A New Simile
IN THE MANNER OF SWIFT
LONG had I sought in vain to find
A likeness for the scribbling kind;
The modern scribbling kind, who write
In wit, and sense, and nature's spite:
Till reading, I forget what day on,
A chapter out of Tooke's Pantheon,
I think I met with something there,
To suit my purpose to a hair;
But let us not proceed too furious,
First please to turn to god Mercurius;
You'll find him pictur'd at full length
In book the second, page the tenth:
The stress of all my proofs on him I lay,
And now proceed we to our simile.
Imprimis, pray observe his hat,
Wings upon either side--mark that.
Well! what is it from thence we gather?
Why these denote a brain of feather.
A brain of feather! very right,
With wit that's flighty, learning light;
Such as to modern bard's decreed:
A just comparison,--proceed.
In the next place, his feet peruse,
Wings grow again from both his shoes;
Design'd, no doubt, their part to bear,
And waft his godship through the air;
And here my simile unites,
For in a modern poet's flights,
I'm sure it may be justly said,
His feet are useful as his head.
Lastly, vouchsafe t'observe his hand,
Filled with a snake-encircl'd wand;
By classic authors term'd caduceus,
And highly fam'd for several uses.
To wit--most wond'rously endu'd,
No poppy water half so good;
For let folks only get a touch,
Its soporific virtue's such,
Though ne'er so much awake before,
That quickly they begin to snore.
Add too, what certain writers tell,
With this he drives men's souls to hell.
Now to apply, begin we then;
His wand's a modern author's pen;
The serpents round about it twin'd
Denote him of the reptile kind;
Denote the rage with which he writes,
His frothy slaver, venom'd bites;
An equal semblance still to keep,
Alike too both conduce to sleep.
This diff'rence only, as the god
Drove souls to Tart'rus with his rod,
With his goosequill the scribbling elf,
Instead of others, damns himself.
And here my simile almost tript,
Yet grant a word by way of postscript.
Moreover, Merc'ry had a failing:
Well! what of that? out with it--stealing;
In which all modern bards agree,
Being each as great a thief as he:
But ev'n this deity's existence
Shall lend my simile assistance.
Our modern bards! why what a pox
Are they but senseless stones and blocks?
Oliver Goldsmith's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (A New Simile by Oliver Goldsmith )
- Near faint beneath golden limes, Mark Heathcote
- Sakat Repertuar, Muzaffer Akin
- Caressing Beauty, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Slipping Away, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Waiting In Revlon's Waiting Area, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Mother & Daughter, Taimane Fanene
- Is This Love, John Foster
- Time without beginnings a better fiend, Mark Heathcote
- Pain Behind a fake Smile, Curtis Brown
- Faiths gate opens on a garden of peace, Mark Heathcote
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Touched by an Angel, Maya Angelou
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(1886 - 1967)
(1612 – 16 September 1672)