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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 17/The Lamentation of Glumdalclitch

THE

LAMENTATION

OF

GLUMDALCLITCH

FOR THE LOSS OF

GRILDRIG.

PASTORAL.

SOON as Glumdalclitch miss'd her pleasing care,
She wept, she blubber'd, and she tore her hair;
No British miss sincerer grief has known,
Her squirrel missing, or her sparrow flown.
She furl'd her sampler, and haul'd in her thread,
And stuck her needle into Grildrig's bed;
Then spread her hands, and with a bounce let fall
Her baby, like the giant in Guildhall.
In peals of thunder now she roars, and now,
She gently whimpers like a lowing cow:
Yet lovely in her sorrow still appears:
Her locks dishevell'd, and her flood of tears,
Seem like the lofty barn of some rich swain,
When from the thatch drips fast a show'r of rain.
In vain she search'd each cranny of the house,
Each gaping chink, impervious to a mouse.
"Was it for this (she cried) with daily care
Within thy reach I set the vinegar,
And fill'd the cruet with the acid tide,
While pepper-water worms thy bait supplied;
Where twin'd the silver eel around thy hook,
And all the little monsters of the brook!
Sure in that lake he dropt; my Grilly's drown'd!"
She dragg'd the cruet, but no Grildrig found.
"Vain is thy courage, Grilly, vain thy boast!
But little creatures enterprise the most.
Trembling I've seen thee dare the kitten's paw,
Nay, mix with children, as they play'd at taw,
Nor fear the marbles, as they bounding flew;
Marbles to them, but rolling rocks to you.
"Why did I trust thee with that giddy youth?
Who from a page can ever learn the truth?
Vers'd in court tricks, the money-loving boy
To some lord's daughter sold the living toy,
Or rent him limb from limb in cruel play,
As children tear the wings of flies away.
From place to place o'er Brobdingnag I'll roam,
Ah never will return, or bring thee home.
But who hath eyes to trace the passing wind?
How then thy fairy footsteps can I find?
Dost thou bewilder'd wander all alone
In the green thicket of a mossy stone;
Or, tumbled from the toadstool's slipp'ry round,
Perhaps, all maim'd, lie grov'ling on the ground?
Dost thou, embosom'd in the lovely rose,
Or, sunk, within the peach's down, repose?
Within the kingcup if thy limbs are spread,
Or in the golden cowslip's velvet head,
O show me, Flora, 'midst those sweets, the flow'r
Where sleeps my Grildrig in his fragrant bow'r!
"But ah! I fear thy little fancy roves
On little females, and on little loves;
Thy pigmy children, and thy tiny spouse,
The baby playthings that adorn thy house,
Doors, windows, chimnies, and the spacious rooms,
Equal in size to cells of honeycombs:
Hast thou for these now ventur'd from the shore,
Thy bark a bean-shell, and a straw thine oar?
Or in thy box now bounding on the main,
Shall I ne'er bear thyself and house again?
And shall I set thee on my hand no more,
To see thee leap the lines, and traverse o'er
My spacious palm? of stature scarce a span,
Mimick the actions of a real man?
No more behold thee turn my watches key,
As seamen at a capstan anchors weigh?
How wer't thou wont to walk with cautious tread,
A dish of tea, like milkpail, on thy head!
How chase the mite that bore thy cheese away,
And keep the rolling maggot at a bay!"
She said; but broken accents stopt her voice,
Soft as the speaking trumpet's mellow noise:
She sobb'd a storm, and wip'd her flowing eyes,
Which seem'd like two broad suns in misty skies.
O squander not thy grief! those tears command
To weep upon our cod in Newfoundland:
The plenteous pickle shall preserve the fish,
And Europe taste thy sorrows in a dish.