1734 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Jonathan Swift

A. V—gh—n, St. John's College, Cambridge, "To Dr. Swift, on reading his Poem call'd the Lady's Dressing-Room" Gentleman's Magazine 4 (August 1734) 447.



Attend ye fair, approve my song,
Shall CAELIA, CAELIA! suffer wrong?
Shall SWIFT expose, detest, defame,
That beauteous sex from whence he came?

Thus have I known your atheists odd
Blaspheme, insult, deny a god,
Without whose kind assistance man
Had never once his course began,
Nor you, sweet DOCTOR, as I ween,
Had ever rose St. PATRICK'S dean.
Your story told, you poem read,
A thousand whimsies fill my head,
I this way now, now that decide,
But nature says — the Poet ly'd.
In CAELIA should those failings be
—Alas what stinking Rogues are we?
For 'twas the man whose fertile side
Gave woman, woman, beauty's pride!
DIANA thus that rules above
Sprung from the lofty head of JOVE.

But here to stop my bold ambition,
Comes partly in a supposition,
Perhaps you'll say the lad has writ
To get a name, or show his wit;
Yet hear me, doctor, without fretting,
"A bastard of your own begetting,"
Whate'er I write, whate'er I say,
'Tis you that point my muse the way,
To thee bright Offspring of the tuneful nine,
Be all the merits, all the failings mine.