Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A SHORT SONG OF CONGRATULATION, by SAMUEL JOHNSON (1709-1784)



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A SHORT SONG OF CONGRATULATION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Long-expected one and twenty
Last Line: You can hang or drown at last!
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson, Dr.
Variant Title(s): One And Twenty
Subject(s): Birthdays; Inheritance & Succession; Labor & Laborers; Marriage; Wealth; Youth; Heirs; Work; Workers; Weddings; Husbands; Wives; Riches; Fortunes


LONG-EXPECTED One-and-twenty,
Lingering year, at length is flown:
Pride and pleasure, pomp and plenty,
Great Sir John, are now your own.

Loosened from the minor's tether,
Free to mortgage or to sell,
Wild as wind and light as feather,
Bid the sons of thrift farewell.

Call the Betsies, Kates, and Jennies,
All the names that banish care;
Lavish of your grandsire's guineas,
Show the spirit of an heir.

All that prey on vice and folly
Joy to see their quarry fly:
There the gamester, light and jolly,
There the lender, grave and sly.

Wealth, Sir John, was made to wander,
Let it wander as it will;
Call the jockey, call the pander,
Bid them come and take their fill.

When the bonny blade carouses,
Pockets full, and spirits high--
What are acres? What are houses?
Only dirt, or wet or dry.

Should the guardian friend or mother
Tell the woes of wilful waste,
Scorn their counsel, scorn their pother;--
You can hang or drown at last!





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