Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A DIALOGUE BETWEEN TOM AND ROBIN: 1. TRAULUS, by JONATHAN SWIFT

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A DIALOGUE BETWEEN TOM AND ROBIN: 1. TRAULUS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Say, robin, what can traulus mean
Last Line: Mount alive, and dead descend.

Say, Robin, what can Traulus mean
By bellowing thus against the Dean?
Why does he call him paltry scribbler,
Papist, and Jacobite, and libeller?
Yet cannot prove a single fact.
robin: Forgive him, Tom, his head is cracked.
tom: What mischief can the Dean have done him,
That Traulus calls for vengeance on him?
Why must he sputter, spawl and slaver it
In vain, against the people's favourite?
Revile that nation-saving paper
Which gave the Dean the name of Drapier?
robin: Why Tom, I think the case is plain,
Party and spleen have turned his brain.
tom: Such friendship never man professed,
The Dean was never so caressed:
For Traulus long his rancour nursed,
Till, God knows why, at last it burst.
That clumsy outside of a porter,
How could it thus conceal a courtier?
robin: I own appearances are bad;
But still insist the man is mad.
tom: Yet many a wretch in Bedlam knows,
How to distinguish friends from foes;
And though perhaps among the rout,
He wildly flings his filth about,
He still has gratitude and sap'ence,
To spare the folks that give him ha'pence:
Nor in their eyes at random pisses,
But turns aside like mad Ulysses:
While Traulus all his ordure scatters,
To foul the man he chiefly flatters.
Whence come these inconsistent fits?
robin: Why Tom, the man has lost his wits!
tom: Agreed. And yet, when Towser snaps
At people's heels with frothy chaps;
Hangs down his head, and drops his tail,
To say he's mad will not avail:
The neighbours all cry, 'Shoot him dead,
Hang, drown, or knock him on the head.'
So Traulus when he first harangued,
I wonder why he was not hanged:
For of the two, without dispute,
Towser's the less offensive brute.
robin: Tom, you mistake the matter quite;
Your barking curs will seldom bite:
And though you hear him stut-tut-tut-ter,
He barks as fast as he can utter.
He prates in spite of all impediment
While none believes that what he said he meant:
Puts in his finger and his thumb,
To grope for words, and out they come.
He calls you rogue; there's nothing in it,
He fawns upon you in a minute.
Begs leave to rail, 'but damn his blood,
He only meant it for your good.
His friendship was exactly timed,
He shot before your foes were primed:
By this contrivance, Mr Dean,
By God I'll bring you off as clean...'
Then let him use you e'er so rough,
'Twas all for love, and that's enough.
For let him sputter through a session,
It never makes the least impression.
Whate'er he speaks for madness goes,
With no effect on friends or foes.
tom: The scrubbest cur in all the pack
Can set the mastiffs on your back.
I own, his madness is a jest,
If that were all. But he's possessed:
Incarnate with a thousand imps,
To work whose ends, his madness pimps.
Who o'er each string and wire preside,
Fill every pipe, each motion guide.
Directing every vice we find
In scripture, to the devil assigned:
Sent from the dark infernal region
In him they lodge, and make him Legion.
Of brethren he's a false accuser,
A slanderer, traitor and seducer;
A fawning, base, trepanning liar,
The marks peculiar of his sire.
Or, grant him but a drone at best:
A drone can raise a hornet's nest:
The Dean hath felt his stings before;
And, must their malice ne'er give o'er?
Still swarm and buzz about his nose?
But Ireland's friends ne'er wanted foes.
A patriot is a dangerous post
When wanted by his country most;
Perversely comes in evil times,
Where virtues are imputed crimes,
His guilt is clear, the proofs are pregnant,
A traitor to the vices regnant.
Could always bear to strive with man?
Which God pronounced he never would,
And soon convinced them by a flood.
Yet still the Dean on freedom raves,
His spirit always strives with slaves.
'Tis time at last to spare his ink,
And let them rot, or hang, or sink.
Motley fruit of mongrel seed:
By the dam from lordlings sprung,
By the sire exhaled from dung:
Think on every vice in both,
Look on him and see their growth.
Filled with falsehood, spleen and pride;
Positive and overbearing,
Changing still, and still adhering,
Spiteful, peevish, rude, untoward;
Fierce in tongue, in heart a coward:
When his friends he is most hard on,
Cringing comes to beg their pardon;
Reputation ever tearing,
Ever dearest friendship swearing;
Judgement weak, and passion strong,
Always various, always wrong:
Provocation never waits,
Where he loves, or where he hates.
Talks whate'er comes in his head,
Wishes it were all unsaid.
From his father's scoundrel race.
Who could give the looby such airs?
Were they masons, were they butchers?
Herald, lend the muse an answer,
From his Atavus and grandsire;
This was dextrous at his trowel,
That was bred to kill a cow well:
Hence the greasy clumsy mien,
In his dress and figure seen:
Hence the mean and sordid soul,
Like his body, rank and foul:
Hence that wild suspicious peep,
Like a rogue that steals a sheep:
Hence he learnt the butcher's guile,
How to cut a throat and smile:
Like a butcher doomed for life,
In his mouth to wear his knife.
Hence he draws his daily food,
From his tenants' vital blood.
Borrowed from the mason's side:
Some perhaps may think him able
In the state to build a Babel:
Could we place him in a station,
To destroy the old foundation,
True indeed I should be gladder,
Could he learn to mount a ladder.
Mount alive, and dead descend.

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