« AnteriorContinuar »
THE GRATEFUL ADDRESS OF THE UNHAPPY HOUYHNHNMS, NOW IN
SLAVERY AND BONDAGE IN ENGLAND.
[These pieces of Pope are given by Sir Walter Scott in his Life of Swift, with the exception of the present verses, from a Horse ; which he ob
“ do not appear.” Swift's Works, vol. xiii. p. 372.] To thee, we wretches of the Houyhnhnm band, Condemn'd to labour in a barbarous land, Return our thanks. Accept our humble lays, And let each grateful Houyhnhnm neigh thy praise.
O happy Yahoo, purged from human crimes, By thy sweet sojourn in those virtuous climes, Where reign our sires; there, to thy country's shame, Reason, you found, and virtue were the same. Their precepts razed the prejudice of youth, And even a Yahoo learn'd the love of truth.
Art thou the first who did the coast explore; Did never Yahoo tread that ground before? Yes, thousands ! But in pity to their kind, Or sway'd by envy, or through pride of mind, They hid their knowledge of a nobler race, Which own'd, would all their sires and sons disgrace.
You, like the Samian, visit lands unknown,
And by their wiser morals mend your own.
Thus Orpheus travelld to reform his kind,
Came back, and tamed the brutes he left behind.
You'went, you saw, you heard: with virtue fought, Then spread those morals which the Houyhnhnms
taught. Our labours here must touch thy generous heart, To see us strain before the coach and cart;
Compelld to run each knavish jockey's heat !
Subservient to Newmarket's annual cheat!
With what reluctance do we lawyers bear,
To fleece their country clients twice a year?
Or managed in your schools, for fops to ride,
How foam, how fret beneath a load of pride!
Yes, we are slaves—but yet, by reason's force,
Have learn’d to bear misfortune, like a horse.
O would the stars, to ease my bonds, ordain,
That gentle Gulliver might guide my rein!
Safe would I bear him to his journey's end,
For ’tis a pleasure to support a friend.
But if my life be doom'd to serve the bad,
0! mayst thou never want an easy pad !
MARY GULLIVER TO CAPTAIN
[The captain, some time after his return, being retired to Mr. Sympson's in the country, Mrs. Gulliver, apprehending from his late behaviour some estrangement of his affections, writes him the following expostulatory, soothing, and tenderly complaining epistle.]
WELCOME, thrice welcome to thy native place!
What, touch me not? what, shun a wife's embrace? Have I for this thy tedious absence borne, And waked, and wish'd whole nights for thy return? In five long years I took no second spouse ; What Redriff wife so long hath kept her vows ? Your eyes, your nose, inconstancy betray; Your nose you stop, your eyes you turn away. 'Tis said, that thou should’st “cleave unto thy wife;" Once thou didst cleave, and I could cleave for life.
Hear, and relent! hark how thy children moan !
Be kind at least to these: they are thy own:
Behold, and count them all; secure to find
The honest number that you left behind.
See how they pat thee with their pretty paws:
Why start you? are they snakes? or have they
Thy Christian seed, our mutual flesh and bone:
Be kind at least to these; they are thy own.
Biddel', like thee, might farthest India rove;
He changed his country, but retain' his love.
There's Captain Pannel', absent half his life,
Comes back, and is the kinder to his wife;
Yet Pannel's wife is brown, compared to me,
And Mrs. Biddel sure is fifty-three.
Not touch me! never neighbour calld me slut :
Was Flimnap's dame more sweet in Lilliput!
I've no red hair to breathe an odious fume;
At least thy consort's cleaner than thy groom.
Why then that dirty stable-boy thy care ?
What mean those visits to the sorrel mare:
Say, by what witchcraft, or what demon led,
Preferr’st thou litter to the marriage bed?
Some say, the devil himself is in that mare:
If so, our Dean shall drive him forth by prayer.
Some think you mad, some think you are possess’d
That bedlam and clean straw will suit you best.
Vain means, alas, this phrenzy to appease!
That straw, that straw, would heighten the disease.
My bed (the scene of all our former joys,
Witness two lovely girls, two lovely boys)
Alone I press: in dreams I call my dear,
I stretch my hand; no Gulliver is there!
I wake, I rise, and shivering with the frost
Search all the house; my Gulliver is lost !
Forth in the street I rush with frantic cries;
The windows open, all the neighbours rise :
“Where sleeps my Gulliver ? O tell me where !"
The neighbours answer, “ With the sorrel mare.”
At early morn I to the market haste
(Studious in every thing to please thy taste ;)
A curious fowl and 'sparagus I chose,
(For I remember'd you were fond of those ;)
Three shillings cost the first, the last seven groats;
Sullen you turn from both, and call for oats.
Others bring goods and treasure to their houses,
Something to deck their pretty babes and spouses :
My only token was a cup like horn,
That's made of nothing but a lady's corn.
'Tis not for that I grieve; 0, 'tis to see
The groom and sorrel mare preferr'd to me!
These, for some moments when you deign to quit, And at due distance sweet discourse admit, 'Tis all my pleasure thy past toil to know; For pleased remembrance builds delight on woe. At every danger pants thy consort's breast, And gaping infants squall to hear the rest. How did I tremble, when by thousands bound, I saw thee stretch'd on Lilliputian ground ! When scaling armies climb'd up every part, Each step they trod I felt upon my heart. But when thy torrent quench'd the dreadful blaze, King, queen, and nation staring with amaze, Full in my view how all my husband came! And what extinguish'd theirs increased my flame. Those spectacles, ordain'd thine eyes to save, Were once my present; love that armour gave. How did I mourn at Bolgolam's decree! For, when he sign'd thy death, he sentenced me.
When folks might see thee all the country round For sixpence, I'd have given a thousand pound.
Lord ! when the giant babe that head of thine
Got in his mouth, my heart was up in mine!
When in the marrow-bone I see thee ramm’d,
Or on the house-top by the monkey cramm’d,
The piteous images renew my pain,
And all thy dangers I weep o'er again.
But on the maiden's nipple when you rid,
Pray heaven, 'twas all a wanton maiden did!
Glumdalclitch too!- with thee I mourn her case:
Heaven guard the gentle girl from all disgrace !
O may the king that one neglect forgive,
And pardon her the fault by which I live!
Was there no other way to set him free?
My life, alas ! I fear proved death to thee.
O teach me, dear, new words to speak my flame!
Teach me to woo thee by thy best loved name!
Whether the style of Grildrig please thee most,
So callid on Brobdingnag's stupendous coast,
When on the monarch's ample hand you sate,
And halloo'd in his ear intrigues of state;
Or Quinbus Flestrin more endearment brings,
When like a mountain you look'd down on kings :
If ducal Nardac, Lilliputian peer,
Or Glumglum's humbler title sooth thy ear:
Nay, would kind Jove my organs so dispose,
To hymn harmonious Houyhnhnm through the nose,
I'd call thee Houyhnhnm, that high-sounding name;
Thy children's noses all should twang the same;
So might I find my loving spouse of course
Endued with all the virtues of a horse.