1734
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Tavy's Speech.

London Magazine 3 (December 1734) 664.

Rev. Moses Browne


A verse character in the Welsh dialect. After praising his nation, Tavy nervously promises his auditors a relation of legendary Welsh stories: "Of such fam'd tales hur's got a stock, | Wou'd last an hour out by clock. | Hur'll thro' 'em all now hur's begun, } Not she, hur cares not when hur's done. | Grant, Pollo, what hur will rehearse, | May have but all their legs in ferse." Finding his muse not forthcoming, Tavy resolves to return home to feed his goats. The mode of the poem is pastoral, and it may represent something of a historical link between between theatrical comedy, British pastoral, and the dialect pastoral of which Ramsay's Gentle Shepherd was the primary example. Might the recitation of legends glance at Gay's Saturday in The Shepherd's Week?

Tavy's Speech, which is not signed, was reprinted in Browne's Poems (1739) under the title "Taffy's Panegyrick, in honour of St. David's Day." Browne published a companion piece, "Teague's Orashion" in the Gentleman's Magazine 5 (January 1735) 44.



Pless hur prave eyes! hur's half afraid
To speak the ferse now hur has made:
But lest you think hur prains a tunce;
Look you, hur'll out with it at once:
And tho' hur may be wrong sometimes,
Hur'll sure and give you all the rhymes;
If not, hur hopes you'll grant excuses,
Nor sit like judges on hur muses:
Hur heart e'en quakes within hur guts,
Hur pegs you will not hang the sluts.

Well then, and so hur Speech begins,
Hur guess you'll like hur by your grins;
Hur hopes hur nation's not the worst,
We're all porn shentlemen at first;
Tho' saucy infamy wou'd blot hur
Hur's sure Cadwallader begot hur.
Indeed hur owns on steep Welch rocks,
Hard fate constrains to feed hur flocks;
What then, good deeds! hur pook can see,
Kings has kept flocks as well as she.
What's hur with that outlandish name,
Whose freaks set Troy town in a flame?
Hur there? pho, pho, I pray you silence,
Why what! I read hur name a while hence—
Paris — yes now — (hur wish him wipt)
Who saw three Goddesses unstript,
And Menelaus' good woman made ill,
Who was a goatherd from hur cradle;
Tho' was a king inteed for all yet,
And liv'd on Ide, — I think they call it.
That Ide, tho held such pig account in,
Hur warrants less than hur Welsh mountains.
Hur knows the story of the moon,
How they coy swain she puss'd at noon;
Fair 'Dymeon — hur can poast for pride
God Pan — and some as good beside.
But where was any hur could mention,
Like hur St. Tavy for invention.
(Was hur own namesake too, ant save ye;
Pray you, hur own porn name was Tavy)
He chrestian soul for want of cats,
Contriv'd a wond'rous trap for rats:
Shew'd how vile monster might be taken,
And sav'd his country's cheese and bacon;
And dairies of such vermine swept,
By English too in membrance kept;
For which each March, as pooks relate,
Hur's hang'd in effigy for state;
Not as some vulgars think in spite,
Meaning to stain hur glory by't,
But plac'd in honourable station
In mem'ry of hur famous nation;
With the renown'd red herring by hur,
That drew poor mouses in the wire:
And for hur crown, in feather's stead,
Sticks a huge leek to grace hur head:
Prave leek, whose sight and smell they say,
Did fright hur country's foes away.

But hold you now — hur pray your patience,
Hur's got a world of strange relations:
Of bold Sir Shinkin let hur tell,
St. Winifred, and of her well;
Of Owen too, that witch Glendore,
With all his imps, and twenty more;
Of such fam'd tales hur's got a stock,
Wou'd last an hour out by clock.
Hur'll thro' 'em all now hur's begun,
Not she, hur cares not when hur's done.
Grant, Pollo, what hur will rehearse,
May have but all their legs in ferse.
Hur thinks hur pribles and hur prables
Was petter serve to please the rabbles.
Hold — mem'ry fails hur, hur's in doubt,
Ay — look you sure poor Tavy's out.
Hur pegs hur may not spoil hur part,
But let hur read the rest by heart.

Pless hur — some knave has stole her notes,
Hur'll home good lack, and feed hur goats.

[p. 664]