1728 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Jonathan Swift

Anonymous, "The Fox and Goat. A Tale. To Sir Richard Steele, a little before the Queen died, on the Captain's being denied Preferment" Gulliveriana: or, a Fourth Volume of Miscellanies (1728) 74-76.



Old Reynard, once, with Thirst opprest,
Feasted a Goat, which nigh did dwell,
But wanting Liquids for his Guest,
He led him to a Neighbouring Well.

Manners being past, they Bumpers drink,
Health to themselves and Friends, go round;
'Till, sated, they began to think
Amidst their Cups, they may be drown'd.

Sir Crafty, put to his Wit's End;
Bids Grey-beard stand, erected, up,
Promising to help his Friend,
Whose Horns wou'd favour his Escape.

But, when, secure, He reach'd the Brink,
His Neighbour perishing beneath:
Th' ungrateful Whelp cry'd, Die, or Drink,
'Tis all alike to Reynard, Faith!

Thus I, who, long, have propp'd the Great,
Am dropp'd, where I have been most kind;
Mine is, exactly, Grey-beard's Fate,
They're up, and I am left behind.

And yet, to screen these Men, in Power,
I wrote the Conduct of Th' Allies;
And what can mortal Man do more,
Than stretch his Wit, to vent his Lies?

Nay! I did swear I was for Brunswick,
With Conscience scrupulous and tender;
But Wrote and Rode, 'till I was Bum-sick,
In hopes to forward the Pretender.

I wrong'd, moreo'er, the Nation Scotch:
In Rhime and Prose was very smart on
The Injur'd Catalan and Dutch,
Brave Marlbro', and my Friend Tom Wharton.

Remember then, my Dear Dick Steele,
Who hazarded your very Throat;
Who never turn'd'st with Fortune's Wheel;
Remember well, The Fox and Goat.