1820
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Poetical Epistle, from an Irishman lately landed in America, to his Charmer in Ireland.

Camden Gazette (9 November 1820).

Anonymous


A burlesque of Nicholas Rowe's Collin's Complaint in ten anapestic quatrains "From the Vermont Intelligencer." The poem, part of a long series of pastorals concerned with emigration, recounts the indignities suffered by Irish immigrants to New England: "I shall die if I'm forced to live here, | Such rogues am I living among; | To get back and live with my dear, | I would jump at a chance to be hung." Ethnic humor was a staple of newspaper verse, with the Irish the most frequent targets.



Dear Honey — I've got hear at last,
But I tell you, my sweet little Mog,
Before I set out from Belfast,
I wish'd I'd been sunk in a bog.

For here am I, sitting alone
In my room with a big heap of men,
And feels as uneasy, I own,
As a stray pig shut up in a pen.

Since the Yankees, a villainous crew,
Have my eyes cheated out of my head,
Their tricks I begin to see thro',
And know how to butter my bread.

The sharpers here think it no hurt
To rob a man not worth a pin,
And if you've no back to your shirt,
They will make cow hide boots of your skin.

'Pon my shoul, they joined in a plot,
Both big and great, little and small,
To steal from all that I've got;
Tho' they know I've got nothing at all.

I shall die if I'm forced to live here,
Such rogues am I living among;
To get back and live with my dear,
I would jump at a chance to be hung.

Suppose I should happen to die,
Say in Boston, or Passamaquoddy,
They will never let poor Paddy lie
By the side of a sociable body.

Having stolen my money and goods,
As soon as I'm dead as a herring,
Thrown into the docks, or the woods,
I shall suffer for want of a burying.

Not a stone will they set up to say
What a pure Paddy lies underneath,
And my funeral expenses to pay,
They will born buttons make of my teeth.

But when I am dead as a post,
You shall know it without any fail,
For faith I will send you my ghost,
Enclos'd in a letter next mail.

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