Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, COUNTRY COMMISSIONS, by JAMES SMITH (1775-1839)

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

COUNTRY COMMISSIONS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Cousin charles, please to send down to-morrow
Last Line: I cannot do half what you wish!
Subject(s): Country Life; Parks; Poetry & Poets

COUSIN Charles, please to send down to-morrow,
At eight, by the Scarborough mail,
Claudine, or the Victim of Sorrow,
Don Juan, two mops, and a pail.
As soon as you enter Hyde Park, it
Must suit you to call in Gough-square;
And when you're in Leadenhall Market,
Buy a rattle at Bartl'my Fair.

Do give the enclosed to George Colburn,
The tinman -- he's sure to be found --
He lives in Southampton-street, Holburn,
Or else near the Islington Pound.
Papa wants a hamper of claret
Like that which he smuggled from Tours,
Aunt Agatha wants a poll parrot --
Perhaps you could let her have yours.

We are dying for Lord Byron's sonnet,
Tell Jones I have sent him a pig,
Mamma wants a new sarcenet bonnet,
The size of the head of our gig.
Could you match the enclosed bit of ribbon --
Do buy Tom an ounce of rape-seed;
When you send the third volume of Gibbon,
Do send Jack a velocipede.

Some shears that old Dobbin will well dock,
A mouse-trap, a gold-headed cane,
A bottle of Steers' opedeldoc,
Three ounces of alicampane,
Gold wire from Duke's Head, Little Britain,
A purple tin kaleidescope,
A tea-tray, a tortoise-shell kitten,
Rob Roy, and a long bit of soap.

Six ounces of Bohea from Twining's,
A peg-top, a Parmesan cheese,
Some rose-coloured sarcenet for linings,
A stew-pan, and Stevenson's Glees;
A song ending "Hey noni noni,"
A chair with a cover of chintz,
A mummy dug up by Belzoni,
A skein of white worsted from Flint's.


Can I pocket St. Paul's like an apple,
Take Waterloo bridge in my teeth,
Mount astride the Green Dragon, Whitechapel,
And fight all the butchers beneath?
Can I eat Bank directors by dozens,
Put the national debt in a dish?
If I cannot my dear country cousins,
I cannot do half what you wish!

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