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When Winchester races

 When Winchester races first took their beginning
It is said the good people forgot their old Saint
Not applying at all for the leave of Saint Swithin
And that William of Wykeham's approval was faint.
The races however were fixed and determined The company came and the Weather was charming The Lords and the Ladies were satine'd and ermined And nobody saw any future alarming.
-- But when the old Saint was informed of these doings He made but one Spring from his Shrine to the Roof Of the Palace which now lies so sadly in ruins And then he addressed them all standing aloof.
'Oh! subjects rebellious! Oh Venta depraved When once we are buried you think we are gone But behold me immortal! By vice you're enslaved You have sinned and must suffer, ten farther he said These races and revels and dissolute measures With which you're debasing a neighboring Plain Let them stand--You shall meet with your curse in your pleasures Set off for your course, I'll pursue with my rain.
Ye cannot but know my command o'er July Henceforward I'll triumph in shewing my powers Shift your race as you will it shall never be dry The curse upon Venta is July in showers--'.

Poem by Jane Austen
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