John Keats

(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821 / London, England)

The Gadfly - Poem by John Keats

All gentle folks who owe a grudge
To any living thing
Open your ears and stay your t[r]udge
Whilst I in dudgeon sing.

The Gadfly he hath stung me sore--
O may he ne'er sting you!
But we have many a horrid bore
He may sting black and blue.

Has any here an old grey Mare
With three legs all her store,
O put it to her Buttocks bare
And straight she'll run on four.

Has any here a Lawyer suit
Of 1743,
Take Lawyer's nose and put it to't
And you the end will see.

Is there a Man in Parliament
Dum[b-] founder'd in his speech,
O let his neighbour make a rent
And put one in his breech.

O Lowther how much better thou
Hadst figur'd t'other day
When to the folks thou mad'st a bow
And hadst no more to say.

If lucky Gadfly had but ta'en
His seat * * * * * * * * *
And put thee to a little pain
To save thee from a worse.

Better than Southey it had been,
Better than Mr. D-------,
Better than Wordsworth too, I ween,
Better than Mr. V-------.

Forgive me pray good people all
For deviating so --
In spirit sure I had a call --
And now I on will go.

Has any here a daughter fair
Too fond of reading novels,
Too apt to fall in love with care
And charming Mister Lovels,

O put a Gadfly to that thing
She keeps so white and pert --
I mean the finger for the ring,
And it will breed a wort.

Has any here a pious spouse
Who seven times a day
Scolds as King David pray'd, to chouse
And have her holy way --

O let a Gadfly's little sting
Persuade her sacred tongue
That noises are a common thing,
But that her bell has rung.

And as this is the summon bo
num of all conquering,
I leave 'withouten wordes mo'
The Gadfly's little sting.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, March 23, 2010

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