Anna Laetitia Barbauld

(20 June 1743 – 9 March 1825 / Leicestershire, England)

An Inventory of the Furniture in Dr. Priestley's Study


A map of every country known,
With not a foot to call his own.
A list of folks that kicked a dust
On this poor globe, from Ptol. the First;
He hopes,- indeed it is but fair,-
Some day to get a corner there.
A group of all the British kings,
Fair emblem! on a packthread swings.
The Fathers, ranged in goodly row,
A decent, venerable show,
Writ a great while ago, they tell us,
And many an inch o'ertop their fellows.
A Juvenal to hunt for mottos;
And Ovid's tales of nymphs and grottos.
The meek-robed lawyers all in white;
Pure as the lamb,- at least, to sight.
A shelf of bottles, jar and phial,
By which the rogues he can defy all,-
All filled with lightning keen and genuine,

And many a little imp he'll pen you in;
Which, like Le Sage's sprite, let out,
Among the neighbours makes a rout;
Brings down the lightning on their houses,
And kills their geese, and frights their spouses.
A rare thermometer, by which
He settles, to the nicest pitch,
The just degrees of heat, to raise
Sermons, or politics, or plays.
Papers and books, a strange mixed olio,
From shilling touch to pompous folio;
Answer, remark, reply, rejoinder,
Fresh from the mint, all stamped and coined here;
Like new-made glass, set by to cool,
Before it bears the workman's tool.
A blotted proof-sheet, wet from Bowling.
-'How can a man his anger hold in?'-
Forgotten rimes, and college themes,
Worm-eaten plans, and embryo schemes;-
A mass of heterogeneous matter,
A chaos dark, no land nor water;-
New books, like new-born infants, stand,
Waiting the printer's clothing hand;-
Others, a mottly ragged brood,
Their limbs unfashioned all, and rude,
Like Cadmus' half-formed men appear;
One rears a helm, one lifts a spear,
And feet were lopped and fingers torn
Before their fellow limbs were born;
A leg began to kick and sprawl
Before the head was seen at all,
Which quiet as a mushroom lay
Till crumbling hillocks gave it way;
And all, like controversial writing,
Were born with teeth, and sprung up fighting.
'But what is this,' I hear you cry,
'Which saucily provokes my eye?'-
A thing unknown, without a name,
Born of the air and doomed to flame.

Submitted: Monday, September 06, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (An Inventory of the Furniture in Dr. Priestley's Study by Anna Laetitia Barbauld )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Hobbesian Girl, John F. McCullagh
  2. Outlook, hasmukh amathalal
  3. Of Sinne, John Beaumont
  4. Forgive Me, Ismim Putera
  5. A Monster's Warning, Bruce Larkin
  6. Of Teares, John Beaumont
  7. Advice from the Jackalope Man, Bruce Larkin
  8. The Mind Of A Blacksmith, M.D Dinesh Nair
  9. ~ Living ~, Aparna Chatterjee
  10. A Dialogue Between The World, A Pilgrim .., John Beaumont

Poem of the Day

poet William Butler Yeats

WINE comes in at the mouth
And love comes in at the eye;
That's all we shall know for truth
Before we grow old and die.
I lift the glass to my mouth,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Anna Akhmatova

 

Member Poem

poet Sumita Datta

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  3. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  4. A Drinking Song, William Butler Yeats
  5. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  6. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  7. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  8. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  9. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, Mary Elizabeth Frye
  10. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]