The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 17/Bounce to Fop

While this work is included within The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift and is not attributed to anyone other than Jonathan Swift, it may have been written by another member of the Scriblerus Club. The club, which was founded in 1714, included Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, John Gay, John Arbuthnot, Henry St John, and Thomas Parnell.

BOUNCE TO FOP:

AN EPISTLE FROM A DOG AT TWICKENHAM TO A DOG AT COURT.


TO thee, sweet Fop, these lines I send,
Who, though no spaniel, am a friend.
Though once my tail, in wanton play
Now frisking this and then that way,
Chanc'd with a touch of just the tip
To hurt your lady-lapdog-ship:
Yet thence to think I'd bite your head off!
Sure, Bounce is one you never read of.
Fop! you can dance, and make a leg,
Can fetch and carry, cringe and beg,
And (what's the top of all your tricks)
Can stoop to pick up strings and sticks.
We country dogs love nobler sport,
And scorn the pranks of dogs at court.
Fie, naughty Fop! where'er you come,
To fart and piss about the room,
To lay your head in ev'ry lap,
And, when they think not of you — snap!
The worst that envy or that spite
E'er said of me, is, I can bite;
That idle gipsies, rogues in rags,
Who poke at me, can make no brags;
And that, to touse such things as flutter,
To honest Bounce is bread and butter.
While you and ev'ry courtly fop,
Fawn on the devil for a chop,
I've the humanity to hate
A butcher, though he brings me meat;
And, let me tell you, have a nose
(Whatever stinking Fops suppose,)
That under cloth of gold or tissue
Can smell a plaster or an issue.
Your pilf'ring lord, with simple pride,
May wear a picklock at his side;
My master wants no key of state,
For Bounce can keep his house and gate.
When all such dogs have had their days,
As knavish Pams, and fawning Trays;
When pamper'd Cupids, beastly Venis,
And motley, squinting Harlequinis[1],
Shall lick no more their ladies br—,
But die of looseness, claps, or itch;
Fair Thames, from either echoing shore,
Shall hear and dread my manly roar.
See Bounce, like Berecynthia crown'd
With thund'ring offspring all around;
Beneath, beside me, and at top,
A hundred sons, and not one fop!
Before my children set your beef,
Not one true Bounce will be a thief!
Not one without permission feed
(Though some of J—n's hungry breed:)
But, whatsoe'er the father's race,
From me they suck a little grace:
While your fine whelps learn all to steal,
Bred up by hand on chick and veal.
My eldest born resides not far,
Where shines great Strafford's glittering star:
My second (child of fortune!) waits
At Burlington's Palladian gates:
A third majestically stalks
(Happiest of dogs!) in Cobham's walks:
One ushers friends to Bathurst's door;
One fawns, at Oxford's, on the poor.
Nobles, whom arms or arts adorn,
Wait for my infants yet unborn.
None but a peer of wit and grace
Can hope a puppy of my race.
And, O would fate the bliss decree
To mine (a bliss too great for me!)
That two my tallest sons might grace.
Attending each with stately pace,
Iulus' side, as erst Evander's[2],
To keep oft flatterers, spies and panders,
To let no noble slave come near
And scare lord Fannys from his ear:
Then might a royal youth, and true,
Enjoy at least a friend — or two;
A treasure which, of royal kind,
Few but himself deserve to find.
Then Bounce ('tis all that Bounce can crave)
Shall wag her tail within the grave.
And though no doctors, whig or tory ones,
Except the sect of Pythagoreans,
Have immortality assign'd
To any beast but Dryden's hind[3]:
Yet master Pope, whom Truth and Sense
Shall call their friend some ages hence,
Though now on loftier themes he sings,
Than to bestow a word on kings,
Has sworn by Styx, the poet's oath,
And dread of dogs and poets both,
Man and his works he'll soon renounce,
And roar in numbers worthy Bounce.


  1. Alii legunt Harvequinis.
  2. Virgil, Æneid 8.
  3. "A milk white hind, immortal and unchang'd."

    Hind and Panther, ver. 1.