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Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General

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 cumbered long enough; He burnt his candle to the snuff; And that's the reason, some folks think, He left behind so great a s---k.
Behold his funeral appears, Nor widow's sighs, nor orphan's 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 honors 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 honors flung, Turned to that dirt from whence he sprung.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

The Beasts Confession

 To the Priest, on Observing how most Men mistake their own Talents
When beasts could speak (the learned say, 
They still can do so ev'ry day),
It seems, they had religion then,
As much as now we find in men.
It happen'd, when a plague broke out (Which therefore made them more devout), The king of brutes (to make it plain, Of quadrupeds I only mean) By proclamation gave command, That ev'ry subject in the land Should to the priest confess their sins; And thus the pious wolf begins: "Good father, I must own with shame, That often I have been to blame: I must confess, on Friday last, Wretch that I was! I broke my fast: But I defy the basest tongue To prove I did my neighbour wrong; Or ever went to seek my food By rapine, theft, or thirst of blood.
" The ass, approaching next, confess'd That in his heart he lov'd a jest: A wag he was, he needs must own, And could not let a dunce alone: Sometimes his friend he would not spare, And might perhaps be too severe: But yet, the worst that could be said, He was a wit both born and bred; And, if it be a sin or shame, Nature alone must bear the blame: One fault he hath, is sorry for't, His ears are half a foot too short; Which could he to the standard bring, He'd show his face before the King: Then for his voice, there's none disputes That he's the nightingale of brutes.
The swine with contrite heart allow'd, His shape and beauty made him proud: In diet was perhaps too nice, But gluttony was ne'er his vice: In ev'ry turn of life content, And meekly took what fortune sent: Inquire through all the parish round, A better neighbour ne'er was found: His vigilance might some displease; 'Tis true he hated sloth like peas.
The mimic ape began his chatter, How evil tongues his life bespatter: Much of the cens'ring world complain'd, Who said, his gravity was feign'd: Indeed, the strictness of his morals Engag'd him in a hundred quarrels: He saw, and he was griev'd to see't, His zeal was sometimes indiscreet: He found his virtues too severe For our corrupted times to bear: Yet, such a lewd licentious age Might well excuse a Stoic's rage.
The goat advanc'd with decent pace; And first excus'd his youthful face; Forgiveness begg'd that he appear'd ('Twas nature's fault) without a beard.
'Tis true, he was not much inclin'd To fondness for the female kind; Not, as his enemies object, From chance, or natural defect; Not by his frigid constitution, But through a pious resolution; For he had made a holy vow Of chastity as monks do now; Which he resolv'd to keep for ever hence, As strictly too, as doth his Reverence.
Apply the tale, and you shall find, How just it suits with human kind.
Some faults we own: but, can you guess? Why?--virtues carried to excess, Wherewith our vanity endows us, Though neither foe nor friend allows us.
The lawyer swears, you may rely on't, He never squeez'd a needy client; And this he makes his constant rule, For which his brethren call him fool: His conscience always was so nice, He freely gave the poor advice; By which he lost, he may affirm, A hundred fees last Easter term.
While others of the learned robe Would break the patience of a Job; No pleader at the bar could match His diligence and quick dispatch; Ne'er kept a cause, he well may boast, Above a term or two at most.
The cringing knave, who seeks a place Without success, thus tells his case: Why should he longer mince the matter? He fail'd because he could not flatter; He had not learn'd to turn his coat, Nor for a party give his vote: His crime he quickly understood; Too zealous for the nation's good: He found the ministers resent it, Yet could not for his heart repent it.
The chaplain vows he cannot fawn, Though it would raise him to the lawn: He pass'd his hours among his books; You find it in his meagre looks: He might, if he were worldly wise, Preferment get and spare his eyes: But own'd he had a stubborn spirit, That made him trust alone in merit: Would rise by merit to promotion; Alas! a mere chimeric notion.
The doctor, if you will believe him, Confess'd a sin; and God forgive him! Call'd up at midnight, ran to save A blind old beggar from the grave: But see how Satan spreads his snares; He quite forgot to say his prayers.
He cannot help it for his heart Sometimes to act the parson's part: Quotes from the Bible many a sentence, That moves his patients to repentance: And, when his med'cines do no good, Supports their minds with heav'nly food, At which, however well intended, He hears the clergy are offended; And grown so bold behind his back, To call him hypocrite and quack.
In his own church he keeps a seat; Says grace before and after meat; And calls, without affecting airs, His household twice a day to prayers.
He shuns apothecaries' shops; And hates to cram the sick with slops: He scorns to make his art a trade; Nor bribes my lady's fav'rite maid.
Old nurse-keepers would never hire To recommend him to the squire; Which others, whom he will not name, Have often practis'd to their shame.
The statesman tells you with a sneer, His fault is to be too sincere; And, having no sinister ends, Is apt to disoblige his friends.
The nation's good, his master's glory, Without regard to Whig or Tory, Were all the schemes he had in view; Yet he was seconded by few: Though some had spread a hundred lies, 'Twas he defeated the Excise.
'Twas known, though he had borne aspersion, That standing troops were his aversion: His practice was, in ev'ry station, To serve the King, and please the nation.
Though hard to find in ev'ry case The fittest man to fill a place: His promises he ne'er forgot, But took memorials on the spot: His enemies, for want of charity, Said he affected popularity: 'Tis true, the people understood, That all he did was for their good; Their kind affections he has tried; No love is lost on either side.
He came to Court with fortune clear, Which now he runs out ev'ry year: Must, at the rate that he goes on, Inevitably be undone: Oh! if his Majesty would please To give him but a writ of ease, Would grant him licence to retire, As it hath long been his desire, By fair accounts it would be found, He's poorer by ten thousand pound.
He owns, and hopes it is no sin, He ne'er was partial to his kin; He thought it base for men in stations To crowd the Court with their relations; His country was his dearest mother, And ev'ry virtuous man his brother; Through modesty or awkward shame (For which he owns himself to blame), He found the wisest man he could, Without respect to friends or blood; Nor ever acts on private views, When he hath liberty to choose.
The sharper swore he hated play, Except to pass an hour away: And well he might; for, to his cost, By want of skill he always lost; He heard there was a club of cheats, Who had contriv'd a thousand feats; Could change the stock, or cog a die, And thus deceive the sharpest eye: Nor wonder how his fortune sunk, His brothers fleece him when he's drunk.
I own the moral not exact; Besides, the tale is false in fact; And so absurd, that could I raise up From fields Elysian fabling Aesop; I would accuse him to his face For libelling the four-foot race.
Creatures of ev'ry kind but ours Well comprehend their natural pow'rs; While we, whom reason ought to sway, Mistake our talents ev'ry day.
The ass was never known so stupid To act the part of Tray or Cupid; Nor leaps upon his master's lap, There to be strok'd, and fed with pap, As Aesop would the world persuade; He better understands his trade: Nor comes, whene'er his lady whistles; But carries loads, and feeds on thistles.
Our author's meaning, I presume, is A creature bipes et implumis; Wherein the moralist design'd A compliment on human kind: For here he owns, that now and then Beasts may degenerate into men.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

Elegy Upon Tiger

 Her dead lady's joy and comfort,
Who departed this life
The last day of March, 1727:
To the great joy of Bryan
That his antagonist is gone.
And is poor Tiger laid at last so low? O day of sorrow! -Day of dismal woe! Bloodhounds, or spaniels, lap-dogs, 'tis all one, When Death once whistles -snap! -away they're gone.
See how she lies, and hangs her lifeless ears, Bathed in her mournful lady's tears! Dumb is her throat, and wagless is her tail, Doomed to the grave, to Death's eternal jail! In a few days this lovely creature must First turn to clay, and then be changed to dust.
That mouth which used its lady's mouth to lick Must yield its jaw-bones to the worms to pick.
That mouth which used the partridge-wing to eat Must give its palate to the worms to eat.
Methinks I see her now in Charon's boat Bark at the Stygian fish which round it float; While Cerberus, alarmed to hear the sound, Makes Hell's wide concave bellow all around.
She sees him not, but hears him through the dark, And valiantly returns him bark for bark.
But now she trembles -though a ghost, she dreads To see a dog with three large yawning heads.
Spare her, you hell-hounds, case your frightful paws, And let poor Tiger 'scape your furious jaws.
Let her go safe to the Elysian plains, Where Hylax barks among the Mantuan swains; There let her frisk about her new-found love: She loved a dog when she was here above.
The Epitaph Here lies beneath this marble An animal could bark, or warble: Sometimes a bitch, sometimes a bird, Could eat a tart, or eat a t -.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

To Stella Who Collected and Transcribed His Poems

 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 scattered 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, 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 marked with bloody tracks; Bright Phyllis mending ragged smocks: And radiant Iris in the pox.
These are the goddesses enrolled 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 drained his skull To celebrate some suburb trull, His similes in order set, And every crambo 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 dare 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 opened 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 Mixed in a noble, generous mind: And may compare to Etna'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 conquered Troy; But, blinded be 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 your 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.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

Stellas Birthday March 13 1719

 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 declin'd;
Made up so largely in thy mind.
Oh, 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.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

A Satirical Elegy

 On the Death of a Late FAMOUS GENERAL


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 news-papers 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 widow's sighs, nor orphan's 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 dy'd.
Come hither, all ye empty things, Ye bubbles rais'd 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.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

The Ladys Dressing Room

 Five hours, (and who can do it less in?)
By haughty Celia spent in dressing;
The goddess from her chamber issues,
Arrayed in lace, brocades, and tissues.
Strephon, who found the room was void And Betty otherwise employed, Stole in and took a strict survey Of all the litter as it lay; Whereof, to make the matter clear, An inventory follows here.
And first a dirty smock appeared, Beneath the arm-pits well besmeared.
Strephon, the rogue, displayed it wide And turned it round on every side.
On such a point few words are best, And Strephon bids us guess the rest; And swears how damnably the men lie In calling Celia sweet and cleanly.
Now listen while he next produces The various combs for various uses, Filled up with dirt so closely fixt, No brush could force a way betwixt.
A paste of composition rare, Sweat, dandruff, powder, lead and hair; A forehead cloth with oil upon't To smooth the wrinkles on her front.
Here alum flower to stop the steams Exhaled from sour unsavory streams; There night-gloves made of Tripsy's hide, Bequeath'd by Tripsy when she died, With puppy water, beauty's help, Distilled from Tripsy's darling whelp; Here gallypots and vials placed, Some filled with washes, some with paste, Some with pomatum, paints and slops, And ointments good for scabby chops.
Hard by a filthy basin stands, Fouled with the scouring of her hands; The basin takes whatever comes, The scrapings of her teeth and gums, A nasty compound of all hues, For here she spits, and here she spews.
But oh! it turned poor Strephon's bowels, When he beheld and smelt the towels, Begummed, besmattered, and beslimed With dirt, and sweat, and ear-wax grimed.
No object Strephon's eye escapes: Here petticoats in frowzy heaps; Nor be the handkerchiefs forgot All varnished o'er with snuff and snot.
The stockings, why should I expose, Stained with the marks of stinking toes; Or greasy coifs and pinners reeking, Which Celia slept at least a week in? A pair of tweezers next he found To pluck her brows in arches round, Or hairs that sink the forehead low, Or on her chin like bristles grow.
The virtues we must not let pass, Of Celia's magnifying glass.
When frighted Strephon cast his eye on't It shewed the visage of a giant.
A glass that can to sight disclose The smallest worm in Celia's nose, And faithfully direct her nail To squeeze it out from head to tail; (For catch it nicely by the head, It must come out alive or dead.
) Why Strephon will you tell the rest? And must you needs describe the chest? That careless wench! no creature warn her To move it out from yonder corner; But leave it standing full in sight For you to exercise your spite.
In vain, the workman shewed his wit With rings and hinges counterfeit To make it seem in this disguise A cabinet to vulgar eyes; For Strephon ventured to look in, Resolved to go through thick and thin; He lifts the lid, there needs no more: He smelt it all the time before.
As from within Pandora's box, When Epimetheus oped the locks, A sudden universal crew Of humane evils upwards flew, He still was comforted to find That Hope at last remained behind; So Strephon lifting up the lid To view what in the chest was hid, The vapours flew from out the vent.
But Strephon cautious never meant The bottom of the pan to grope And foul his hands in search of Hope.
O never may such vile machine Be once in Celia's chamber seen! O may she better learn to keep "Those secrets of the hoary deep"! As mutton cutlets, prime of meat, Which, though with art you salt and beat As laws of cookery require And toast them at the clearest fire, If from adown the hopeful chops The fat upon the cinder drops, To stinking smoke it turns the flame Poisoning the flesh from whence it came; And up exhales a greasy stench For which you curse the careless wench; So things which must not be exprest, When plumpt into the reeking chest, Send up an excremental smell To taint the parts from whence they fell, The petticoats and gown perfume, Which waft a stink round every room.
Thus finishing his grand survey, Disgusted Strephon stole away Repeating in his amorous fits, Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia shits! But vengeance, Goddess never sleeping, Soon punished Strephon for his peeping: His foul Imagination links Each dame he see with all her stinks; And, if unsavory odors fly, Conceives a lady standing by.
All women his description fits, And both ideas jump like wits By vicious fancy coupled fast, And still appearing in contrast.
I pity wretched Strephon blind To all the charms of female kind.
Should I the Queen of Love refuse Because she rose from stinking ooze? To him that looks behind the scene Satira's but some pocky queen.
When Celia in her glory shows, If Strephon would but stop his nose (Who now so impiously blasphemes Her ointments, daubs, and paints and creams, Her washes, slops, and every clout With which he makes so foul a rout), He soon would learn to think like me And bless his ravished sight to see Such order from confusion sprung, Such gaudy tulips raised from dung.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

The Place of the Damned

 All folks who pretend to religion and grace,
Allow there's a HELL, but dispute of the place:
But, if HELL may by logical rules be defined
The place of the damned -I'll tell you my mind.
Wherever the damned do chiefly abound, Most certainly there is HELL to be found: Damned poets, damned critics, damned blockheads, damned knaves, Damned senators bribed, damned prostitute slaves; Damned lawyers and judges, damned lords and damned squires; Damned spies and informers, damned friends and damned liars; Damned villains, corrupted in every station; Damned time-serving priests all over the nation; And into the bargain I'll readily give you Damned ignorant prelates, and counsellors privy.
Then let us no longer by parsons be flammed, For we know by these marks the place of the damned: And HELL to be sure is at Paris or Rome.
How happy for us that it is not at home!
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A Description of a City Shower

 Careful Observers may fortel the Hour 
(By sure Prognosticks) when to dread a Show'r: 
While Rain depends, the pensive Cat gives o'er 
Her Frolicks, and pursues her Tail no more.
Returning Home at Night, you'll find the Sink Strike your offended Sense with double Stink.
If you be wise, then go not far to Dine, You spend in Coach-hire more than save in Wine.
A coming Show'r your shooting Corns presage, Old Aches throb, your hollow Tooth will rage.
Sauntring in Coffee-house is Dulman seen; He damns the Climate, and complains of Spleen.
Mean while the South rising with dabbled Wings, A Sable Cloud a-thwart the Welkin flings, That swill'd more Liquor than it could contain, And like a Drunkard gives it up again.
Brisk Susan whips her Linen from the Rope, While the first drizzling Show'r is born aslope, Such is that Sprinkling which some careless Quean Flirts on you from her Mop, but not so clean.
You fly, invoke the Gods; then turning, stop To rail; she singing, still whirls on her Mop.
Not yet, the Dust had shun'd th'unequal Strife, But aided by the Wind, fought still for Life; And wafted with its Foe by violent Gust, 'Twas doubtful which was Rain, and which was Dust.
Ah! where must needy Poet seek for Aid, When Dust and Rain at once his Coat invade; Sole Coat, where Dust cemented by the Rain, Erects the Nap, and leaves a cloudy Stain.
Now in contiguous Drops the Flood comes down, Threat'ning with Deloge this Devoted Town.
To Shops in Crouds the dagled Females fly, Pretend to cheapen Goods, but nothing buy.
The Templer spruce, while ev'ry Spout's a-broach, Stays till 'tis fair, yet seems to call a Coach.
The tuck'd-up Sempstress walks with hasty Strides, While Streams run down her oil'd Umbrella's Sides.
Here various Kinds by various Fortunes led, Commence Acquaintance underneath a Shed.
Triumphant Tories, and desponding Whigs, Forget their Fewds, and join to save their Wigs.
Box'd in a Chair the Beau impatient sits, While Spouts run clatt'ring o'er the Roof by Fits; And ever and anon with frightful Din The Leather sounds, he trembles from within.
So when Troy Chair-men bore the Wooden Steed, Pregnant with Greeks, impatient to be freed, (Those Bully Greeks, who, as the Moderns do, Instead of paying Chair-men, run them thro'.
) Laoco'n struck the Outside with his Spear, And each imprison'd Hero quak'd for Fear.
Now from all Parts the swelling Kennels flow, And bear their Trophies with them as they go: Filth of all Hues and Odours seem to tell What Streets they sail'd from, by the Sight and Smell.
They, as each Torrent drives, with rapid Force From Smithfield, or St.
Pulchre's shape their Course, And in huge Confluent join at Snow-Hill Ridge, Fall from the Conduit prone to Holborn-Bridge.
Sweepings from Butchers Stalls, Dung, Guts, and Blood, Drown'd Puppies, stinking Sprats, all drench'd in Mud, Dead Cats and Turnips-Tops come tumbling down the Flood.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

Oysters

 Charming oysters I cry:
My masters, come buy,
So plump and so fresh,
So sweet is their flesh,
No Colchester oyster
Is sweeter and moister:
Your stomach they settle,
And rouse up your mettle:
They'll make you a dad
Of a lass or a lad;
And madam your wife
They'll please to the life;
Be she barren, be she old,
Be she slut, or be she scold,
Eat my oysters, and lie near her,
She'll be fruitful, never fear her.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

A Beautiful Young Nymph Going To Bed

 Corinna, Pride of Drury-Lane,
For whom no Shepherd sighs in vain;
Never did Covent Garden boast
So bright a batter'd, strolling Toast;
No drunken Rake to pick her up,
No Cellar where on Tick to sup;
Returning at the Midnight Hour;
Four Stories climbing to her Bow'r;
Then, seated on a three-legg'd Chair,
Takes off her artificial Hair: 
Now, picking out a Crystal Eye,
She wipes it clean, and lays it by.
Her Eye-Brows from a Mouse's Hide, Stuck on with Art on either Side, Pulls off with Care, and first displays 'em, Then in a Play-Book smoothly lays 'em.
Now dextrously her Plumpers draws, That serve to fill her hollow Jaws.
Untwists a Wire; and from her Gums A Set of Teeth completely comes.
Pulls out the Rags contriv'd to prop Her flabby Dugs and down they drop.
Proceeding on, the lovely Goddess Unlaces next her Steel-Rib'd Bodice; Which by the Operator's Skill, Press down the Lumps, the Hollows fill, Up hoes her Hand, and off she slips The Bolsters that supply her Hips.
With gentlest Touch, she next explores Her Shankers, Issues, running Sores, Effects of many a sad Disaster; And then to each applies a Plaster.
But must, before she goes to Bed, Rub off the Daubs of White and Red; And smooth the Furrows in her Front, With greasy Paper stuck upon't.
She takes a Bolus e'er she sleeps; And then between two Blankets creeps.
With pains of love tormented lies; Or if she chance to close her Eyes, Of Bridewell and the Compter dreams, And feels the Lash, and faintly screams; Or, by a faithless Bully drawn, At some Hedge-Tavern lies in Pawn; Or to Jamaica seems transported, Alone, and by no Planter courted; Or, near Fleet-Ditch's oozy Brinks, Surrounded with a Hundred Stinks, Belated, seems on watch to lie, And snap some Cull passing by; Or, struck with Fear, her Fancy runs On Watchmen, Constables and Duns, From whom she meets with frequent Rubs; But, never from Religious Clubs; Whose Favour she is sure to find, Because she pays them all in Kind.
CORINNA wakes.
A dreadful Sight! Behold the Ruins of the Night! A wicked Rat her Plaster stole, Half eat, and dragged it to his Hole.
The Crystal Eye, alas, was miss'd; And Puss had on her Plumpers piss'd.
A Pigeon pick'd her Issue-Peas; And Shock her Tresses fill'd with Fleas.
The Nymph, tho' in this mangled Plight, Must ev'ry Morn her Limbs unite.
But how shall I describe her Arts To recollect the scatter'd Parts? Or show the Anguish, Toil, and Pain, Of gath'ring up herself again? The bashful Muse will never bear In such a Scene to interfere.
Corinna in the Morning dizen'd, Who sees, will spew; who smells, be poison'd.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

Phillis Or the Progress of Love

 Desponding Phillis was endu'd 
With ev'ry Talent of a Prude, 
She trembled when a Man drew near; 
Salute her, and she turn'd her Ear: 
If o'er against her you were plac't 
She durst not look above your Wa[i]st; 
She'd rather take you to her Bed 
Than let you see her dress her Head; 
In Church you heard her thro' the Crowd 
Repeat the Absolution loud; 
In Church, secure behind her Fan 
She durst behold that Monster, Man: 
There practic'd how to place her Head, 
And bit her Lips to make them red: 
Or on the Matt devoutly kneeling 
Would lift her Eyes up to the Ceeling, 
And heave her Bosom unaware 
For neighb'ring Beaux to see it bare.
At length a lucky Lover came, And found Admittance to the Dame.
Suppose all Partys now agreed, The Writings drawn, the Lawyer fee'd, The Vicar and the Ring bespoke: Guess how could such a Match be broke.
See then what Mortals place their Bliss in! Next morn betimes the Bride was missing, The Mother scream'd, the Father chid, Where can this idle Wench be hid? No news of Phil.
The Bridegroom came, And thought his Bride had sculk't for shame, Because her Father us'd to say The Girl had such a Bashfull way.
Now John the Butler must be sent To learn the Road that Phillis went; The Groom was wisht to saddle Crop, For John must neither light nor stop; But find her where so'er she fled, And bring her back, alive or dead.
See here again the Dev'l to do; For truly John was missing too: The Horse and Pillion both were gone Phillis, it seems, was fled with John.
Old Madam who went up to find What Papers Phil had left behind, A Letter on the Toylet sees To my much honor'd Father; These: ('Tis always done, Romances tell us, When Daughters run away with Fellows) Fill'd with the choicest common-places, By others us'd in the like Cases.
That, long ago a Fortune-teller Exactly said what now befell her, And in a Glass had made her see A serving-Man of low Degree: It was her Fate; must be forgiven; For Marriages were made in Heaven: His Pardon begg'd, but to be plain, She'd do't if 'twere to do again.
Thank God, 'twas neither Shame nor Sin, For John was come of honest Kin: Love never thinks of Rich and Poor, She'd beg with John from Door to Door: Forgive her, if it be a Crime, She'll never do't another Time, She ne'r before in all her Life Once disobey'd him, Maid nor Wife.
One Argument she summ'd up all in, The Thing was done and past recalling: And therefore hop'd she should recover His Favor, when his Passion's over.
She valued not what others thought her; And was--His most obedient Daughter.
Fair Maidens all attend the Muse Who now the wandring Pair pursues: Away they rose in homely Sort Their Journy long, their Money Short; The loving Couple well bemir'd, The Horse and both the Riders tir'd: Their Vittells bad, their Lodging worse, Phil cry'd, and John began to curse; Phil wish't, that she had strained a Limb When first she ventur'd out with him.
John wish't, that he had broke a Leg When first for her he quitted Peg.
But what Adventures more befell 'em The Muse hath now no time to tell 'em.
How Jonny wheadled, threatned, fawnd, Till Phillis all her Trinkets pawn'd: How oft she broke her marriage Vows In kindness to maintain her Spouse; Till Swains unwholsome spoyled the Trade, For now the Surgeon must be paid; To whom those Perquisites are gone In Christian Justice due to John.
When Food and Rayment now grew scarce Fate put a Period to the Farce; And with exact Poetic Justice: For John is Landlord, Phillis Hostess; They keep at Stains the old blue Boar, Are Cat and Dog, and Rogue and Whore.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

A Maypole

 Deprived of root, and branch and rind,
Yet flowers I bear of every kind:
And such is my prolific power,
They bloom in less than half an hour;
Yet standers-by may plainly see
They get no nourishment from me.
My head with giddiness goes round, And yet I firmly stand my ground: All over naked I am seen, And painted like an Indian queen.
No couple-beggar in the land E'er joined such numbers hand in hand.
I joined them fairly with a ring; Nor can our parson blame the thing.
And though no marriage words are spoke, They part not till the ring is broke; Yet hypocrite fanatics cry, I'm but an idol raised on high; And once a weaver in our town, A damned Cromwellian, knocked me down.
I lay a prisoner twenty years, And then the jovial cavaliers To their old post restored all three - I mean the church, the king, and me.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

The Progress of Poetry

 The Farmer's Goose, who in the Stubble, 
Has fed without Restraint, or Trouble; 
Grown fat with Corn and Sitting still, 
Can scarce get o'er the Barn-Door Sill: 
And hardly waddles forth, to cool 
Her Belly in the neighb'ring Pool: 
Nor loudly cackles at the Door; 
For Cackling shews the Goose is poor.
But when she must be turn'd to graze, And round the barren Common strays, Hard Exercise, and harder Fare Soon make my Dame grow lank and spare: Her Body light, she tries her Wings, And scorns the Ground, and upward springs, While all the Parish, as she flies, Hear Sounds harmonious from the Skies.
Such is the Poet, fresh in Pay, (The third Night's Profits of his Play;) His Morning-Draughts 'till Noon can swill, Among his Brethren of the Quill: With good Roast Beef his Belly full, Grown lazy, foggy, fat, and dull: Deep sunk in Plenty, and Delight, What Poet e'er could take his Flight? Or stuff'd with Phlegm up to the Throat, What Poet e'er could sing a Note? Nor Pegasus could bear the Load, Along the high celestial Road; The Steed, oppress'd, would break his Girth, To raise the Lumber from the Earth.
But, view him in another Scene, When all his Drink is Hippocrene, His Money spent, his Patrons fail, His Credit out for Cheese and Ale; His Two-Year's Coat so smooth and bare, Through ev'ry Thread it lets in Air; With hungry Meals his Body pin'd, His Guts and Belly full of Wind; And, like a Jockey for a Race, His Flesh brought down to Flying-Case: Now his exalted Spirit loaths Incumbrances of Food and Cloaths; And up he rises like a Vapour, Supported high on Wings of Paper; He singing flies, and flying sings, While from below all Grub-street rings.
Written by Jonathan Swift | Create an image from this poem

Advice to the Grub Street Verse-writers

 Ye poets ragged and forlorn,
Down from your garrets haste;
Ye rhymers, dead as soon as born,
Not yet consign'd to paste;
I know a trick to make you thrive;
O, 'tis a quaint device:
Your still-born poems shall revive,
And scorn to wrap up spice.
Get all your verses printed fair, Then let them well be dried; And Curll must have a special care To leave the margin wide.
Lend these to paper-sparing Pope; And when he sets to write, No letter with an envelope Could give him more delight.
When Pope has fill'd the margins round, Why then recall your loan; Sell them to Curll for fifty pound, And swear they are your own.