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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/A Simile on Our Want of Silver

A SIMILE,


ON OUR WANT OF SILVER:


AND THE ONLY WAY TO REMEDY IT. 1725.


AS when of old some sorceress threw
O'er the moon's face a sable hue,
To drive unseen her magick chair,
At midnight through the darken’d air;
Wise people, who believ'd with reason
That this eclipse was out of season,
Affirm'd the moon was sick, and fell
To cure her by a counter spell.
Ten thousand cymbals now begin
To rend the skies with brazen din;
The cymbals' rattling sounds dispel
The cloud, and drive the hag to Hell.
The moon, deliver'd from her pain,
Displays her silver face again.
Note here, that in the chemick style,
The moon is silver all this while.
So (if my simile you minded,
Which I confess is too longwinded)
When late a feminine magician[1],
Join'd with a brazen politician,
Expos'd to blind the nation's eyes,
A parchment[2] of prodigious size;
Conceal'd behind that ample screen,
There was no silver to be seen.
But to this parchment let the Drapier
Oppose his countercharm of paper,
And ring Wood's copper in our ears
So loud till all the nation hears;
That sound will make the parchment shrivel,
And drive the conjurers to the Devil:
And when the sky is grown serene,
Our silver will appear again.



  1. A great lady was said to have been bribed by Wood.
  2. The patent for coining halfpence.