Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, QUILCA HOUSE TO THE DEAN, by HENRY BROOKE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

QUILCA HOUSE TO THE DEAN, by            
First Line: I plainly see, good mr. Dean
Last Line: What yours cannot -- eternity.
Subject(s): Houses; Sheridan, Thomas (1687-1738); Swift, Jonathan (1667-1745)

I plainly see, good Mr. Dean,
That you cannot contain your spleen,
That you must spit it forth at times
In conversation or in rhymes;
Your friends and foes then fare alike,
But there are some you dare not strike.
For instance, if you should attack
My lord, he'd lay you on your back
In satire, pun or even poem --
I needn't tell you, for you know him.
But you attack his aged house,
Yet I don't matter you a louse.
This language may be low, it's true;
If so, I learned it all from you.
To classic wit I have been used,
But when I find myself abused,
I must return the selfsame dirt
Which spatters -- but can never hurt.
You've lost all sense of gratitude;
Nay, what is more, you're even rude.
Full oft, you know, beneath my garret
You've drunk the best of port and claret;
The best of mutton you have eat;
An apple-pie, too, was a treat.
You might have let my fire alone,
For when it's dull, it's like your own;
The doctor, then, laid by his rod;
The servants trembled at your nod;
My dame would list to what you said,
And if she broke poor Priscian's head,
She thanked you for your kind correction
Which did not flow from your affection,
But rather to evince your mast'ry
In grammar rules, conserves and pastry.
She always strove to please your palate;
As to yourself, why you're a salad.
You praised the meat, you praised the wine,
Called me an inn without a sign;
And if a thought should strike your noddle,
Instead of your own sleepy Poddle
You sought the limpid river's side
Where flow'rets bloom in eastern pride.
The sunny mead or tree-topped hill,
The winding stream that turned the mill
Left you in doubt which walk to choose,
For Quilca's sacred to the Muse.
My hearth, like my own master's heart,
Congenial glowed, and without art;
And if my chimney chanced to smoke,
It passed away like your own joke.
But let me tell you, Polyhymny
Has often sat in that same chimney;
I mean in that same chimney-corner,
But not like you in seat of scorner.
I'm sure my gate was never shut
To either full or empty gut;
My master never yet was known
On any day to dine alone.
"Or pick his chicken to the bone";
As you have done, as you've confessed --
I'll leave yourself to guess the rest.
But I'm no longer young and trim;
My windows now are rather dim.
For many winters I have stood,
And my old bones (I mean my wood)
Are daily yielding to decay,
And like your own will drop away;
But when they're even sunk and rotten,
I'm sure they'll never be forgotten;
My master's fame will lend to me
What yours cannot -- eternity.

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