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The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 7/Written in a Lady's Ivory Tablebook

written in a lady's ivory tablebook,

1699.


PERUSE my leaves through every part,
And think thou seest my owner's heart,
Scrawl'd o'er with trifles thus, and quite
As hard, as senseless, and as light;
Expos'd to every coxcomb's eyes,
But hid with caution from the wise.
Here you may read, "Dear charming saint!"
Beneath, "A new receipt for paint:"
Here, in beau-spelling, "True tel deth;"
There, in her own, "For an el breth:"
Here, "Lovely nymph, pronounce my doom!"
There, "A safe way to use perfume:"
Here, a page fill'd with billets-doux;
On t'other side, "Laid out for shoes" —
"Madam, I die without your grace" —
"Item, for half a yard of lace."
Who that had wit would place it here,
For every peeping fop to jeer?
In power of spittle and a clout,
Whene'er he please to blot it out;
And then, to heighten the disgrace,
Clap his own nonsense in the place.
Whoe'er expects to hold his part
In such a book, and such a heart,
If he be wealthy, and a fool,
Is in all points the fittest tool;
Of whom it may be justly said,
He's a gold pencil tipp'd with lead.