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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/A Ballad on the Game of Traffick



Written at the Castle of Dublin, 1699.

MY Lord[1], to find out who must deal,
Delivers cards about,
But the first knave does seldom fail
To find the doctor out.

But then his honour cry'd, gadzooks!
And seem'd to knit his brow;
For on a knave he never looks
But h' thinks upon Jack How[2].

My lady, though she is no player,
Some bungling partner takes,
And, wedg'd in corner of a chair,
Takes snuff, and holds the stakes.

Dame Floyd looks out in grave suspense
For pair-royals and sequents;
But, wisely cautious of her pence,
The castle seldom frequents.

Quoth Herries, fairly putting cases,
I'd won it on my word,
If I had but a pair of aces,
And could pick up a third.

But Weston has a new-cast gown
On Sundays to be fine in,
And, if she can but win a crown,
'Twill just new dye the lining.

"With these is parson Swift,
Not knowing how to spend his time,
Does make a wretched shift,
To deafen them with puns and rhyme."

  1. The earl of Berkeley.
  2. Paymaster to the army.