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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/Will Wood's Petition

WILL WOOD'S PETITION TO THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND.


BEING AN EXCELLENT NEW SONG, SUPPOSED TO BE MADE AND SUNG IN THE STREETS OF DUBLIN,

BY WILLIAM WOOD,

IRONMONGER AND HALFPENNYMONGER.

1725.


MY dear Irish folks,
Come leave off your jokes,
And buy up my halfpence so fine;
So fair and so bright,
They'll give you delight;
Observe how they glisten and shine!

They'll sell, to my grief,
As cheap as neckbeef,
For counters at cards to your wife:
And every day
Your children may play
Spanfarthing, or toss on the knife.

Come hither, and try;
I'll teach you to buy
A pot of good ale for a farthing:
Come; threepence a score,
I ask you no more,
And a fig for the Drapier and Harding[1].

When tradesmen have gold,
The thief will be bold,
By day and by night for to rob him:
My copper is such,
No robber will touch,
And so you may daintily bob him.

The little blackguard,
Who gets very hard
His halfpence for cleaning your shoes:
When his pockets are cramm'd
With mine and be d—'d,
He may swear he has nothing to lose.

Here's halfpence in plenty,
For one you'll have twenty,
Though thousands are not worth a pudden.
Your neighbours will think.
When your pocket cries chink,
You are grown plaguy rich on a sudden.

You will be my thankers,
I'll make you my bankers,
As good as Ben Burton or Fade[2]:
For nothing shall pass
But my pretty brass,
And then you'll be all of a trade.

I'm a son of a whore
If I have a word more
To say in this wretched condition.
If my coin will not pass,
I must die like an ass;
And so I conclude my petition.



  1. The Drapier's printer.
  2. Two famous bankers.