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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 17/Newgate's Garland: on Jonathan Wild

NEWGATE'S GARLAND:

Being a new Ballad, showing how Mr. Jonathan Wild's Throat was cut from Ear to Ear, with a Penknife, by Mr. Blake, alias Blueskin, the bold Highwayman, as he stood at his Trial in the Old Bailey, 1725.

TO THE TUNE OF THE CUTPURSE.

I.

YE gallants of Newgate, whose fingers are nice
In diving in pockets, or cogging of dice;
Ye sharpers so rich, who can buy off the noose,
Ye honester poor rogues, who die in your shoes,
Attend and draw near,
Good news ye shall hear,
How Jonathan's throat was cut from ear to ear,
How Blueskin's sharp penknife hath set you at ease,
And ev'ry man round me may rob, if he please.

II.

When to the Old Bailey this Blueskin was led,
He held up his hand; his indictment was read;
Loud rattled his chains: near him Jonathan stood;
For full forty pounds was the price of his blood.
Then, hopeless of life,
He drew his penknife,
And made a sad widow of Jonathan's wife.
But forty pounds paid her, her grief shall appease,
And ev'ry man round me may rob, if he please.

III.

Some say there are courtiers of highest renown,
Who steal the king's gold, and leave him but a crown:
Some say there are peers and parliament men,
Who meet once a year to rob courtiers again.
Let them all take their swing,
To pillage the king,
And get a blue riband instead of a string.
Now Blueskin's sharp penknife hath set you at ease,
And ev'ry man round me may rob, if he please.

IV.

Knaves, of old, to hide guilt by their cunning inventions,
Call'd briberies grants, and plain robberies pensions:
Physicians and lawyers (who take their degrees
To be learned rogues) call'd their pilfering fees.
Since this happy day
Now ev'ry man may
Rob (as safe as in office) upon the highway.
For Blueskin's sharp penknife hath set you at ease,
And ev'ry man round me may rob, if he please.

V.

Some cheat in the Customs, some rob the Excise:
But he who robs both is esteemed most wise.
Churchwardens too prudent to hazard the halter,
As yet only venture to steal from the altar.
But now, to get gold,
They may be more bold,
And rob on the highway since Jonathan's cold:
For Blueskin's sharp penknife hath set you at ease.
And ev'ry man round me may rob, if he please.

VI.

Some by publick revenues, which pass'd thro' their hands,
Have purchased clean houses, and bought dirty lands:
Some to steal from a charity think it no sin,
Which at home (says the proverb) does always begin.
But if ever you be
Assigned a trustee,
Treat not orphans like masters of the Chancery;
But take the highway, and more honestly seize;
For ev'ry man round me may rob, if he please.

VII.

What a pother has here been with Wood and his brass,
Who would modestly make a few halfpennies pass!
The patent is good, and the precedent's old,
For Diomede changed his copper for gold:
But, if Ireland despise
The new halfpennies,
With more safety to rob on the road I advise:
For Blueskin's sharp penknife hath set you at ease,
And ev'ry man round me may rob, if he please.