1741 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Alexander Pope

Anonymous, "A Translation in modern English of Mr. P—'s Imitation of Chaucer" Publick Register (24 January 1741) 55.



An Oxford Scholar made a Goose his Prize,
And hid it where the Garb invests his Thighs.
Too weak the Buttons prov'd, the Goose too strong,
And burst its Jail, as Ladies past along.
The Bill came bolting forth, a ruddy Sight;
The Neck came after, long, and round, and white;
The Creature cackling, pertly rais'd its Head;
The Lad look'd foolish, and the Women fled.
O Jesu! Sister Moll, said wanton Miss,
Is this the Thing wherewith they use to p—
'Tis better far to feed on Coals and Chalk,
Than trust to faithless Man, whose Tail can Talk.

Thus Chaucer whilom did the Fair advise,
That Maids should never sport but with the Wise.
With sly Conceit the Bard his Story told,
Then left this Moral, worth its Weight in Gold.
"Pardie, Miss Betty, thou didst reason well;
They bear the Goose about, that love to tell."