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Thou stood'st (an Indian king in size and hue)
Thy unexhausted shop was our Peru.
Why did 'Change- Alley waste thy precious hours
Among the fools who gap'd for golden showers ?
No wonder if we found some poets there,
Who live on fancy, and can feed on air ;
No wonder they were caught by South-Sea schemes,
Who ne'er enjoy'd a guinea, but in dreams;
No wonder they their third subscriptions fold,
For millions of imaginary gold;
No wonder, that their fancies wild can frame
Strange reasons, that a thing is still the same,
Though chang'd throughout in substance and in name.
But you (whose judgement scorns poetic flights)
With contracts furnish boys for paper-kites.
Let Vulture Hopkins stretch his rusty throat,
Who'd ruin thousands for a single groat.
I know thou spurn'st his mean, his fordid mind;
Nor with ideal debts would'st plague mankind.
Why strive his greedy hands to grasp at more?
The wretch was born to want, whose foul is poor,
Madmen alone their empty dreams pursue,
And still believe the fleeting vision true ;
They sell the treasure which their slumbers get,
'Then wake, and fancy all the world in debt.
If to instruct thee all my reasons fail,
Yet be diverted by this moral tale.
Through fam’d Moorfields extends a spacious fear, Where mortals of exalted wit retreat ; 7
Where, wrapp'd in contemplation and in straw,
The wiser few from the mad world withdraw.
There, in full opulence, a banker dwelt,
Who all the joys and pangs of riches felt :
His fide-board glitter'd with imagin’d plate ;
And his proud fancy held a vast estatc.
As on a time he pass’d the vacant hours,
In raising piles of straw and twisted bowers ;
A poet enter'd, of the neighbouring cell,
And with fix'd eyes observ'd the structure well;
A sharpen’d skewer cross his bare shoulders bound
A tatter'd rug, which dragg’d upon the ground.
The banker cry'd, “ Behold my castle-walls,
“ My statues, gardens, fountains, and canals ;
“ With land of twenty thousand acres round!
All these I sell thee for ten thousand pound."
The bard with wonder the cheap purchase saw, So sign'd the contract (as ordains the law).
The banker's brain was cool'd, the mist grew clear ; The visionary scene was lost in air. He now the vanished prospect understood, And feard the fancied bargain was not good : Yet, loath the sum entire should be destroy’d, “ Give me a penny, and thy contract 's void.”
The startled bard with eye indignant frown'd. “ Shall I, ye Gods (he cries) my debts compound !” So saying, from his rug the skewer he takes, And on the stick ten equal notches makes ; With just resentment Aings it on the ground; “ There, take my tally of ten thousand pound !"
The Captain, some time after his return, being retired
to Mr. Sympson's in the Country ; Mrs. Gulliver, apprehending from his late Behaviour fome Etrangement of his Affections, writes him the following expostulating, foothing, and tenderly - complaining
Epistle. WELCOME, thrice welcome, to thy native place !
What, touch me not? What, fun a wife's
Have I for this thy tedious absence borne,
And wak’d and wish'd whole nights for thy return ?
In five long years I took no fecond spouse ;
What Redriff wife so long hath kept her vows ?
Your eyes, your nose, inconstancy betray;
Your nose you stop, your eyes you turn away.
'Tis said that thou should'st cleave unto thy wife;
Once thou didst cleave, and I could cleave for life.
Hear, and relent! hark, how thy children moan :
Be kind at least to these -- they are thy own!
Be bold, and count them all; secure to find
The honest number that you left behind.
See how they pat thee with their pretty paws :
Why start you are they snakes? or have they claws ?
Thy Christian seed, our mutual fieth and bone :
Be kind at least to these
they are thy own!
* Biddel, like thee, might farthest India rove;
He chang'd his country, but retains his love :
There's captain * Pannel, absent half his life,
Comes back, and is the kinder to his wife :
Yet Pannel's wife is brown, compar'd to me,
And Mistress Biddel sure is fifty-three!
Not touch me ! Never neighbour call’d me slut :
Was Flimnap's dame more sweet in Lilliput ?
I've no red hair, to breathe an odious fume;
At least thy consort's cleaner than thy groom.
Why then that dirty fiable-boy thy care ?
What mean those visits to the forrel mare?
Say, by what witchcraft, or what dæmon led,
Preferr’st thou litter to the marriage bed!
Some say the devil himself is in that mare :
If so, our Dean shall drive him forth by prayer:
Some think you mad; some think you are potest;
That Bedlam and clean straw will fuit
* Names of the sea-captains mentioned in the Travels..
Vain means, alas, this phrenzy to appease !
That straw, that straw would heighten the disease.
My bed (the scene of all our former joys,
Witness two lovely girls, two lovely boys)
Alone I press; in dreams I call my dear,
I stretch iny hand; no Gulliver is there !
I wake, I rise, and, shivering with the frost,
Search all the house : my Gulliver is loft!
Forth in the streets I rush with frantic cries;
The windows open ; all the neighbours rise :
Where sleeps my Gulliver? O tell me where !
The neighbours answer, “ With the sorrel mare !”
At early morn' I to the market haste
(Studious in every thing to please thy taste);
A curious fowl and 'sparagus I chose
(For I remember'd you were fond of those);
Three shillings cost the first, the last seven groats ;
Sullen you turn from both, and call for oats.
Others bring goods and treasure to their houses,
Something to deck their pretty babes and spouses;
My only token was a cup like horn,
That 's made of nothing but a lady's corn.
'Tis not for that I grieve; no, 'tis to fee
The groom ant forrel mare preferr’d to me!
These for some moments when you deign to quit,
And (at due distance) sweet discourse admit,
'Tis all my pleasure thy past toil to know,
For pleas'd remembrance builds delight on woe.
At every danger pants thy confort's breast,
And gaping infants squall to hear the ref.