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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/On the Five Ladies at Sot's-hole

ON THE

FIVE LADIES AT SOT'S-HOLE[1],

WITH THE DOCTOR[2] AT THEIR HEAD.

N. B. THE LADIES TREATED THE DOCTOR.

SENT AS FROM AN OFFICER IN THE ARMY. 1728.


FAIR ladies, number five,
Who, in your merry freaks,
With little Tom contrive
To feast on ale and steaks;

While he sits by a grinning,
To see you safe in Sot's hole,
Set up with greasy linen,
And neither mugs nor pots whole;

Alas! I never thought,
A priest would please your palate;
Besides, I'll hold a groat,
He'll put you in a ballad;

Where I shall see your faces
On paper daub'd so foul,
They'll be no more like Graces,
Than Venus like an owl.

And we shall take you rather
To be a midnight pack
Of witches met together,
With Beelzebub in black.

It fills my heart with woe,
To think, such ladies fine
Should be reduc'd so low,
To treat a dull divine.

Be by a parson cheated!
Had you been cunning stagers,
You might yourselves be treated
By captains and by majors.

See how corruption grows,
While mothers, daughters, aunts,
Instead of powder'd beaux,
From pulpits choose gallants.

If we, who wear our wigs
With fantail and with snake,
Arc bubbled thus by prigs;
Z—ds! who would be a rake?

Had I a heart to fight,
I'd knock the doctor down;
Or could I read or write,
Egad! I'd wear a gown.

Then leave him to his birch[3];
And at the Rose on Sunday,
The parson safe at church,
I'll treat you with burgundy.

  1. An alehouse in Dublin famous for beef-steaks.
  2. Dr. Thomas Sheridan.
  3. Dr. Sheridan was a schoolmaster.