Jonathan Swift

(30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745 / Dublin)

The Revolution At Market-Hill - Poem by Jonathan Swift

From distant regions Fortune sends
An odd triumvirate of friends;
Where Phoebus pays a scanty stipend,
Where never yet a codling ripen'd:
Hither the frantic goddess draws
Three sufferers in a ruin'd cause:
By faction banish'd, here unite,
A Dean, a Spaniard, and a Knight;
Unite, but on conditions cruel;
The Dean and Spaniard find it too well,
Condemn'd to live in service hard;
On either side his honour's guard:
The Dean to guard his honour's back,
Must build a castle at Drumlack;
The Spaniard, sore against his will,
Must raise a fort at Market-Hill.
And thus the pair of humble gentry
At north and south are posted sentry;
While in his lordly castle fixt,
The knight triumphant reigns betwixt:
And, what the wretches most resent,
To be his slaves, must pay him rent;
Attend him daily as their chief,
Decant his wine, and carve his beef.
O Fortune! 'tis a scandal for thee
To smile on those who are least worthy:
Weigh but the merits of the three,
His slaves have ten times more than he.
Proud baronet of Nova Scotia!
The Dean and Spaniard must reproach ye:
Of their two fames the world enough rings:
Where are thy services and sufferings?
What if for nothing once you kiss'd,
Against the grain, a monarch's fist?
What if, among the courtly tribe,
You lost a place and saved a bribe?
And then in surly mood came here,
To fifteen hundred pounds a-year,
And fierce against the Whigs harangu'd?
You never ventured to be hang'd.
How dare you treat your betters thus?
Are you to be compared with us?
Come, Spaniard, let us from our farms
Call forth our cottagers to arms:
Our forces let us both unite,
Attack the foe at left and right;
From Market-Hill's exalted head,
Full northward let your troops be led;
While I from Drapier's-Mount descend,
And to the south my squadrons bend.
New-River Walk, with friendly shade,
Shall keep my host in ambuscade;
While you, from where the basin stands,
Shall scale the rampart with your bands.
Nor need we doubt the fort to win;
I hold intelligence within.
True, Lady Anne no danger fears,
Brave as the Upton fan she wears;
Then, lest upon our first attack
Her valiant arm should force us back,
And we of all our hopes deprived;
I have a stratagem contrived.
By these embroider'd high-heel shoes
She shall be caught as in a noose:
So well contriv'd her toes to pinch,
She'll not have power to stir an inch:
These gaudy shoes must Hannah place
Direct before her lady's face;
The shoes put on, our faithful portress
Admits us in, to storm the fortress,
While tortured madam bound remains,
Like Montezume, in golden chains;
Or like a cat with walnuts shod,
Stumbling at every step she trod.
Sly hunters thus, in Borneo's isle,
To catch a monkey by a wile,
The mimic animal amuse;
They place before him gloves and shoes;
Which, when the brute puts awkward on:
All his agility is gone;
In vain to frisk or climb he tries;
The huntsmen seize the grinning prize.
But let us on our first assault
Secure the larder and the vault;
The valiant Dennis, you must fix on,
And I'll engage with Peggy Dixon:
Then, if we once can seize the key
And chest that keeps my lady's tea,
They must surrender at discretion!
And, soon as we have gain'd possession,
We'll act as other conquerors do,
Divide the realm between us two;
Then, (let me see,) we'll make the knight
Our clerk, for he can read and write.
But must not think, I tell him that,
Like Lorimer to wear his hat;
Yet, when we dine without a friend,
We'll place him at the lower end.
Madam, whose skill does all in dress lie,
May serve to wait on Mrs. Leslie;
But, lest it might not be so proper
That her own maid should over-top her,
To mortify the creature more,
We'll take her heels five inches lower.
For Hannah, when we have no need of her,
'Twill be our interest to get rid of her;
And when we execute our plot,
'Tis best to hang her on the spot;
As all your politicians wise,
Dispatch the rogues by whom they rise.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010



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