The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 17/The Elephant, or the Parliament Man
ERE bribes convince you whom to choose,
The precepts of lord Coke peruse:
And let like him your member be:
First, take a man that's free from gall;
For elephants have none at all:
In flocks or parties he must keep;
For elephants live just like sheep:
Stubborn in honour he must be;
For elephants ne'er bend the knee:
Last, let his memory be sound,
In which your elephant's profound;
That old examples from the wise
May prompt him in his Noes and Ies.
Thus the lord Coke hath gravely writ,
In all the form of lawyers wit;
And then with Latin, and all that,
Shows the comparison is pat.
Yet in some points my lord is wrong:
One's teeth are sold, and t'other's tongue:
Now men of parliament, God knows,
Are more like elephants of shows,
Whose docile memory and sense
Are turn'd to trick, to gather pence.
To get their master half a crown,
They spread their flag, or lay it down:
Those who bore bulwarks on their backs,
And guarded nations from attacks,
Opening their trunk for every tester.
Siam, for elephants so fam'd,
Is not with England to be nam'd:
Their elephants by men are sold;
Ours sell themselves, and take the gold.