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Poem by Jonathan Swift
Robin and Harry
Robin to beggars with a curse, Throws the last shilling in his purse; And when the coachman comes for pay, The rogue must call another day. Grave Harry, when the poor are pressing Gives them a penny and God's blessing; But always careful of the main, With twopence left, walks home in rain. Robin from noon to night will prate, Run out in tongue, as in estate; And, ere a twelvemonth and a day, Will not have one new thing to say. Much talking is not Harry's vice; He need not tell a story twice: And, if he always be so thrifty, His fund may last to five-and-fifty. It so fell out that cautious Harry, As soldiers use, for love must marry, And, with his dame, the ocean cross'd; (All for Love, or the World well Lost!) Repairs a cabin gone to ruin, Just big enough to shelter two in; And in his house, if anybody come, Will make them welcome to his modicum Where Goody Julia milks the cows, And boils potatoes for her spouse; Or darns his hose, or mends his breeches, While Harry's fencing up his ditches. Robin, who ne'er his mind could fix, To live without a coach-and-six, To patch his broken fortunes, found A mistress worth five thousand pound; Swears he could get her in an hour, If gaffer Harry would endow her; And sell, to pacify his wrath, A birth-right for a mess of broth. Young Harry, as all Europe knows, Was long the quintessence of beaux; But, when espoused, he ran the fate That must attend the married state; From gold brocade and shining armour, Was metamorphosed to a farmer; His grazier's coat with dirt besmear'd; Nor twice a-week will shave his beard. Old Robin, all his youth a sloven, At fifty-two, when he grew loving, Clad in a coat of paduasoy, A flaxen wig, and waistcoat gay, Powder'd from shoulder down to flank, In courtly style addresses Frank; Twice ten years older than his wife, Is doom'd to be a beau for life; Supplying those defects by dress, Which I must leave the world to guess.
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