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VERSES DESIGNED TO BE SENT TO MR. ADAMS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Indeed, good sir, you're quite mistaken
Last Line: What spirits, pray, possess you men?
Alternate Author Name(s): Thomas, Mrs. Elizabeth
Subject(s): Animals; Evil

On his having read a French author, who supposed that the fallen angels
abide in brute beasts, and his inferring from thence that Focky, Dicky and Cornet
(a dog, a canary-bird and a cat belonging to three of his friends) are possessed
with evil spirits

INDEED, good Sir, you're quite mistaken,
If you've for evil spirits taken
My faithful Jock, or Dick or Cornet,
For let me tell you, Sir, they scorn it.
My Jocky I'll first vindicate,
Then on the others I'll debate.
My dog is honest and sincere,
I never saw him fawn and sneer;
He's faithful, kind, and never did
Love me the worse when I have chid;
He'd follow me though I were poor
And begged my bread from door to door.
If I caress him, he is pleased;
If I neglect him, I'm ne'er teased.
In any danger he's assistance:
With teeth and claws he'd make resistance.
Then tell me, pray, with all this merit,
Can Jocky have an evil spirit?
Poor Cornet is a quiet creature:
One reads his mind in every feature;
He ne'er makes mischief in the house,
Nor quarrels e'er but with a mouse,
But sits and purrs beside the fire,
For his ambition soars not higher.
Then how submissive does he stand
At meals, to watch Miss Jenny's hand;
With scraps of cheese or crusts of bread
Thinks his attendance nobly paid.
Should he a secret overhear,
That he'll divulge you need not fear;
In short, the creature is so civil,
You cannot think his spirit evil.
Against Miss Betty's dicky-bird
I cannot let you say a word,
When I reflect that he is come,
From all his friends and native home,
To a cold climate 'cross the seas,
And prisoner kept in little ease;
Yet far from mourning his sad fate,
He never shows the least regret,
But daily tires his lungs and throat
To sing Miss Betty some sweet note;
And what's surprising, ne'er did he
Attempt to gain his liberty.
Thus far I vindicate my friends:
If you're convinced, I've gained my ends.
Men oft may err, and books deceive,
But sure experience you'll believe.
That this I vouch, take on my credit:
Had it been false, I'd ne'er have said it.
If these are evil spirits, then
What spirits, pray, possess you men?

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