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THIS Satire has been ascribed to Swift, on the authority of a title-page by Tonson, who reprinted the poem as by "the author of the Tale of a Tub." I cannot discern any internal evidence; on the contrary, the terms in which King William is mentioned, both in the title and text of the poem, are totally inconsistent with the Dean's feelings towards that monarch. Indeed, if this poem had really been the Dean's writing, and known to be so by the celebrated Whig bookseller, whom he had offended, it would have been quoted against him, as a mark of apostacy, in the numerous libels of the day, where, however, it is never once mentioned. Besides, durst Swift, with such an evidence in every bookseller's shop, have ventured to assert, that, while he held Whig politics in the state, he was always of the High Church party in what regarded ecclesiastical matters? See Vol. I. p. 72, note.
Dedicated to all those who are true Friends to her present Majesty and her Government, to the Church of England, and the Succession as by Law established; and who gratefully acknowledge the preservation of their Religion, Rights, and Liberties, due to the late King William, of ever glorious and immortal memory.
[Printed from the original Dublin Edition of 1706.]
Difficile est satyram non scribere.
OW this fantastic world is changed of late! Sure some full moon has work'd upon the state.
Time was, when it was question'd much
Which was the worst, the Devil or a Tory;
But now, alas! those happy times are o'er;
The rampant things are couchant now no more,
But trump up Tories, who were Whigs before.
There was a time, when fair Hibernia lay
Dissolved in ease, and, with a gentle sway,
Enjoy'd the blessings of a halcyon day.
Pleased with the bliss their friendly union made,
Beneath her bending fig-tree's peaceful shade,
Careless and free, her happy sons were laid.
No feuds, no groundless jealousies appear,
To rouse their rage, or wake them into fear;
With pity they beheld Britannia's state,
Tost by the tempest of a stormy fate;
Wild frenzy through her blasted borders pass'd,
Whilst noisy Faction drove the furious blast:
Calm and serene we heard the tempest roar,
And fearless view'd the danger from the shore.
Thus blest, we slumber'd in a downy trance,
Happy, like Eden, in mild ignorance;
Till Discord, like the wily serpent, found
Th' unguarded path to the forbidden ground;
Shew'd us the tree, the tempting tree, which stood
The fairest, but most fatal, of the wood;
And where (as hanging on the golden bough)
The glittering fruit look'd smiling to the view.
"Taste, and be wise," the sly provoker said ;
And see the platform of your ruin laid:
Rouse from the dulness ye too long have shewn,
And view your Church's danger, and your own.
Thus at superior wit we catch'd in haste,
Which mock'd the approach of our deluded taste.
Imaginary schemes we seem to spy.
And search for dangers with a curious eye;
From thought to thought we roll, and rack our
To obviate mischiefs in the future tense:
Strange plots in embryo from the Lord we fear;
And dream of mighty ills, the Lord knows where !
Wretchedly wise, we curse our present store,
But bless the witless age we knew before.
Near that famed place where slender wights resort,
And gay Pulvilio keeps his scented court;
Where exiled wit ne'er shews its hated face,
But happier nonsense fills the thoughtless place;
Where sucking beaux, our future hopes, are bred,
The sharping gamester, and the bully red,
O'er-stock'd with fame, but indigent of bread;
There stands a modern dome † of vast renown,