The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #105603 Message #2174988
Posted By: Rapparee
19-Oct-07 - 10:19 PM
Thread Name: BS: Poems that speak to you.
Subject: RE: BS: Poems that speak to you.
From "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift":
... "His friendship there, to few confined,*
Were always of the middling kind:
No fools of rank, a mongrel breed,
Who fain would pass for lords indeed:
Where titles give no right or power
And peerage is a withered flower,
He would have held it a disgrace
If such a wretch had known his face.
On rural squires, that kingdom's bane,
He vented oft his wrath in vain:
Biennial squires, to market brought,
Who sell their souls and votes for naught;
The nation stripped, go joyful back
To rob the church, their tenants rack;
Go snacks with rogues and rapparees,
And keep the peace to pick up fees;
In every job to have a share,
A jail or barrack to repair;
And turn the tax for public roads
Commodious to their own abodes.
"Perhaps I may allow the Dean
Had too much satire in his vein,
And seemed determined not to starve it
Because no age could more deserve it.
Yet malice never was his aim:
He lashed the vice, but spared the name.
No individual could resent
Where thousands equally were meant.
His satire points at no defect
But what all mortals may correct;
For he abhorred that senseless tribe
Who call it humor when they jibe.
He spared a hump, or crooked nose,
Whose owners set not up for beaux.
True genuine dullness moved his pity,
Unless it offered to be witty.
Those who their ignorance confessed
He ne'er offended with a jest;
But laughed to hear an idiot quote
A verse from Horace learned by rote.
"He knew an hundred pleasant stories,
With all the turns of Whigs and Tories:
Was cheerful to his dying day,
And friends would let him have his way.
"He gave the little wealth he had
To build a house for fools and mad,
And shewed by one satiric touch
No nation wanted it so much:
That kingdom* he hath left his debtor:
I wish it soon may have a better."
I've always felt it was a very nice thing if it could be said of me.