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THE

HAUNCH OF VENISON;

A

POETICAL EPISTLE

TO

LORD CLARE.

FIRST PRINTED IN MDCCLXV.

THE

HAUNCH OF VENISON;

A

POETICAL EPISTLE

TO

LORD CLARE.

THANKS, my lord, for your venison, for finer or fatter Never rang'd in a forest, or smok'd in a platter. The haunch was a picture for painters to study, The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy; Though my stomach was sharp, I could scarce help

regretting To spoil such a delicate picture by eating : I had thoughts, in my chambers to place it in view, To be shown to my friends as a piece of virtû; As in some Irish houses, where things are so so, One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show; But for eating a rasher of what they take pride in, They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fried in. But hold—let me pause—don't I hear you pro

nounce, This tale of the bacon's a damnable bounce ? Well, suppose it a bounce-sure a poet may try, By a bounce now and then, to get courage to fly.

But, my lord, it's no bounce: I protest in my turn, It's a truth—and your lordship may ask Mr Burn.* To go on with my tale—as I gaz'd on the haunch, I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunch, So I cut it, and sent it to Reynolds undrest, To paint it, or eat it, just as he lik'd best. Of the neck and the breast I had next to dispose : 'Twas a neck and a breast that might rival Mon

roe's: But in parting with these I was puzzled again, With the how, and the who, and the where, and the

when. There's H-d, and C-y, and H~rth, and H-ff, I think they love venison-I know they love beef. There's my countryman, Higgins-Oh! let him

alone For making a blunder, or picking a bone. But hang it—to poets who seldom can eat, Your very good mutton's a very good treat; Such dainties to them their health it might hurt, It's like sending them ruffles, when wanting a shirt. While thus I debated, in reverie center'd, An acquaintance, a friend, as he call'd himself, en

ter'd; An under-bred, fine spoken fellow was he, And he smil'd as he look'd at the venison and mei' “ What have we got here?- Why this is good eat

ing! Your own, I suppose-or is it in waiting ?”

Why whose should it be?” cried I with a flounce, “I get these things often”-but that was a bounce: “ Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the na

tion, Are pleas’d to be kind—but I hate ostentation.”

“ If that be the case then,” cried he, very gay, “ I'm glad I have taken this house in my way.

* Lord Clare's nephew.

To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me;
No words I insist on't-precisely at' three ;
We'll have Johnson, and Burke, all the wits will

be there;
My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my lord Clare.
And, now that I think on't, as I am a sinner!
We wanted this venison to make out a dinner.
What

say you—a pasty ? it shall, and it must; And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust. Here, porter—this venison with me to Mile-end : No stirring—I beg--my dear friend--my dear

friend!” Thus snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the wind, And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.

Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf, And “nobody with me at sea but myself;"* Tho' I could not help thinking my gentleman hasty, Yet Johnson and Burke, and a good venison pasty, Were things that I never dislik'd in my life, Tho' clogg'd with a coxcomb, and Kitty his wife. So next day in due splendour to make my approach, I drove to his door in my own hackney-coach. When come to the place where we all were to dine; (A chair lumber'd closet, just twelve feet by nine:) My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite

dumb, With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not

come ; “ For I knew it,” he cried, “ both eternally fail, The one with his speeches, and tother with Thrale; But no matter, I'll warrant we'll make up the party With two full as clever, and ten times as hearty. The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew, They both of them merry, and authors like

you :

* See the letters that passed between his Royal Highness Henry Duke of Cumberland, and Lady Grosvenor.-12mo, 1769.

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