1750 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Susanna Duncombe

Joseph Highmore, "To Miss S— H—, desiring her Parrot might be the Subject of a Poem" Gentleman's Magazine 20 (April 1750) 180-81.



You say, my gayly sportive muse,
In wanton play, does sometimes choose
Small subjects to extol;
In verse shall Brue and Cato shine,
And yet no tributary line,
What nothing for poor Poll?

Shall dogs and cats engross thy lays?
Must such alone have all the praise?
Proud minions these of fame,
Whilst Poll's in gilded prison hung,
Singing to all (himself unsung)
Pho! out! oh! fie for shame!

Would you, as modish lovers do,
Successfully the fair one woo,
Like them observe the vogue:
Her fav'rite squirrel then caress,
Tho' sharp he bites; and Poll address,
Tho' Poll's a saucy rogue.

Fair nymph! whate'er you deign to ask,
Pleas'd I embrace the willing task,
Proudly the favour boast.
Thy smile's to me a greater treat,
Than for thy bird his banquet sweet,
For Poll his sack and toast.

But let no fopling wit, admir'd,
For repartee, and love acquir'd,
From nurses fable fraught,
Presume (as taught by Poll) to say
Full dear you'll buy the trifling lay,
To give the knave a groat.

Let wiser Poll pronounce th' award,
I ask not, wish not, more reward
Than what from him you hear;
Do thou my happy labours pay,
As oft as he directs each day,
Come buss, my pretty dear!
J. H.