Open main menu

The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/Tim and the Fables


MY meaning will be best unravell'd,
When I premise that Tim has travell'd.
In Lucas's by chance there lay
The Fables writ by Mr. Gay.
Tim set the volume on a table,
Head over here and there a fable;
And found, as he the pages twirl'd,
The monkey who had seen the world:
(For Tonson had, to help the sale,
Prefix'd a cut to every tale.)
The monkey was completely drest,
The beau in all his airs exprest.
Tim, with surprise and pleasure staring,
Ran to the glass, and then comparing
His own sweet figure with the print,
Distinguish’d every feature in't,
The twist, the squeeze, the rump, the fidge in all,
Just as they look'd in the original.
"By —," says Tim, and let a fart,
"This graver understood his art.
'Tis a true copy, I'll say that for't;
I well remember, when I sat for't.
My very face, at first I knew it;
Just in this dress the painter drew it."
Tim, with his likeness deeply smitten,
Would read what underneath was written,
The merry tale, with moral grave,
He now began to storm and rave:
"The cursed villain! now I see
This was a libel meant at me:
These scribblers grow so bold of late
Against us ministers of state!
Such jacobites as he deserve —
D—n me! I say, they ought to starve."