Madam if you please

Madam if you please  (1726) 
by Christopher Smart

Juvenilia. Written in age of 4[1].

Madam if you please

Madam if you please
To hear such things as these.
Madam, I have a rival sad,
And if you don’t take my part it will made me mad.
5 He says he well send his son;
But if he does I will get me a gun.
Madam if you please to pity,
O poor Kitty, O poor Kitty!

c. 1726


  1. Composed by Smart in c.1726 when he was 4 years old, as explained in the letter of Smart’s daughter Elizabeth Le Noir to E. H. Barker, c. 1825: “His eldest sister Margaret… has often repeated to me his first essay at numbers when about… 4 years old. The young rhymester was very fond of a lady of about three times his own age who used to notice and caress him. A gentleman old enough to be her father to teaze the child would pretend to be in love with his favourite and threatened to take her for his wife — “You are too old,” said little Smart; the rival answered, if that was objection he would send his son; he answered in verse as follows, addressing the lady.” Source: The Poetical Works of Christopher Smart: Volume IV: Miscellaneous Poems, English and Latin. Edited by Karina Williamson. Oxford University Press, USA (May 21, 1987) ISBN-10: 0198127685 ISBN-13: 978-0198127680 pages 3, 411. See also: Google Books

This work was published before January 1, 1927, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.