1819 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Charles Kirkpatrick Sharpe

The Duchess of Hamilton, "A Blunt Invitation to Mr. Sharpe" 1819; Letters from and to Charles Kirkpatrick Sharp (1888) 2:207-10.



MY GOOD MISTER SHARPE, — Lard, I feel quite confounded—
By another hand too — to tell you — I'm wounded.
In the heart? No, thank God, but quite deep — in the thumb.
Now I see you aghast — for the instant struck dumb—
But, kind Mister Sharpe, there is no cause for dismay;
And I hasten to tell you, by mischance t' other day,
In mending a crowquill to write you a billet,
Or in slicing at dinner some brown from the fillet,
The knife slipp'd, alas! and I cut my poor thumb,
Now carefully bound up, tho' first dipp'd in rum;
So make yourself easy about my condition,
As I want neither surgeon, apoth., or physician.
The Duke and myself wish extremely to see you,
And from the dull hunt and worse concerts to free you;
For sure you've no pleasure in chasing vile foxes,
And your gusto 'squisito — I mean orthodox is—
That regretless you'll quit whoop and scream Caledonian,
To make us all happy at Pal. Hamiltonian.
Then, dear Mister Sharpe, bestride the grey mare,
And hither in haste we entreat you repair—
How such a queer sight will make the folks stare!
To see your slim legs, cas'd in gaiters of thickset,
Hanging down to the ground, like those of Don Quixote;
Whilst your vally de sham., with black callimanco,
Will canter behind as th' original Sancho.
My see, you'll observe, is a man of much reading,
And his compts., so well turn'd, shew his taste and his breeding
But 'tis time to conclude these exquisite touches,
So adieu, Mister Sharpe. — Your good friend,
THE DUCHESS.