1813 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Jonathan Swift

Anonymous, "Lines on seeing Swift's Head over one of the Doors of the Castle Chapel, Dublin" Morning Chronicle (23 August 1813).



Can it be true — is this the head
Of Peculation's foe and dread?
WOOD'S bane! the wise, th' intrepid DRAPIER,
Who, had he seen this age of paper,
Would, with his keen sarcastic pen,
Have melted it to rags again!—
Dear SWIFT, I deem it somewhat hard,
Thy head should deck the castle yard!
Not many years ago its hounds,
Fleshed with three hundred British pounds,*
Ran in full cry to trace thee out,
With eager and informing snout.
Why dost thou grace the chapel wall,
Like chapel longing in his stall,
For the next Bishopric to fall?
Or friend to Irishmen, before 'em,
Art thou inserted in terrorem,
To put them into serious frights,
And warn them to renounce their rights,
Unless they wish to have their nobs
Made key-stones for the Castle jobs?

Perhaps the Duke is not aware
Of this most incorrect affair;
And should it haply please his Grace
To put another in thy place,
I think I could direct his choice,
And, sanctioned by the public voice,
Humbly and strongly recommend
The noddle of "a recent friend,"
That cold stalactete, C—R—GH,
Or N—Y or Justice *****;
Or if not better can be met,
A spick and span new Baronet.
Hard are their sconces in reality,
Or they had never dreamed of quality;
Nor let the Union brand appear,
Nor idly braved the public sneer.

But, if thou'rt destined to remain,
Breathe, tho' in stone, the patriot strain;
Revive the weak, inspire the brave,
Redress the wrong'd, detect the knave;
Still as they pass, transfix the vile
With Irony's Medusan smile,
And guard thy Ireland, to the close,
From foreign and domestic foes.

* A Reward of three hundred pounds was offered by the Privy Council for the apprehension of the Author of the DRAPIER'S Letters.