The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/Dan Jackson's Defence


"My verse little better you'll find than my face is,
A word to the wise — ut pictura poësis."

THREE merry lads, with envy stung,
Because Dan's face is better hung,
Combin'd in verse to rhyme it down,
And in its place set up their own;
As if they'd run it down much better
By number of their feet in metre,
Or that its red did cause their spite,
Which made them draw in black and white.
Be that as 'twill, this is most true,
They were inspir’d by what they drew.
Let then such criticks know, my face
Gives them their comeliness and grace:
While every line of face does bring
A line of grace to what they sing.
But yet, methinks, though with disgrace
Both to the picture and the face,
I should name them who do rehearse
The story of the picture farce;
The squire, in French as hard as stone,
Or strong as rock, that's all as one,
On face on cards is very brisk, sirs.
Because on them you play at whisk, sirs,
But much I wonder, why my crany
Should envy'd be by De-el-any:
And yet much more, that half-namesake
Should join a party in the freak,
For sure I am it was not safe
Thus to abuse his better half,
As I shall prove you, Dan, to be,
Divisim and conjunctively.
For if Dan love not Sherry, can
Sherry be any thing to Dan?
This is the case whene'er you see
Dan makes nothing of Sherry;
Or should Dan be by Sherry o'erta'en.
Then Dan would be poor Sherridane;
Tis hard then he should be decry'd
By Dan with Sherry by his side.
But, if the case must be so hard,
That faces suffer by a card,

Let criticks censure, what care I?
Backbiters only we defy,
Faces are free from injury.