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William Somerville (Уильям Сомервилл)


A Padlock for the Mouth


JACK Dimple was a merry blade,
Young, amorous, witty, and well made;
" Discreet!" — Hold, sir, — nay, as I live,
My friend, you're too inquisitive:
Discretion, all men must agree,
Is a most shining quality,
Which, like leaf-gold, makes a great show,
And thinly spread sets off a beau:
But, sir, to put you out of pain,
Our younker had not half a grain,
A leaky blab, rash, faithless, vain.
The victories his eyes had won
As soon as e'er obtain'd were known;
For trophies rear'd the deed proclaim,
Spoils hung on high expose the dame,
And love is sacrific'd to fame.
Such insolence the sex alarms,
The female world is up in arms;
The' outrageous bacchanals combine,
And brandish'd tongues in concert join.
Unhappy youth! where wilt thou go
To' escape so terrible a foe?
Seek shelter on the Lybian shore,
Where tigers and where lions roar?
Sleep on the borders of the Nile,
And trust the wily crocodile;
'Tis vain to shun a woman's hate,
Heavy the blow, and sure as fate.
Phyllis appear'd among the crowd,
But not so talkative and loud,
With silence and with care supprest
The glowing vengeance in her breast,
Resolv'd by stratagem and art
To make the saucy villain smart.
The cunning baggage had prepar'd
Pomatum of the finest lard,
With strong astringents mix'd the mess,
Alum, and vitriol, q. s.
Arsenic, and bole: but I want time
To turn all Quincy into rhyme;
'Twonld make my diction too sublime.
Her grandame this receipt had taught,
Which Bendo from Grand Cairo brought,
An able styptic (as 'tis said)
To soder a crack'd maidenhead.
This ointment being duly made,
The jilt upon her toilette laid:
The sauntering cully soon appears,
As usual, vows, protests, and swears;
Careless an opera tune he hums,
Plunders her patchbox, breaks her combs.
As up and down the monkey play'd,
His hand upon the box he laid,
The fatal box: pleas'd with her wiles,
The treacherous Pandora smiles.
" What's this?" cries Jack. — " That box!" said she:
" Pomatum; what else should it be?"
But here 'tis fit my reader knows
'Twas March, when blustering Boreas blows,
Stern enemy to belies and beaux.
His lips were sore; rough, pointed, torn,
The coral bristled like a thorn.
Pleas'd with a cure so a-propos ,
Nor jealous of so fair a foe,
The healing ointment thick he spread,
And every gaping cranny fed.
His chops begin to glow and shoot;
He strove to speak, but, oh! was mute,
Mute as a fish; all he could strain,
Were some hoarse gutturals forc'd with pain.
He stamps, he raves, he sobs, he sighs,
The tears ran trickling from his eyes;
He thought but could not speak a curse;
His lips were drawn into a purse,
Just like — like what? — why, like mine a —
Faith 'twas an entertaining farce.
Madam no longer could contain,
Triumphant joy bursts out amain;
She laughs, she screams, the house is rais'd,
Through all the street the' affair is blaz'd:
In shoals now all the neighbours come,
Laugh out, and press into the room.
Sir Harry Tawdry and his bride,
Miss Tulip, deck'd in all her pride;
Wise madam Froth, and widow Babble,
Coquettes and prudes, a mighty rabble:
So great a concourse ne'er was known
At Smithfield, when a monster's shown;
When bears dance jigs with comely mien,
When witty Punch adorns the scene,
Or frolic Pug plays Harlequin.
In vain he strives to hide his head,
In vain he creeps behind the bed,
Ferreted thence, expos'd to view,
The crowd their clamorous shouts renew:
A thousand taunts, a thousand jeers,
Stark dumb, the passive creature hears.
No perjur'd villain nail'd on high,
And pelted in the pillory,
His face besmear'd, his eyes, his chops,
With rotten eggs and turnip-tops,
Was e'er so maul'd. Phyllis, at last,
To pay him for offences past,
With sneering malice in her face
Thus spoke, and gave the coup de grace:
" Lard! how demure and how precise
He looks! silence becomes the wise.
Vile tongue! its master to betray,
But now the prisoner must obey,
I've lock'd the door, and keep the key.
Learn hence, what angry women can,
When wrong'd by that false traitor, man;
Who boasts our favours, soon or late
The treacherous blab shall feel our hate."



William Somerville's other poems:
  1. The Two Springs
  2. For the Lute
  3. The Oyster
  4. Hunting Song
  5. The Dog and the Bear


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