The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/To the Rev. Daniel Jackson
TO THE REV. DANIEL JACKSON;
TO BE HUMBLY PRESENTED BY MR. SHERIDAN IN PERSON, WITH RESPECT, CARE, AND SPEED.
HERE I return my trust, nor ask,
One penny for remittance;
If I have well perform’d my task,
Pray send me an acquittance.
Too long I bore this weighty pack,
As Hercules the sky;
Now take him you, Dan Atlas, back,
Let me be stander-by.
Not all the witty things you speak
In compass of a day,
Not half the puns you make a week,
Should bribe his longer stay.
With me you left him out at nurse,
Yet are you not my debtor;
For, as he hardly can be worse,
I ne'er could make him better.
He rhymes and puns, and puns and rhymes,
Just as he did before;
And, when he's lash'd a hundred times,
He rhymes and puns the more.
When rods are laid on schoolboys bums,
The more they frisk and skip:
The schoolboy's top but louder hums,
The more they use the whip.
Thus, a lean beast beneath a load
(A beast of Irish breed)
Will, in a tedious, dirty road,
Outgo the prancing steed.
You knock him down and down in vain,
And lay him flat before ye,
For, soon as he gets up again,
He'll strut, and cry, Victoria!
At every stroke of mine, he fell,
'Tis true he roar'd and cry'd;
But his impenetrable shell
Could feel no harm beside.
The tortoise thus, with motion slow,
Will clamber up a wall;
Yet, senseless to the hardest blow,
Gets nothing but a fall.
Dear Dan, then, why should you, or I,
Attack his pericrany?
And, since it is in vain to try,
We'll send him to Delany.
Lean Tom, when I saw him, last week, on his horse awry,
Threaten’d loudly to turn me to stone with his sorcery.
But, I think, little Dan, that, in spite of what our foe says,
He will find I read Ovid and his Metamorphosis.
For omitting the first (where I make a comparison,
With a sort of allusion to Putland or Harrison)
Yet, by my description, you'll find he in short is
A pack and a garran, a top and a tortoise.
So I hope from henceforward you ne'er will ask, can I maul
This teazing, conceited, rude, insolent animal?
And, if this rebuke might turn to his benefit,
(For I pity the man) I should be glad then of it.
- Alluding to the Prologue, mentioned above, p. 209.