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• No, never, from this hour to part,

We'll live and love so true,
The sigh that rends thy constant heart

Shall break thy Edwin's too.'

THÉ HAUNCH OF VENISON.

An Epistle to Lord Clare.
FIRST PRINTED IN THE YEAR 1765.

THANKS, my lord, for your venison, for finer or

fatter Ne'er ranged in a forest or smoked in a platter; The haunch was a picture for painters to study, The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy; Though my stomach was sharp, I could scarce

help regretting To spoil such a delicate picture by eating: I had thoughts, in my chamber to place it in view, To be shown to my friends as a piece of virtû: As in some Irish houses, where things are so so, One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show; But, for eating a rasher of what they take pride in, They'd as soon think of eating the

pan

it is fried in. But hold— let me pause-don't I hear you pro

nounce, This tale of the bacon 's a damnable bounce; Well, suppose it a bouncés

:-sure a poet may try, By a bounce now and then, to get courage to fly. But, my lord, it's no bounce: I protest in my

Burn It's a truth—and your lordship may ask Mr.

1 Lord Clare's nephew.

turn,

X

To go on with my tale—as I gazed on the haunch,
I thought of a friend that was trusty and stanch;
So I cut it, and sent it to Reynold's undress'd,
To paint it, or eat it, just as he liked best:
Of the neck and the breast I had next to dispose;
"Twas a neck and a breast that might rival Monroe's:
But in parting with these I was puzzled again,
With the how and the who and the where and

the when,
There's H-d and C-y and H-rth and H-ff,
I think they love venison-I know they love beef.
There's my countryman Higgins-Oh! let him
For making a blunder or picking a bone. (alone,
But hang it, to poets who seldom can eat,
Your very good mutton's a very good treat ;
Such dainties to them, their health it might hurt,
It's like sending them ruffles when wanting a shirt.
While thus I debated, in reverie centred,
An acquaintance, a friend as he call’d himself, en-

ter'd; An underbred, finespoken fellow was he, And he smiled as he look'd at the venison and me, What have we got here ?- Why this is good eat

ing! Your own I suppose- -or is it in waiting ?' • Why whose should it be? (cried I with a flounce;) I get these things often-(but that was a bounce): Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the na

tion, Are pleased to be kind—but I hate ostentation.'

• If that be the case then (cried he, very gay), I'm glad I have taken this house in my way. To-morrow you

dinner with me; No words-I insist on 't-precisely at three :

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take a poor

We'll have Johnson, and Burke; all the wits will be there;

Clare. My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my lord And, now that I think on't, as I am a sinner! We wanted this venison to make out a dinner. What say you-a pasty, it shall, and it must, And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust. Here, porter-this venison with me to Mile End; No stirring, I beg-my dear friend-my dear friend !

[wind, Thus snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.

Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf, And nobody with me at sea but myself? ;' Though I could not help thinking my gentleman hasty,

[pasty Yet Johnson and Burke and a good venison Were things that I never disliked in my

life, Though clogg'd with a coxcomb, and Kitty his

wife. So next day, in due splendour to make my ap

proach, I drove to his door in my own hackney coach. When come to the place where we were all to

dine (A chair lumber'd closet just twelve feet by nine), My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite dumb

[come; With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not • For I knew it (he cried), both eternally fail, The one with his speeches, and the other with

Thrale;

? See the letters that passed between his Royal Highness Henry Duke of Cumberland and Lady Grosvenor.

But no matter, I'll warrant we'll make up the party, With two full as clever, and ten times as hearty. The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew, They're both of them merry, and authors like you; The one writes the Snarler, the other the Scourge; Some think he writes Cinna-he owns to Panurge.' While thus he described them by trade and by

name, They enter’d, and dinner was served as they came.

At the top a fried liver and bacon were seen, At the bottom was tripe, in a swinging tureen; At the sides there were spinach and pudding

made hot; In the middle'a place where the pasty—was not. Now, my lord, as for tripe, it's my utter aversion, And

your bacon I hate like a Turk or a Persian; So there I sat stuck like a horse in a pound, While the bacon and liver went merrily round: But what vex'd me most, was that d 'd Scot

[his brogue, With his long winded speeches, his smiles, and And, madam (quoth he), may this bit be my A prettier dinner I never set eyes on; [poison, Pray a slice of your liver, though may I be cursed, But I've eat of your tripe till I'm ready to burst.' • The tripe (quoth the Jew, with his chocolate

cheek), I could dine on this tripe seven days in a week: I like these here dinners so pretty and small; But your friend there, the doctor, eats nothing at

all.' (-ho! (quoth my friend) he'll come on in a

trice, He's keeping a corner for something that's nice :

tish rogue,

6

[baker.

There's a pasty'- A pasty! (repeated the Jew ;) I don't care if I keep a corner for't too.'—

What the de'il, mon, a pasty! (reecho'd the Scot;) Though splitting, I'll still keep a corner for that.' « We'll all keep a corner,' the lady cried out; • We'll all keep a corner,' was echo'd about. While thus we resolved, and the pasty delay'd, With looks that quite petrified, enter'd the maid; A visage so sad and so pale with affright Waked Priam, in drawing his curtains by night. But we quickly found out (for who could mistake

her?) That she came with some terrible news from the And so it fell out, for that negligent sloven Had shut out the pasty on shutting his oven. Sad Philomel thus—but let similes dropAnd now that I think on't the story may stop. To be plain, my good lord, it's but labour mis

placed, To send such good verses to one of your taste: You've got an odd something a kind of dis

cerningA relish-a taste-sicken'd over by learning; At least it's your temper, as very well known, That you think very slightly of all that's your

own; So, perhaps, in your habits of thinking amiss, You may make a mistake, and think slightly of

this.

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