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THE

HAUNCH OF VENISON;

A Poetical Epistle

TO

LORD CLARE.

FIRST PRINTED IN MDCCLXV,

THE

HAUNCH OF VENISON.

THANKS, my lord, for your venison, for fine,

or fatter Never rang'd in a forest, or smok'd in a platter; The haunch was a picture for painters to study, The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy; l'hough my stomach was sharp, I could scarce help

regretting To spoil such a delicate picture by eating: I had thoughts, in my chambers to place it in view, To he shown to my friends as a piece of vertu ; 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, Tbey'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fried in. But hold- let me pause-don't I hear you pro

nonnce, This tale of the bacon's a damnable bounce? Well, suppose it a bounce-sure a poet may try, By a bounce now and then, to get courage to fly. But, my lord, it's no bounce: 1 protest in m

turn, It's a truth-and your lordship may ask Mr. Burn.. To go on with my tale-As I gaz'd on the haunch; I thougbt of a friend that was trusty and staunch,

* Lord Clare's nephew.

So I cnt it, and sent it to Reynolds undrest,
To paint it, or eat it, just as he lik'd 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 l' was puzzled again,
With the how, and the who, and the where, and

the when,
There's HMI, and C-ý, and H-rth, and H~ff,
I think they love venison-I know they love beef,
There's my countryman Higgins-Oh! let him alone,
For making a blunder, or picking a bone.
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 1 debated, in reverie centred,
An acquaintance, a friend as he call'd himself, en-

ter'd ; An under-bred, fine-spoken fellow was he, And he smil'd as he look'd at the ven'son and me. "What have we got here?-Why this is good eating ! 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 pleas'd 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. Tomorrow you take a poor dinner with me; No words- I insist on't-precisely at three: We'll have Johnson, and Burke, all the wits will be

there; My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my lord Clare. And, now that I think on't, as I am a sinner, We wanted this venison to inake out a dinner.

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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!' Thus snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the wind, 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, Yet Johnson and Burke and a good venison pasty, Were things that I never dislik'd in my life, Thongh clogg’d with a coxcomb, and Kitty his wife. So next day, in due splendour to make my approach, I drove to his door in my own hackney-coach. When come to the place where we all were to dine (A chair-lumber'd closet just twelve feet by nine), My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite

dumb With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not

come; • For I knew it,' he cried, both eternally fail, The one with his speeches, and t'other with Thrale ; Bat 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 describ'd them by trade and by name,
They enter'd, and dinner was serv'd as they came.

* See the letters that passed between his royal highness Herry Duke of Cumberland, and lady Grosvenor: 12mo. 1769.

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