Behold! a proof of Irish sense;
Here Irish wit is seen!
When nothing’s left that’s worth defence,
We build a magazine.
[Footnote 1: Swift, in his latter days, driving out with his physician, Dr. Kingsbury, observed a new building, and asked what it was designed for. On being told that it was a magazine for arms and powder, “Oh! Oh!” said the Dean, “This is worth remarking; my tablets, as Hamlet says, my tablets”—and taking out his pocket-book, he wrote the above epigram.—W. E. B.]
GEORGE ROCHFORT’S VERSES
FOR THE REV. DR. SWIFT, DEAN OF ST. PATRICK’S,
AT LARACOR, NEAR TRIM
That Downpatrick’s Dean, or Patrick’s
Like two arrand Deans, two Deans errant I meant;
So that Christmas appears at Bellcampe like a Lent,
Gives the gamesters of both houses great discontent.
Our parsons agree here, as those did at Trent,
Dan’s forehead has got a most damnable dent,
Besides a large hole in his Michaelmas rent.
But your fancy on rhyming so cursedly bent,
With your bloody ouns in one stanza pent;
Does Jack’s utter ruin at picket prevent,
For an answer in specie to yours must be sent;
So this moment at crambo (not shuffling) is spent,
And I lose by this crotchet quaterze, point, and quint,
Which you know to a gamester is great bitterment;
But whisk shall revenge me on you, Batt, and Brent.
Bellcampe, January 1, 1717.
A LEFT-HANDED LETTER
TO DR. SHERIDAN, 1718
Delany reports it, and he has a shrewd tongue, That we both act the part of the clown and cow-dung; We lie cramming ourselves, and are ready to burst, Yet still are no wiser than we were at first.
Pudet haec opprobria, I freely must tell ye,
Et dici potuisse, et non potuisse refelli.
Though Delany advised you to plague me no longer,
You reply and rejoin like Hoadly of Bangor; I must
now, at one sitting, pay off my old score; How many
to answer? One, two, three, or four, But, because
the three former are long ago past, I shall, for method-sake,
begin with the last. You treat me like a boy
that knocks down his foe, Who, ere t’other gets
up, demands the rising blow. Yet I know a young
rogue, that, thrown flat on the field, Would, as he
lay under, cry out, Sirrah! yield.
So the French, when our generals soundly did pay them,
Went triumphant to church, and sang stoutly, Te Deum.
So the famous Tom Leigh, when quite run a-ground,
Comes off by out-laughing the company round:
In every vile pamphlet you’ll read the same fancies,
Having thus overthrown all our farther advances.