Samuel Bishop (1731–1795) was a poet born in London, and educated at Merchant Taylors' School and Oxford University. He later became Headmaster of Merchant Taylor's School. His poems on miscellaneous subjects fill two quarto volumes and the best of them are those to his wife and daughter. He also published essays.)
The Man In The Moon
THE MAN IN THE MOON.
WHAT brainsick noddle spun the tether,
That coupled Man and Moon together,
At prefent I shall not discuss:—
Suffice it, that report runs thus.
Some folks to history owe their fame:
The Man i'tH' Moon has no such claim;
But tho' so well known, and so long,
Boasts no record, but one old song;
Which tells us, how he swills his claret;
And feasts on powder'd beef, and carrot.
Why then produce his silly phiz,
If this be all, he does, or is ?—
Marry, that needs no conjurer's clue:—
Because ourselves are silly too.
Nor deem it odd, that we appear
So like a character so queer: —
Use proper patience, and you'll find, '
Tis much the same with half mankind.
His Full-moon Visage, when you trace, '
Tis bluff rotundity of face.
And what, pray,' are those precious hectors,
Quacks, paragraphers, and projectors,
With pills, and puffs, and plans who cram us,
And still detected, still would bam us?
What? but plain types of his rotundity!
Bloated protuberance! void profundity!
Mere Men of Moonshine, sure enough:—
Like him, all face; like him, all bluff.
When in her orb the Moon has past.
From the first quarter, to the last,
The Man within her partial blaze,
His countenance in Profile displays.
But these two quarters, you'll observe,
Bend different ways th' alternate curve;
And the last face, of course reverst,
Still turns it's back upon the first:—
Mock patriots thus, in quest of places,
Turn to the great, now rumps, now faces;
And those same great, in that same strain,
Turn tails on them—to turn again.
When a New Moon the skies present us,
The Man i'th' Moon non est inventus:—
Like friends, who crowd where Fortune Shines;
But vanish, as her light declines.
Some painters of peculiar taste,
An whole-length Man-i'th'-Moon have plac'd.
Firm on his pins you see him stand,
With—ev'n a lantern in his hand. '
Why so?'—you'll say—« What ails his fight? '
Can't he see stars without a light?'
Perhaps not—for 'tis mighty clear,
We have thousands quite as pore-blind here:-*—
Critics, like him, whoose skill so sound,
In VIRGIL'S verse no Genius found:—
Philosophers, who their cares employ,
To make us quarrel with our joy;
Whose eyes no objects ever please;
Who can't, in short, see wood, for trees
Thus far plain fact suits my plain tale.
But in one thing, alas! we fail.
Our cry is all, ' Balloon, Balloon!'—
As who should say, we'll scale the Moon.
But tho' the Moon herself presides
As much o'er madmen, as o'er tides,
The Man i'th' Moon is much too wise,
To quit his footing in the skies;
He'll ne'er attempt, nor wish, to get
Beyond the limits Nature set;
Mount wicker cars, ply canvas wings,
And put his trust in sticks and firings;
Nor, if he had 'em, use his powers,
To visit—such a World as ours.