Elegy Poems - Poems For Elegy - An Elegy On A Lap-Dog - Poem by John Gay | Poem Hunter

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An Elegy On A Lap-Dog - Poem by John Gay

1 Shock's fate I mourn; poor Shock is now no more,
2 Ye Muses mourn, ye chamber-maids deplore.
3 Unhappy Shock! yet more unhappy fair,
4 Doom'd to survive thy joy and only care!
5 Thy wretched fingers now no more shall deck,
6 And tie the fav'rite ribbon round his neck;
7 No more thy hand shall smooth his glossy hair,
8 And comb the wavings of his pendent ear.
9 Yet cease thy flowing grief, forsaken maid;
10 All mortal pleasures in a moment fade:
11 Our surest hope is in an hour destroy'd,
12 And love, best gift of heav'n, not long enjoy'd.

13 Methinks I see her frantic with despair,
14 Her streaming eyes, wrung hands, and flowing hair
15 Her Mechlen pinners rent the floor bestrow,
16 And her torn fan gives real signs of woe.
17 Hence Superstition, that tormenting guest,
18 That haunts with fancied fears the coward breast;
19 No dread events upon his fate attend,
20 Stream eyes no more, no more thy tresses rend.
21 Tho' certain omens oft forewarn a state,
22 And dying lions show the monarch's fate;
23 Why should such fears bid Celia's sorrow rise?
24 For when a lap-dog falls no lover dies.

25 Cease, Celia, cease; restrain thy flowing tears,
26 Some warmer passion will dispel thy cares.
27 In man you'll find a more substantial bliss,
28 More grateful toying, and a sweeter kiss.

29 He's dead. Oh lay him gently in the ground!
30 And may his tomb be by this verse renown'd.
31 Here Shock, the pride of all his kind, is laid;
32 Who fawn'd like man, but ne'er like man betray'd.


Comments about An Elegy On A Lap-Dog by John Gay

  • Gold Star - 208,479 Points Susan Williams (11/10/2015 2:32:00 PM)

    John Gay has many voices- wry, satiric, gently humorous, romantic, unhappy, gleeful. His style changes with his attitude but his word choices are always perfect. Enjoyed Ian Fraser's comment below (Report) Reply

    23 person liked.
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  • Rookie - 20 Points Ian Fraser (7/20/2011 8:18:00 AM)

    Judging by the low scores submitted, this delicious poem is not well understood by modern readers. It is in a style called mock-heroic which was very popular among the 18th century satirists. Swift, a friend of Gay's, uses it extensively in Gulliver's Travels for example. In it seemingly trivial events, in this case the death of a pet dog are blown up out of all proportion to satirize their subject. Despite his teasing style Gay was capable of some very barbed criticism, as here in the final couplet, and his work was temporarily banned by the government of the day for its seditious content. (Report) Reply

    8 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
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Poems About Elegy

  1. 1. Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard , Thomas Gray
  2. 2. Elegy For Jane , Theodore Roethke
  3. 3. Elegy , Dylan Thomas
  4. 4. Duino Elegies: The First Elegy , Rainer Maria Rilke
  5. 5. Elegy In April And September , Wilfred Owen
  6. 6. Duino Elegies: The Tenth Elegy , Rainer Maria Rilke
  7. 7. An Imperial Elegy , Wilfred Owen
  8. 8. Elegy To The Memory Of An Unfortunate Lady , Alexander Pope
  9. 9. Elegy Xix: To His Mistress Going To Bed , John Donne
  10. 10. Duino Elegies: The Fourth Elegy , Rainer Maria Rilke
  11. 11. Elegy I , Rainer Maria Rilke
  12. 12. A Satirical Elegy On The Death Of A Late.. , Jonathan Swift
  13. 13. Elegy In The Classroom , Anne Sexton
  14. 14. Elegy Xvi: On His Mistress , John Donne
  15. 15. An Elegy On The Death Of Kenneth Patchen , Lawrence Ferlinghetti
  16. 16. Elegy Xviii: Love's Progress , John Donne
  17. 17. An Elegy On The Death Of A Mad Dog , Oliver Goldsmith
  18. 18. March Elegy , Anna Akhmatova
  19. 19. Elegy X , Rainer Maria Rilke
  20. 20. Elegy I: Jealousy , John Donne
  21. 21. Elegy X: The Dream , John Donne
  22. 22. Elegy Ii: The Anagram , John Donne
  23. 23. Elegy Xiii: His Parting From Her , John Donne
  24. 24. Elegy V: His Picture , John Donne
  25. 25. Elegy In A Country Churchyard , Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  26. 26. Elegy Iii: Change , John Donne
  27. 27. Elegy Iv: The Perfume , John Donne
  28. 28. Elegy Ix: The Autumnal , John Donne
  29. 29. Elegy Vii , John Donne
  30. 30. From The Tenth Elegy , Rainer Maria Rilke
  31. 31. Elegy Iv , Rainer Maria Rilke
  32. 32. An Elegy In Frost , Sandra Fowler
  33. 33. Elegy Xvi: The Expostulation , John Donne
  34. 34. Elegy Viii: The Comparison , John Donne
  35. 35. Elegy Upon Tiger , Jonathan Swift
  36. 36. Elegy V , Ovid
  37. 37. Elegy , Carolyn Forché
  38. 38. Elegy For Tibullus , Ovid
  39. 39. Elegy , Edna St. Vincent Millay
  40. 40. An Elegy On A Lap-Dog , John Gay
  41. 41. Elegy Before Death , Edna St. Vincent Millay
  42. 42. Elegy , Siegfried Sassoon
  43. 43. Elegy Vi , John Donne
  44. 44. Elegy , Alan Dugan
  45. 45. Elegy , Joseph Brodsky
  46. 46. An Elegy Upon James Therburn, In Chatto , James Thomson
  47. 47. Love: An Elegy , Mark Akenside
  48. 48. Elegy To Time , Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel ..
  49. 49. Elegy Xvii: On His Mistress , John Donne
  50. 50. Elegy , Ambrose Bierce
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