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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/On Burning a Dull Poem


AN ass's hoof alone can hold
That poisonous juice, which kills by cold.
Methought, when I this poem read,
No vessel but an ass's head
Such frigid fustian could contain;
I mean, the head without the brain.
The cold conceits, the chilling thoughts,
Went down like stupifying draughts;
I found my head began to swim,
A numbness crept through every limb.
In haste, with imprecations dire,
I threw the volume in the fire;
When (who could think?) though cold as ice,
It burnt to ashes in a trice.
How could I more enhance its fame?
Though born in snow, it dy'd in flame.