An Elegy on a Lap-dog
- by John Gay 891 Shock's fate I mourn; poor Shock is now no more,
2 Ye Muses mourn, ye chamber-maids deplore.
3 Unhappy Shock! yet more unhappy fair,
4 Doom'd to survive thy joy and only care!
5 Thy wretched fingers now no more shall deck,
6 And tie the fav'rite ribbon round his neck;
7 No more thy hand shall smooth his glossy hair,
8 And comb the wavings of his pendent ear.
9 Yet cease thy flowing grief, forsaken maid;
10 All mortal pleasures in a moment fade:
11 Our surest hope is in an hour destroy'd,
12 And love, best gift of heav'n, not long enjoy'd.
13 Methinks I see her frantic with despair,
14 Her streaming eyes, wrung hands, and flowing hair
15 Her Mechlen pinners rent the floor bestrow,
16 And her torn fan gives real signs of woe.
17 Hence Superstition, that tormenting guest,
18 That haunts with fancied fears the coward breast;
19 No dread events upon his fate attend,
20 Stream eyes no more, no more thy tresses rend.
21 Tho' certain omens oft forewarn a state,
22 And dying lions show the monarch's fate;
23 Why should such fears bid Celia's sorrow rise?
24 For when a lap-dog falls no lover dies.
25 Cease, Celia, cease; restrain thy flowing tears,
26 Some warmer passion will dispel thy cares.
27 In man you'll find a more substantial bliss,
28 More grateful toying, and a sweeter kiss.
29 He's dead. Oh lay him gently in the ground!
30 And may his tomb be by this verse renown'd.
31 Here Shock, the pride of all his kind, is laid;
32 Who fawn'd like man, but ne'er like man betray'd.
Fable L: The Hare and Many Friends
- by John Gay 81Friendship, as love, is but a name,
Save in a concentrated flame;
And thus, in friendships, who depend
On more than one, find not one friend.
A hare who, in a civil way,
Was not dissimilar to GAY,
Was well known never to offend,
And every creature was her friend.
As was her wont, at early dawn,
She issued to the dewy lawn;
When, from the wood and empty lair,
The cry of hounds fell on her ear.
She started at the frightful sounds,
And doubled to mislead the hounds;
Till, fainting with her beating heart,
She saw the horse, who fed apart.
'My friend, the hounds are on my track;
Oh, let me refuge on your back! '
The horse responded: 'Honest Puss,
It grieves me much to see you thus.
Be comforted-relief is near;
Behold, the bull is in the rear.'
Then she implored the stately bull,
His answer we relate in full:
'Madam, each beast alive can tell
How very much I wish you well;
But business presses in a heap,
I an appointment have to keep;
And now a lady's in the case,-
When other things, you know, give place.
Behold the goat is just behind;
Trust, trust you'll not think me unkind.'
The goat declared his rocky lairs
Wholly unsuited were to hares.
'There is the sheep,' he said, 'with fleece.
Adapted, now, to your release.'
The sheep replied that she was sure
Her weight was too great to endure;
'Besides,' she said, 'hounds worry sheep.'
Next was a calf, safe in a keep:
'Oh, help me, bull-calf-lend me aid! '
'My youth and inexperience weighed,'
Replied the bull-calf, 'though I rue it,
Make me incompetent to do it;
My friends might take offence. My heart-
You know my heart, my friend-we part,
I do assure you-Hark! adieu!
The pack, in full cry, is in view.'
Poems by John Gay, John Gay's poems collection. John Gay is a classical and famous poet (30 June 1685 - 4 December 1732 / Barnstaple, England). Share all poems of John Gay.
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