired, By this new passion grew inspired; Through this she made all objects pass, Which gave a tincture o'er the mass; As rivers, though they bend and twine, Still to the sea their course incline: Or, as philosophers, who find Some favourite system to their mind; In every point to make it fit, Will force all nature to submit. Cadenus, who could ne'er suspect His lessons would have such effect, Or be so artfully applied, Insensibly came on her side. It was an unforeseen event; Things took a turn he never meant. Whoe'er excels in what we prize, Appears a hero in our eyes; Each girl, when pleased with what is taught, Will have the teacher in her thought. When miss delights in her spinet, A fiddler may a fortune get; A blockhead, with melodious voice, In boarding-schools may have his choice: And oft the dancing-master's art Climbs from the toe to touch the heart. In learning let a nymph delight, The pedant gets a mistress by't. Cadenus, to his grief and shame, Could scarce oppose Vanessa's flame; And, though her arguments were strong, At least could hardly wish them wrong. Howe'er it came, he could not tell, But sure she never talk'd so well. His pride began to interpose; Preferr'd before a crowd of beaux! So bright a nymph to come unsought! Such wonder by his merit wrought! 'Tis merit must with her prevail! He never knew her judgment fail! She noted all she ever read! And had a most discerning head! 'Tis an old maxim in the schools, That flattery's the food of fools; Yet now and then your men of wit Will condescend to take a bit. So when Cadenus could not hide, He chose to justify his pride; Construing the passion she had shown, Much to her praise, more to his own. Nature in him had merit placed, In her a most judicious taste. Love, hitherto a transient guest, Ne'er held possession of his breast; So long attending at the gate, Disdain'd to enter in so late. Love why do we one passion call, When 'tis a compound of them all? Where hot and cold, where sharp and sweet, In all their equipages meet; Where pleasures mix'd with pains appear, Sorrow with joy, and hope with fear; Wherein his dignity and age Forbid Cadenus to engage. But friendship, in its greatest height, A constant, rational delight, On virtue's basis fix'd to last, When love allurements long are past, Which gently warms, but cannot burn, He gladly offers in return; His want of passion will redeem With gratitude, respect, esteem: With what devotion we bestow, When goddesses appear below. While thus Cadenus entertains Vanessa in exalted strains, The nymph in sober words entreats A truce with all sublime conceits; For why such raptures, flights, and fancies, To her who durst not read romances? In lofty style to make replies, Which he had taught her to despise? But when her tutor will affect Devotion, duty, and respect, He fairly abdicates the throne: The government is now her own; He has a forfeiture incurr'd; She vows to take him at his word, And hopes he will not think it strange If both should now their stations change, The nymph will have her turn to be The tutor; and the pupil, he; Though she already can discern Her scholar is not apt to learn; Or wants capacity to reach The science she designs to teach; Wherein his genius was below The skill of every common beau, Who, though he cannot spell, is wise Enough to read a lady's eyes, And will each accidental glance Interpret for a kind advance. But what success Vanessa met, Is to the world a secret yet. Whether the nymph, to please her swain, Talks in a high romantic strain; Or whether he at last descends To act with less seraphic ends; Or to compound the business, whether They temper love and books together; Must never to mankind be told, Nor shall the conscious Muse unfold. Meantime the mournful Queen of Love Led but a weary life above. She ventures now to leave the skies, Grown by Vanessa's conduct wise: For though by one perverse event Pallas had cross'd her first intent; Though her design was not obtain'd: Yet had she much experience gain'd, And, by the project vainly tried, Could better now the cause decide. She gave due notice, that both parties, Coram Regina, prox' die Martis, Should at their peril, without fail, Come and appear, and save their bail. All met; and, silence thrice proclaimed, One lawyer to each side was named. The judge discover'd in her face Resentments for her late disgrace; And full of anger, shame, and grief, Directed them to mind their brief; Nor spend their time to show their reading: She'd have a summary proceeding. She gather'd under every head The sum of what each lawyer said, Gave her own reasons last, and then Decreed the cause against the men. But in a weighty case like this, To show she did not judge amiss, Which evil tongues might else report, She made a speech in open court; Wherein she grievously complains, "How she was cheated by the swains; On whose petition (humbly showing, That women were not worth the wooing, And that, unless the sex would mend, The race of lovers soon must end)— She was at Lord knows what expense To form a nymph of wit and sense, A model for her sex design'd, Who never could one lover find. She saw her favour was misplaced; The fellows had a wretched taste; She needs must tell them to their face, They were a stupid, senseless race; And, were she to begin again, She'd study to reform the men; Or add some grains of folly more To women, than they had before, To put them on an equal foot; And this, or nothing else, would do't. This might their mutual fancy strike; Since every being loves its like. "But now, repenting what was done, She left all business to her son; She put the world in his possession, And let him use it at discretion." The crier was order'd to dismiss The court, who made his last "O yes!" The goddess would no longer wait; But, rising from her chair of state, Left all below at six and seven, Harness'd her doves, and flew to Heaven.

[Footnote 1: Hester, elder daughter of Bartholomew Vanhomrigh, a Dutch merchant in Dublin, where he acquired a fortune of some L16,000. Upon his death, his widow and two daughters settled in London, about 1710-11, where Swift became intimate with the family. See "Prose Works," especially Journal to Stella. After Swift became Dean of St. Patrick's, Vanessa and her sister, on their mother's death, returned to Ireland. The younger sister died about 1720, and Vanessa died at Marlay Abbey in May, 1723.]

[Footnote 2: A lace so called after the celebrated French Minister, Colbert. Planche's "British Costume," 395.W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: See the verses "On Censure," vol. i, p.160.—W. E. B.]



TO LOVE[1]

In all I wish, how happy should I be, Thou grand Deluder, were it not for thee! So weak thou art, that fools thy power despise; And yet so strong, thou triumph'st o'er the wise. Thy traps are laid with such peculiar art, They catch the cautious, let the rash depart. Most nets are fill'd by want of thought and care But too much thinking brings us to thy snare; Where, held by thee, in slavery we stay, And throw the pleasing part of life away. But, what does most my indignation move, Discretion! thou wert ne'er a friend to Love: Thy chief delight is to defeat those arts, By which he kindles mutual flames in hearts; While the blind loitering God is at his play, Thou steal'st his golden pointed darts away: Those darts which never fail; and in their stead Convey'st malignant arrows tipt with lead: The heedless God, suspecting no deceits, Shoots on, and thinks he has done wondrous feats; But the poor nymph, who feels her vitals burn, And from her shepherd can find no return, Laments, and rages at the power divine, When, curst Discretion! all the fault was thine: Cupid and Hymen thou hast set at odds, And bred such feuds between those kindred gods, That Venus cannot reconcile her sons; When one appears, away the other runs. The former scales, wherein he used to poise Love against love, and equal joys with joys, Are now fill'd up with avarice and pride, Where titles, power, and riches, still subside. Then, gentle Venus, to thy father run, And tell him, how thy children are undone: Prepare his bolts to give one fatal blow, And strike Discretion to the shades below.

[Footnote 1: Found in Miss Vanhomrigh's desk, after her death, in the handwriting of Dr. Swift.—H.]



A REBUS. BY VANESSA

Cut the name of the man [1] who his mistress denied, And let the first of it be only applied To join with the prophet[2] who David did chide; Then say what a horse is that runs very fast;[3] And that which deserves to be first put the last; Spell all then, and put them together, to find The name and the virtues of him I design'd. Like the patriarch in Egypt, he's versed in the state; Like the prophet in Jewry, he's free with the great; Like a racer he flies, to succour with speed, When his friends want his aid, or desert is in need.

[Footnote 1: Jo-seph.]

[Footnote 2: Nathan.]

[Footnote 3: Swift.]



THE DEAN'S ANSWER

The nymph who wrote this in an amorous fit, I cannot but envy the pride of her wit, Which thus she will venture profusely to throw On so mean a design, and a subject so low. For mean's her design, and her subject as mean, The first but a rebus, the last but a dean. A dean's but a parson: and what is a rebus? A thing never known to the Muses or Phoebus. The corruption of verse; for, when all is done, It is but a paraphrase made on a pun. But a genius like hers no subject can stifle, It shows and discovers itself through a trifle. By reading this trifle, I quickly began To find her a great wit, but the dean a small man. Rich ladies will furnish their garrets with stuff, Which others for mantuas would think fine enough: So the wit that is lavishly thrown away here, Might furnish a second-rate poet a year. Thus much for the verse, we proceed to the next, Where the nymph has entirely forsaken her text: Her fine panegyrics are quite out of season: And what she describes to be merit, is treason: The changes which faction has made in the state, Have put the dean's politics quite out of date: Now no one regards what he utters with freedom, And, should he write pamphlets, no great man would read 'em; And, should want or desert stand in need of his aid, This racer would prove but a dull founder'd jade.



STELLA'S BIRTH-DAY MARCH 13, 1718-19

Stella this day is thirty-four, (We shan't dispute a year or more:) However, Stella, be not troubled, Although thy size and years are doubled Since first I saw thee at sixteen, The brightest virgin on the green; So little is thy form declined; Made up so largely in thy mind. O, would it please the gods to split Thy beauty, size, and years, and wit! No age could furnish out a pair Of nymphs so graceful, wise, and fair; With half the lustre of your eyes, With half your wit, your years, and size. And then, before it grew too late, How should I beg of gentle fate, (That either nymph might have her swain,) To split my worship too in twain.



STELLA'S BIRTH-DAY.[1] 1719-20

WRITTEN A.D. 1720-21.—Stella.

All travellers at first incline Where'er they see the fairest sign And if they find the chambers neat, And like the liquor and the meat, Will call again, and recommend The Angel Inn to every friend. And though the painting grows decay'd, The house will never lose its trade: Nay, though the treach'rous tapster,[2] Thomas, Hangs a new Angel two doors from us, As fine as daubers' hands can make it, In hopes that strangers may mistake it, We[3] think it both a shame and sin To quit the true old Angel Inn. Now this is Stella's case in fact, An angel's face a little crack'd. (Could poets or could painters fix How angels look at thirty-six:) This drew us in at first to find In such a form an angel's mind; And every virtue now supplies The fainting rays of Stella's eyes. See, at her levee crowding swains, Whom Stella freely entertains With breeding, humour, wit, and sense, And puts them to so small expense; Their minds so plentifully fills, And makes such reasonable bills, So little gets for what she gives, We really wonder how she lives! And had her stock been less, no doubt She must have long ago run out. Then, who can think we'll quit the place, When Doll hangs out a newer face? Nail'd to her window full in sight All Christian people to invite. Or stop and light at Chloe's head, With scraps and leavings to be fed? Then, Chloe, still go on to prate Of thirty-six and thirty-eight; Pursue your trade of scandal-picking, Your hints that Stella is no chicken; Your innuendoes, when you tell us, That Stella loves to talk with fellows: But let me warn you to believe A truth, for which your soul should grieve; That should you live to see the day, When Stella's locks must all be gray, When age must print a furrow'd trace On every feature of her face; Though you, and all your senseless tribe, Could Art, or Time, or Nature bribe, To make you look like Beauty's Queen, And hold for ever at fifteen; No bloom of youth can ever blind The cracks and wrinkles of your mind: All men of sense will pass your door, And crowd to Stella's at four-score.

[Footnote 1: Collated with Stella's own copy transcribed in her volume.—Forster.]

[Footnote 2: Rascal.—Stella.]

[Footnote 3: They.—Stella.]



TO STELLA, WHO COLLECTED AND TRANSCRIBED HIS POEMS 1720

As, when a lofty pile is raised, We never hear the workmen praised, Who bring the lime, or place the stones. But all admire Inigo Jones: So, if this pile of scatter'd rhymes Should be approved in aftertimes; If it both pleases and endures, The merit and the praise are yours. Thou, Stella, wert no longer young, When first for thee my harp was strung, Without one word of Cupid's darts, Of killing eyes, or bleeding hearts; With friendship and esteem possest, I ne'er admitted Love a guest. In all the habitudes of life, The friend, the mistress, and the wife, Variety we still pursue, In pleasure seek for something new; Or else, comparing with the rest, Take comfort that our own is best; The best we value by the worst, As tradesmen show their trash at first; But his pursuits are at an end, Whom Stella chooses for a friend. A poet starving in a garret, Conning all topics like a parrot, Invokes his mistress and his Muse, And stays at home for want of shoes: Should but his Muse descending drop A slice of bread and mutton-chop; Or kindly, when his credit's out, Surprise him with a pint of stout; Or patch his broken stocking soles; Or send him in a peck of coals; Exalted in his mighty mind, He flies and leaves the stars behind; Counts all his labours amply paid, Adores her for the timely aid. Or, should a porter make inquiries For Chloe, Sylvia, Phillis, Iris; Be told the lodging, lane, and sign, The bowers that hold those nymphs divine; Fair Chloe would perhaps be found With footmen tippling under ground; The charming Sylvia beating flax, Her shoulders mark'd with bloody tracks;[1] Bright Phillis mending ragged smocks: And radiant Iris in the pox. These are the goddesses enroll'd In Curll's collection, new and old, Whose scoundrel fathers would not know 'em, If they should meet them in a poem. True poets can depress and raise, Are lords of infamy and praise; They are not scurrilous in satire, Nor will in panegyric flatter. Unjustly poets we asperse; Truth shines the brighter clad in verse, And all the fictions they pursue Do but insinuate what is true. Now, should my praises owe their truth To beauty, dress, or paint, or youth, What stoics call without our power, They could not be ensured an hour; 'Twere grafting on an annual stock, That must our expectation mock, And, making one luxuriant shoot, Die the next year for want of root: Before I could my verses bring, Perhaps you're quite another thing. So Maevius, when he drain'd his skull To celebrate some suburb trull, His similes in order set, And every crambo[2] he could get; Had gone through all the common-places Worn out by wits, who rhyme on faces; Before he could his poem close, The lovely nymph had lost her nose. Your virtues safely I commend; They on no accidents depend: Let malice look with all her eyes, She dares not say the poet lies. Stella, when you these lines transcribe, Lest you should take them for a bribe, Resolved to mortify your pride, I'll here expose your weaker side. Your spirits kindle to a flame, Moved by the lightest touch of blame; And when a friend in kindness tries To show you where your error lies, Conviction does but more incense; Perverseness is your whole defence; Truth, judgment, wit, give place to spite, Regardless both of wrong and right; Your virtues all suspended wait, Till time has open'd reason's gate; And, what is worse, your passion bends Its force against your nearest friends, Which manners, decency, and pride, Have taught from you the world to hide; In vain; for see, your friend has brought To public light your only fault; And yet a fault we often find Mix'd in a noble, generous mind: And may compare to AEtna's fire, Which, though with trembling, all admire; The heat that makes the summit glow, Enriching all the vales below. Those who, in warmer climes, complain From Phoebus' rays they suffer pain, Must own that pain is largely paid By generous wines beneath a shade. Yet, when I find your passions rise, And anger sparkling in your eyes, I grieve those spirits should be spent, For nobler ends by nature meant. One passion, with a different turn, Makes wit inflame, or anger burn: So the sun's heat, with different powers, Ripens the grape, the liquor sours: Thus Ajax, when with rage possest, By Pallas breathed into his breast, His valour would no more employ, Which might alone have conquer'd Troy; But, blinded by resentment, seeks For vengeance on his friends the Greeks. You think this turbulence of blood From stagnating preserves the flood, Which, thus fermenting by degrees, Exalts the spirits, sinks the lees. Stella, for once you reason wrong; For, should this ferment last too long, By time subsiding, you may find Nothing but acid left behind; From passion you may then be freed, When peevishness and spleen succeed. Say, Stella, when you copy next, Will you keep strictly to the text? Dare you let these reproaches stand, And to your failing set your hand? Or, if these lines your anger fire, Shall they in baser flames expire? Whene'er they burn, if burn they must, They'll prove my accusation just.

[Footnote 1: At Bridewell; see vol. i, "A Beautiful Young Nymph," at p. 201.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: A cant word for a rhyme.—W. E. B.]



TO STELLA VISITING ME IN MY SICKNESS 1720

Pallas, observing Stella's wit Was more than for her sex was fit, And that her beauty, soon or late, Might breed confusion in the state, In high concern for human kind, Fix'd honour in her infant mind. But (not in wrangling to engage With such a stupid, vicious age) If honour I would here define, It answers faith in things divine. As natural life the body warms, And, scholars teach, the soul informs, So honour animates the whole, And is the spirit of the soul. Those numerous virtues which the tribe Of tedious moralists describe, And by such various titles call, True honour comprehends them all. Let melancholy rule supreme, Choler preside, or blood, or phlegm, It makes no difference in the case, Nor is complexion honour's place. But, lest we should for honour take The drunken quarrels of a rake: Or think it seated in a scar, Or on a proud triumphal car; Or in the payment of a debt We lose with sharpers at piquet; Or when a whore, in her vocation, Keeps punctual to an assignation; Or that on which his lordship swears, When vulgar knaves would lose their ears; Let Stella's fair example preach A lesson she alone can teach. In points of honour to be tried, All passions must be laid aside: Ask no advice, but think alone; Suppose the question not your own. How shall I act, is not the case; But how would Brutus in my place? In such a case would Cato bleed? And how would Socrates proceed? Drive all objections from your mind, Else you relapse to human kind: Ambition, avarice, and lust, A factious rage, and breach of trust, And flattery tipt with nauseous fleer, And guilty shame, and servile fear, Envy, and cruelty, and pride, Will in your tainted heart preside. Heroes and heroines of old, By honour only were enroll'd Among their brethren in the skies, To which (though late) shall Stella rise. Ten thousand oaths upon record Are not so sacred as her word: The world shall in its atoms end, Ere Stella can deceive a friend. By honour seated in her breast She still determines what is best: What indignation in her mind Against enslavers of mankind! Base kings, and ministers of state, Eternal objects of her hate! She thinks that nature ne'er design'd Courage to man alone confined. Can cowardice her sex adorn, Which most exposes ours to scorn? She wonders where the charm appears In Florimel's affected fears; For Stella never learn'd the art At proper times to scream and start; Nor calls up all the house at night, And swears she saw a thing in white. Doll never flies to cut her lace, Or throw cold water in her face, Because she heard a sudden drum, Or found an earwig in a plum. Her hearers are amazed from whence Proceeds that fund of wit and sense; Which, though her modesty would shroud, Breaks like the sun behind a cloud; While gracefulness its art conceals, And yet through every motion steals. Say, Stella, was Prometheus blind, And, forming you, mistook your kind? No; 'twas for you alone he stole The fire that forms a manly soul; Then, to complete it every way, He moulded it with female clay: To that you owe the nobler flame, To this the beauty of your frame. How would Ingratitude delight, And how would Censure glut her spite, If I should Stella's kindness hide In silence, or forget with pride! When on my sickly couch I lay, Impatient both of night and day, Lamenting in unmanly strains, Call'd every power to ease my pains; Then Stella ran to my relief, With cheerful face and inward grief; And, though by Heaven's severe decree She suffers hourly more than me, No cruel master could require, From slaves employ'd for daily hire, What Stella, by her friendship warm'd With vigour and delight perform'd: My sinking spirits now supplies With cordials in her hands and eyes: Now with a soft and silent tread Unheard she moves about my bed. I see her taste each nauseous draught, And so obligingly am caught; I bless the hand from whence they came, Nor dare distort my face for shame. Best pattern of true friends! beware; You pay too dearly for your care, If, while your tenderness secures My life, it must endanger yours; For such a fool was never found, Who pull'd a palace to the ground, Only to have the ruins made Materials for a house decay'd.



STELLA TO DR. SWIFT ON HIS BIRTH-DAY, NOV. 30, 1721

St. Patrick's Dean, your country's pride, My early and my only guide, Let me among the rest attend, Your pupil and your humble friend, To celebrate in female strains The day that paid your mother's pains; Descend to take that tribute due In gratitude alone to you. When men began to call me fair, You interposed your timely care: You early taught me to despise The ogling of a coxcomb's eyes; Show'd where my judgment was misplaced; Refined my fancy and my taste. Behold that beauty just decay'd, Invoking art to nature's aid: Forsook by her admiring train, She spreads her tatter'd nets in vain; Short was her part upon the stage; Went smoothly on for half a page; Her bloom was gone, she wanted art, As the scene changed, to change her part; She, whom no lover could resist, Before the second act was hiss'd. Such is the fate of female race With no endowments but a face; Before the thirtieth year of life, A maid forlorn, or hated wife. Stella to you, her tutor, owes That she has ne'er resembled those: Nor was a burden to mankind With half her course of years behind. You taught how I might youth prolong, By knowing what was right and wrong; How from my heart to bring supplies Of lustre to my fading eyes; How soon a beauteous mind repairs The loss of changed or falling hairs; How wit and virtue from within Send out a smoothness o'er the skin: Your lectures could my fancy fix, And I can please at thirty-six. The sight of Chloe at fifteen, Coquetting, gives not me the spleen; The idol now of every fool Till time shall make their passions cool; Then tumbling down Time's steepy hill, While Stella holds her station still. O! turn your precepts into laws, Redeem the women's ruin'd cause, Retrieve lost empire to our sex, That men may bow their rebel necks. Long be the day that gave you birth Sacred to friendship, wit, and mirth; Late dying may you cast a shred Of your rich mantle o'er my head; To bear with dignity my sorrow, One day alone, then die to-morrow.



TO STELLA ON HER BIRTH-DAY, 1721-2

While, Stella, to your lasting praise The Muse her annual tribute pays, While I assign myself a task Which you expect, but scorn to ask; If I perform this task with pain, Let me of partial fate complain; You every year the debt enlarge, I grow less equal to the charge: In you each virtue brighter shines, But my poetic vein declines; My harp will soon in vain be strung, And all your virtues left unsung. For none among the upstart race Of poets dare assume my place; Your worth will be to them unknown, They must have Stellas of their own; And thus, my stock of wit decay'd, I dying leave the debt unpaid, Unless Delany, as my heir, Will answer for the whole arrear.



ON THE GREAT BURIED BOTTLE BY DR. DELANY

Amphora, quae moestum linquis, laetumque revises Arentem dominum, sit tibi terra levis. Tu quoque depositum serves, neve opprime, marmor; Amphora non meruit tam pretiosa mori.



EPITAPH BY THE SAME

Hoc tumulata jacet proles Lenaea sepulchro, Immortale genus, nee peritura jacet; Quin oritura iterum, matris concreditur alvo: Bis natum referunt te quoque, Bacche Pater.



STELLA'S BIRTH-DAY: A GREAT BOTTLE OF WINE, LONG BURIED, BEING THAT DAY DUG UP. 1722-3

Resolv'd my annual verse to pay, By duty bound, on Stella's day, Furnish'd with paper, pens, and ink, I gravely sat me down to think: I bit my nails, and scratch'd my head, But found my wit and fancy fled: Or if, with more than usual pain, A thought came slowly from my brain, It cost me Lord knows how much time To shape it into sense and rhyme: And, what was yet a greater curse, Long thinking made my fancy worse. Forsaken by th'inspiring Nine, I waited at Apollo's shrine: I told him what the world would say, If Stella were unsung to-day: How I should hide my head for shame, When both the Jacks and Robin came; How Ford would frown, how Jim would leer, How Sheridan the rogue would sneer, And swear it does not always follow, That semel'n anno ridet Apollo. I have assur'd them twenty times, That Phoebus help'd me in my rhymes; Phoebus inspired me from above, And he and I were hand and glove. But, finding me so dull and dry since, They'll call it all poetic license; And when I brag of aid divine, Think Eusden's[1] right as good as mine. Nor do I ask for Stella's sake; 'Tis my own credit lies at stake: And Stella will be sung, while I Can only be a stander by. Apollo, having thought a little, Return'd this answer to a tittle. Though you should live like old Methusalem, I furnish hints and you shall use all 'em, You yearly sing as she grows old, You'd leave her virtues half untold. But, to say truth, such dulness reigns, Through the whole set of Irish deans, I'm daily stunn'd with such a medley, Dean White, Dean Daniel, and Dean Smedley, That, let what dean soever come, My orders are, I'm not at home; And if your voice had not been loud, You must have pass'd among the crowd. But now, your danger to prevent, You must apply to Mrs. Brent;[2] For she, as priestess, knows the rites Wherein the god of earth delights. First, nine ways looking,[3] let her stand With an old poker in her hand; Let her describe a circle round In Saunders'[4] cellar on the ground: A spade let prudent Archy[5] hold, And with discretion dig the mould. Let Stella look with watchful eye, Rebecca,[6] Ford, and Grattans by. Behold the bottle, where it lies With neck elated toward the skies! The god of winds and god of fire Did to its wondrous birth conspire; And Bacchus for the poet's use Pour'd in a strong inspiring juice. See! as you raise it from its tomb, It drags behind a spacious womb, And in the spacious womb contains A sov'reign med'cine for the brains. You'll find it soon, if fate consents; If not, a thousand Mrs. Brents, Ten thousand Archys, arm'd with spades, May dig in vain to Pluto's shades. From thence a plenteous draught infuse, And boldly then invoke the Muse; But first let Robert[7] on his knees With caution drain it from the lees; The Muse will at your call appear, With Stella's praise to crown the year.

[Footnote 1: The Poet Laureate.]

[Footnote 2: "Mrs. Brent, my housekeeper, famous in print for digging out the great bottle." "I dine tete a tete five days a week with my old presbyterian housekeeper whom I call Sir Robert." Swift to Pope. Pope's "Works," edit. Elwin and Courthope, vii, pp. 145, 212.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: She had a cast in her eyes.—Swift.]

[Footnote 4: The butler.]

[Footnote 5: The footman.]

[Footnote 6: Mrs. Dingley.]

[Footnote 7: The valet.]



STELLA AT WOOD PARK, A HOUSE OF CHARLES FORD, ESQ., NEAR DUBLIN 1723

—cuicumque nocere volebat, Vestimenta dabat pretiosa.[1]

Don Carlos, in a merry spight, Did Stella to his house invite: He entertain'd her half a year With generous wines and costly cheer. Don Carlos made her chief director, That she might o'er the servants hector. In half a week the dame grew nice, Got all things at the highest price: Now at the table head she sits, Presented with the nicest bits: She look'd on partridges with scorn, Except they tasted of the corn: A haunch of ven'son made her sweat, Unless it had the right fumette. Don Carlos earnestly would beg, "Dear Madam, try this pigeon's leg;" Was happy, when he could prevail To make her only touch a quail. Through candle-light she view'd the wine, To see that ev'ry glass was fine. At last, grown prouder than the devil With feeding high, and treatment civil, Don Carlos now began to find His malice work as he design'd. The winter sky began to frown: Poor Stella must pack off to town; From purling streams and fountains bubbling, To Liffey's stinking tide in Dublin: From wholesome exercise and air To sossing in an easy-chair: From stomach sharp, and hearty feeding, To piddle[2] like a lady breeding: From ruling there the household singly. To be directed here by Dingley:[3] From every day a lordly banquet, To half a joint, and God be thank it: From every meal Pontac in plenty, To half a pint one day in twenty: From Ford attending at her call, To visits of Archdeacon Wall: From Ford, who thinks of nothing mean, To the poor doings of the Dean: From growing richer with good cheer, To running out by starving here. But now arrives the dismal day; She must return to Ormond Quay.[4] The coachman stopt; she look'd, and swore The rascal had mistook the door: At coming in, you saw her stoop; The entry brush'd against her hoop: Each moment rising in her airs, She curst the narrow winding stairs: Began a thousand faults to spy; The ceiling hardly six feet high; The smutty wainscot full of cracks: And half the chairs with broken backs: Her quarter's out at Lady-day; She vows she will no longer stay In lodgings like a poor Grisette, While there are houses to be let. Howe'er, to keep her spirits up, She sent for company to sup: When all the while you might remark, She strove in vain to ape Wood Park. Two bottles call'd for, (half her store, The cupboard could contain but four:) A supper worthy of herself, Five nothings in five plates of delf. Thus for a week the farce went on; When, all her country savings gone, She fell into her former scene, Small beer, a herring, and the Dean. Thus far in jest: though now, I fear, You think my jesting too severe; But poets, when a hint is new, Regard not whether false or true: Yet raillery gives no offence, Where truth has not the least pretence; Nor can be more securely placed Than on a nymph of Stella's taste. I must confess your wine and vittle I was too hard upon a little: Your table neat, your linen fine; And, though in miniature, you shine: Yet, when you sigh to leave Wood Park, The scene, the welcome, and the spark, To languish in this odious town, And pull your haughty stomach down, We think you quite mistake the case, The virtue lies not in the place: For though my raillery were true, A cottage is Wood Park with you.

[Footnote 1: Horat., "Epist.," i, 18, 31.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: In its proper sense—to pick at table, to feed squeamishly. "With entremets to piddle with at hand." BYRON, Don Juan.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: The constant companion of Stella.]

[Footnote 4: Where the two ladies lodged.]



A NEW YEAR'S GIFT FOR BEC [1] 1723-4

Returning Janus[2] now prepares, For Bec, a new supply of cares, Sent in a bag to Dr. Swift, Who thus displays the new-year's gift. First, this large parcel brings you tidings Of our good Dean's eternal chidings; Of Nelly's pertness, Robin's leasings, And Sheridan's perpetual teazings. This box is cramm'd on every side With Stella's magisterial pride. Behold a cage with sparrows fill'd, First to be fondled, then be kill'd. Now to this hamper I invite you, With six imagined cares to fright you. Here in this bundle Janus sends Concerns by thousands for your friends. And here's a pair of leathern pokes, To hold your cares for other folks. Here from this barrel you may broach A peck of troubles for a coach. This ball of wax your ears will darken, Still to be curious, never hearken. Lest you the town may have less trouble in Bring all your Quilca's [3] cares to Dublin, For which he sends this empty sack; And so take all upon your back.

[Footnote 1: Mrs. Rebecca Dingley, Stella's friend and companion.]

[Footnote 2: The sun god represented with two faces, one in front, and one behind, to whom the new year was sacred.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: Country-house of Dr. Sheridan.]



DINGLEY AND BRENT[1] A SONG

To the tune of "Ye Commons and Peers."

Dingley and Brent, Wherever they went, Ne'er minded a word that was spoken; Whatever was said, They ne'er troubled their head, But laugh'd at their own silly joking.

Should Solomon wise In majesty rise, And show them his wit and his learning; They never would hear, But turn the deaf ear, As a matter they had no concern in.

You tell a good jest, And please all the rest; Comes Dingley, and asks you, what was it? And, curious to know, Away she will go To seek an old rag in the closet.

[Footnote 1: Dr. Swift's housekeeper.]



TO STELLA

WRITTEN ON THE DAY OF HER BIRTH, MARCH 13, 1723-4, BUT NOT ON THE SUBJECT, WHEN I WAS SICK IN BED

Tormented with incessant pains, Can I devise poetic strains? Time was, when I could yearly pay My verse to Stella's native day: But now unable grown to write, I grieve she ever saw the light. Ungrateful! since to her I owe That I these pains can undergo. She tends me like an humble slave; And, when indecently I rave, When out my brutish passions break, With gall in every word I speak, She with soft speech my anguish cheers, Or melts my passions down with tears; Although 'tis easy to descry She wants assistance more than I; Yet seems to feel my pains alone, And is a stoic in her own. When, among scholars, can we find So soft and yet so firm a mind? All accidents of life conspire To raise up Stella's virtue higher; Or else to introduce the rest Which had been latent in her breast. Her firmness who could e'er have known, Had she not evils of her own? Her kindness who could ever guess, Had not her friends been in distress? Whatever base returns you find From me, dear Stella, still be kind. In your own heart you'll reap the fruit, Though I continue still a brute. But, when I once am out of pain, I promise to be good again; Meantime, your other juster friends Shall for my follies make amends; So may we long continue thus, Admiring you, you pitying us.



VERSES BY STELLA

If it be true, celestial powers, That you have form'd me fair, And yet, in all my vainest hours, My mind has been my care: Then, in return, I beg this grace, As you were ever kind, What envious Time takes from my face Bestow upon my mind!



A RECEIPT TO RESTORE STELLA'S YOUTH. 1724-5

The Scottish hinds, too poor to house In frosty nights their starving cows, While not a blade of grass or hay Appears from Michaelmas to May, Must let their cattle range in vain For food along the barren plain: Meagre and lank with fasting grown, And nothing left but skin and bone; Exposed to want, and wind, and weather, They just keep life and soul together, Till summer showers and evening's dew Again the verdant glebe renew; And, as the vegetables rise, The famish'd cow her want supplies; Without an ounce of last year's flesh; Whate'er she gains is young and fresh; Grows plump and round, and full of mettle, As rising from Medea's [1] kettle. With youth and beauty to enchant Europa's[2] counterfeit gallant. Why, Stella, should you knit your brow, If I compare you to a cow? 'Tis just the case; for you have fasted So long, till all your flesh is wasted; And must against the warmer days Be sent to Quilca down to graze; Where mirth, and exercise, and air, Will soon your appetite repair: The nutriment will from within, Round all your body, plump your skin; Will agitate the lazy flood, And fill your veins with sprightly blood. Nor flesh nor blood will be the same Nor aught of Stella but the name: For what was ever understood, By human kind, but flesh and blood? And if your flesh and blood be new, You'll be no more the former you; But for a blooming nymph will pass, Just fifteen, coming summer's grass, Your jetty locks with garlands crown'd: While all the squires for nine miles round, Attended by a brace of curs, With jockey boots and silver spurs, No less than justices o' quorum, Their cow-boys bearing cloaks before 'em, Shall leave deciding broken pates, To kiss your steps at Quilca gates. But, lest you should my skill disgrace, Come back before you're out of case; For if to Michaelmas you stay, The new-born flesh will melt away; The 'squires in scorn will fly the house For better game, and look for grouse; But here, before the frost can mar it, We'll make it firm with beef and claret.

[Footnote 1: The celebrated sorceress, daughter of AEetes, King of Colchis, who assisted Jason in obtaining possession of the Golden Fleece.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: Carried off by Jupiter under the form of a bull. Ovid, "Met." ii, 836.]



STELLA'S BIRTH-DAY. 1724-5

As when a beauteous nymph decays, We say she's past her dancing days; So poets lose their feet by time, And can no longer dance in rhyme. Your annual bard had rather chose To celebrate your birth in prose: Yet merry folks, who want by chance A pair to make a country dance, Call the old housekeeper, and get her To fill a place for want of better: While Sheridan is off the hooks, And friend Delany at his books, That Stella may avoid disgrace, Once more the Dean supplies their place. Beauty and wit, too sad a truth! Have always been confined to youth; The god of wit and beauty's queen, He twenty-one and she fifteen, No poet ever sweetly sung, Unless he were, like Phoebus, young; Nor ever nymph inspired to rhyme, Unless, like Venus, in her prime. At fifty-six, if this be true, Am I a poet fit for you? Or, at the age of forty-three, Are you a subject fit for me? Adieu! bright wit, and radiant eyes! You must be grave and I be wise. Our fate in vain we would oppose: But I'll be still your friend in prose: Esteem and friendship to express, Will not require poetic dress; And if the Muse deny her aid To have them sung, they may be said. But, Stella, say, what evil tongue Reports you are no longer young; That Time sits with his scythe to mow Where erst sat Cupid with his bow; That half your locks are turn'd to gray? I'll ne'er believe a word they say. 'Tis true, but let it not be known, My eyes are somewhat dimmish grown; For nature, always in the right, To your decays adapts my sight; And wrinkles undistinguished pass, For I'm ashamed to use a glass: And till I see them with these eyes, Whoever says you have them, lies. No length of time can make you quit Honour and virtue, sense and wit; Thus you may still be young to me, While I can better hear than see. O ne'er may Fortune show her spite, To make me deaf, and mend my sight![1]

[Footnote 1: Now deaf, 1740.—Swift. This pathetic note was in Swift's writing in his own copy of the "Miscellanies," edit. 1727-32.—W. E. B.]



BEC'S[1] BIRTH-DAY NOV. 8, 1726

This day, dear Bec, is thy nativity; Had Fate a luckier one, she'd give it ye. She chose a thread of greatest length, And doubly twisted it for strength: Nor will be able with her shears To cut it off these forty years. Then who says care will kill a cat? Rebecca shows they're out in that. For she, though overrun with care, Continues healthy, fat, and fair. As, if the gout should seize the head, Doctors pronounce the patient dead; But, if they can, by all their arts, Eject it to the extremest parts, They give the sick man joy, and praise The gout that will prolong his days. Rebecca thus I gladly greet, Who drives her cares to hands and feet: For, though philosophers maintain The limbs are guided by the brain, Quite contrary Rebecca's led; Her hands and feet conduct her head; By arbitrary power convey her, She ne'er considers why or where: Her hands may meddle, feet may wander, Her head is but a mere by-stander: And all her bustling but supplies The part of wholesome exercise. Thus nature has resolved to pay her The cat's nine lives, and eke the care. Long may she live, and help her friends Whene'er it suits her private ends; Domestic business never mind Till coffee has her stomach lined; But, when her breakfast gives her courage, Then think on Stella's chicken porridge: I mean when Tiger[2]has been served, Or else poor Stella may be starved. May Bec have many an evening nap, With Tiger slabbering in her lap; But always take a special care She does not overset the chair; Still be she curious, never hearken To any speech but Tiger's barking! And when she's in another scene, Stella long dead, but first the Dean, May fortune and her coffee get her Companions that will please her better! Whole afternoons will sit beside her, Nor for neglects or blunders chide her. A goodly set as can be found Of hearty gossips prating round; Fresh from a wedding or a christening, To teach her ears the art of listening, And please her more to hear them tattle, Than the Dean storm, or Stella rattle. Late be her death, one gentle nod, When Hermes,[3] waiting with his rod, Shall to Elysian fields invite her, Where there will be no cares to fright her!

[Footnote 1: Mrs. Rebecca Dingley.]

[Footnote 2: Mrs. Dingley's favourite lap-dog. See next page.—W. E. B.]

[Footnote 3: Mercury.—Virg., "Aeneid," iv.]



ON THE COLLAR OF TIGER,

MRS. DINGLEY'S LAP-DOG

Pray steal me not; I'm Mrs. Dingley's, Whose heart in this four-footed thing lies.



STELLA'S BIRTH-DAY

MARCH 13, 1726-7

This day, whate'er the Fates decree, Shall still be kept with joy by me: This day then let us not be told, That you are sick, and I grown old; Nor think on our approaching ills, And talk of spectacles and pills; To-morrow will be time enough To hear such mortifying stuff. Yet, since from reason may be brought A better and more pleasing thought, Which can, in spite of all decays, Support a few remaining days; From not the gravest of divines Accept for once some serious lines. Although we now can form no more Long schemes of life, as heretofore; Yet you, while time is running fast, Can look with joy on what is past. Were future happiness and pain A mere contrivance of the brain; As atheists argue, to entice And fit their proselytes for vice; (The only comfort they propose, To have companions in their woes;) Grant this the case; yet sure 'tis hard That virtue, styled its own reward, And by all sages understood To be the chief of human good, Should acting die; nor leave behind Some lasting pleasure in the mind, Which, by remembrance, will assuage Grief, sickness, poverty, and age; And strongly shoot a radiant dart To shine through life's declining part. Say, Stella, feel you no content, Reflecting on a life well spent? Your skilful hand employ'd to save Despairing wretches from the grave; And then supporting with your store Those whom you dragg'd from death before? So Providence on mortals waits, Preserving what it first creates. Your generous boldness to defend An innocent and absent friend; That courage which can make you just To merit humbled in the dust; The detestation you express For vice in all its glittering dress; That patience under torturing pain, Where stubborn stoics would complain: Must these like empty shadows pass, Or forms reflected from a glass? Or mere chimeras in the mind, That fly, and leave no marks behind? Does not the body thrive and grow By food of twenty years ago? And, had it not been still supplied, It must a thousand times have died. Then who with reason can maintain That no effects of food remain? And is not virtue in mankind The nutriment that feeds the mind; Upheld by each good action past, And still continued by the last? Then, who with reason can pretend That all effects of virtue end? Believe me, Stella, when you show That true contempt for things below, Nor prize your life for other ends, Than merely to oblige your friends; Your former actions claim their part, And join to fortify your heart. For Virtue, in her daily race, Like Janus, bears a double face; Looks back with joy where she has gone And therefore goes with courage on: She at your sickly couch will wait, And guide you to a better state. O then, whatever Heaven intends, Take pity on your pitying friends! Nor let your ills affect your mind, To fancy they can be unkind. Me, surely me, you ought to spare, Who gladly would your suffering share; Or give my scrap of life to you, And think it far beneath your due; You, to whose care so oft I owe That I'm alive to tell you so.



DEATH AND DAPHNE

TO AN AGREEABLE YOUNG LADY, BUT EXTREMELY LEAN. 1730

Lord Orrery gives us the following curious anecdote respecting this poem:

"I have just now cast my eye over a poem called 'Death and Daphne,' which makes me recollect an odd incident, relating to that nymph. Swift, soon after our acquaintance, introduced me to her as to one of his female favourites. I had scarce been half an hour in her company, before she asked me if I had seen the Dean's poem upon 'Death and Daphne.' As I told her I had not, she immediately unlocked a cabinet, and, bringing out the manuscript, read it to me with a seeming satisfaction, of which, at that time, I doubted the sincerity. While she was reading, the Dean was perpetually correcting her for bad pronunciation, and for placing a wrong emphasis upon particular words. As soon as she had gone through the composition, she assured me, smilingly, that the portrait of Daphne was drawn for herself. I begged to be excused from believing it; and protested that I could not see one feature that had the least resemblance; but the Dean immediately burst into a fit of laughter. 'You fancy,' says he, 'that you are very polite, but you are much mistaken. That lady had rather be a Daphne drawn by me, than a Sacharissa by any other pencil.' She confirmed what he had said with great earnestness, so that I had no other method of retrieving my error, than by whispering in her ear, as I was conducting her down stairs to dinner, that indeed I found 'Her hand as dry and cold as lead!'" —Remarks on the Life of Swift, Lond., 1752, p. 126.

Death went upon a solemn day At Pluto's hall his court to pay; The phantom having humbly kiss'd His grisly monarch's sooty fist, Presented him the weekly bills Of doctors, fevers, plagues, and pills. Pluto, observing since the peace The burial article decrease, And vex'd to see affairs miscarry, Declared in council Death must marry; Vow'd he no longer could support Old bachelors about his court; The interest of his realm had need That Death should get a numerous breed; Young deathlings, who, by practice made Proficient in their father's trade, With colonies might stock around His large dominions under ground. A consult of coquettes below Was call'd, to rig him out a beau; From her own head Megaera[1] takes A periwig of twisted snakes: Which in the nicest fashion curl'd, (Like toupees[2] of this upper world) With flower of sulphur powder'd well, That graceful on his shoulders fell; An adder of the sable kind In line direct hung down behind: The owl, the raven, and the bat, Clubb'd for a feather to his hat: His coat, a usurer's velvet pall, Bequeath'd to Pluto, corpse and all. But, loath his person to expose Bare, like a carcass pick'd by crows, A lawyer, o'er his hands and face Stuck artfully a parchment case. No new flux'd rake show'd fairer skin; Nor Phyllis after lying in. With snuff was fill'd his ebon box, Of shin-bones rotted by the pox. Nine spirits of blaspheming fops, With aconite anoint his chops; And give him words of dreadful sounds, G—d d—n his blood! and b—d and w—ds!' Thus furnish'd out, he sent his train To take a house in Warwick-lane:[3] The faculty, his humble friends, A complimental message sends: Their president in scarlet gown Harangued, and welcomed him to town. But Death had business to dispatch; His mind was running on his match. And hearing much of Daphne's fame, His majesty of terrors came, Fine as a colonel of the guards, To visit where she sat at cards; She, as he came into the room, Thought him Adonis in his bloom. And now her heart with pleasure jumps, She scarce remembers what is trumps; For such a shape of skin and bone Was never seen except her own. Charm'd with his eyes, and chin, and snout, Her pocket-glass drew slily out; And grew enamour'd with her phiz, As just the counterpart of his. She darted many a private glance, And freely made the first advance; Was of her beauty grown so vain, She doubted not to win the swain; Nothing she thought could sooner gain him, Than with her wit to entertain him. She ask'd about her friends below; This meagre fop, that batter'd beau; Whether some late departed toasts Had got gallants among the ghosts? If Chloe were a sharper still As great as ever at quadrille? (The ladies there must needs be rooks, For cards, we know, are Pluto's books.) If Florimel had found her love, For whom she hang'd herself above? How oft a-week was kept a ball By Proserpine at Pluto's hall? She fancied those Elysian shades The sweetest place for masquerades; How pleasant on the banks of Styx, To troll it in a coach and six! What pride a female heart inflames? How endless are ambition's aims: Cease, haughty nymph; the Fates decree Death must not be a spouse for thee; For, when by chance the meagre shade Upon thy hand his finger laid, Thy hand as dry and cold as lead, His matrimonial spirit fled; He felt about his heart a damp, That quite extinguished Cupid's lamp: Away the frighted spectre scuds, And leaves my lady in the suds.

[Footnote 1: Megaera, one of three Furies, beautifully described by Virgil, "Aeneid," xii, 846.—. W. E. B.]

[Footnote 2: Periwigs with long tails.]

[Footnote 3: Where the College of Physicians was situated at that time. See Cunningham's "Handbook of London."—W. E. B.]



DAPHNE

Daphne knows, with equal ease, How to vex, and how to please; But the folly of her sex Makes her sole delight to vex. Never woman more devised Surer ways to be despised; Paradoxes weakly wielding, Always conquer'd, never yielding. To dispute, her chief delight, Without one opinion right: Thick her arguments she lays on, And with cavils combats reason; Answers in decisive way, Never hears what you can say; Still her odd perverseness shows Chiefly where she nothing knows; And, where she is most familiar, Always peevisher and sillier; All her spirits in a flame When she knows she's most to blame. Send me hence ten thousand miles, From a face that always smiles: None could ever act that part, But a fury in her heart. Ye who hate such inconsistence, To be easy, keep your distance: Or in folly still befriend her, But have no concern to mend her; Lose not time to contradict her, Nor endeavour to convict her. Never take it in your thought, That she'll own, or cure a fault. Into contradiction warm her, Then, perhaps, you may reform her: Only take this rule along, Always to advise her wrong; And reprove her when she's right; She may then grow wise for spight. No—that scheme will ne'er succeed, She has better learnt her creed; She's too cunning and too skilful, When to yield, and when be wilful. Nature holds her forth two mirrors, One for truth, and one for errors: That looks hideous, fierce, and frightful; This is flattering and delightful: That she throws away as foul; Sits by this to dress her soul. Thus you have the case in view, Daphne, 'twixt the Dean and you: Heaven forbid he should despise thee, But he'll never more advise thee.

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