The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 17/Verses on Sir Richard Blackmore

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.

VERSES

To be placed under the Picture of England's Arch Poet, [sir Richard Blackmore,] containing a complete Catalogue of his Works.

SEE who ne'er was or will be half read!
Who first sung Arthur[1], then sung Alfred[2];
Prais'd great Eliza[3] in God's anger,
Till all true Englishmen cried, Hang her!
Made William's virtues wipe the bare a—,
And hanged up Marlborough in arras[4]:
Then, hiss'd from earth, grew heavenly quite:
Made every reader curse the light[5];
Maul'd human wit, in one thick satire[6];
Next in three books sent Human Nature[7];
Undid Creation[8] at a jerk;
And of Redemption[9] made damn'd work.
Then took his Muse, at once, and dipp'd her
Full in the middle of the Scripture:
What wonders there the man grown old did!
Sternhold himself he out-Sternholded;
Made David[10] seem so mad and freakish,
All thought him just what thought king Achish.
No mortal read his Solomon[11],
But judg'd R'oboam his own son.
Moses[12] he serv'd as Moses Pharaoh,
And Deborah as she Siserah;
Made Jeremy[13] full sore to cry,
And Job[14] himself curse God and die.

What punishment all this must follow?
Shall Arthur use him like king Tollo?
Shall David as Uriah slay him?
Or dext'rous Deb'rah Siserah him?
Or shall Eliza lay a plot
To treat him like her sister Scot?
Shall William dub his better end[15]?
Or Marlb'rough serve him like a friend?
No, none of these — Heaven spare his life!
But send him, honest Job, thy wife.


  1. Two heroick poems in folio, twenty books.
  2. An heroick poem, in twelve books.
  3. An heroick poem in folio, ten books.
  4. Instructions to Vanderbank, a tapestry weaver.
  5. Hymn to the Light.
  6. Satire against Wit.
  7. Of the Nature of Man.
  8. Creation, a poem, in seven books.
  9. The Redeemer, another heroick poem, in six books.
  10. Translation of all the Psalms.
  11. Canticles and Ecclesiastes.
  12. Paraphrase of the Canticles of Moses and Deborah, &c.
  13. The Lamentations.
  14. The whole book of Job, a poem, in folio.
  15. Kick him on the breech, not knight him on the shoulder.