Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SPECIMEN OF A POETICAL PARAPHRASE OF OUR GENERAL'S JOURNAL, by ROYALL TYLER



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

SPECIMEN OF A POETICAL PARAPHRASE OF OUR GENERAL'S JOURNAL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: In that famed town, which sends to boston mart
Last Line: Cetera desunt
Alternate Author Name(s): Old Simon; S.
Subject(s): Heath, William (1737-1814); New England


IN that fam'd town, which sends to Boston mart,
The gliding Tom Pung, and the rattling cart;
Which starves itself to wealthier palates please;
With early lamb, and earliest hotspur peas;
Which holds in market stalls an envied name,
For butcher glory, vegetable fame.
In that fam'd town, whose wealthy farmers sow
A field of radish, and a grass plat now;
Whose early harvest is a sieve of greens
Whose latter harvest is a mess of beans;
O'er whose scant farms no sturdy oxen go,
But a lank plough boy tackled to a hoe.
In that fam'd town, whence mother Draper rides,
With panniers bounding from her mare's lank sides;
Laden with birch bark boxes, berries tart,
With sweet rose water, and her ketchup smart:
While through the streets, the shrill tongu'd widow screams
Her neck beef sausage, and her tough string beans.
In that fam'd town whence comes the fattest beef,
The plumpest lamb, and veal, and pig, and Heath,
Our Gen'ral rose -- and rose before the sun
Had o'er the rocky town his race begun.
For 'twas the hour when prudent farmers start
From homespun bed to lade the market cart --
Around him all the youngling Heaths prepare
T' obey the precepts of paternal care. --
Some pick the green ear'd corn with tassled silk,
Some skim the old, some water the new milk:
Some with distended cheek inflate the lamb,
Some with dishclout plump the kidnies cram;
Some beets and turnips wash in the clean stream,
Some wet long gathered peas to make them green;
Last autumn's butter some work o'er anew,
With juice of carrots tinge the golden hue;
The rancid layers a youthful form assume,
The sightly box displays the lumps of June.
Our Gen'ral rose and thus addressed the drove
Of youngling Heaths; sprouts of your father's love,
Shoots of my glory, scions of my name,
Twigs of my hope, and suckers of my Fame,
Your labours quit, suspend the hucksters' art,
Unhorse the panniers, and unload the cart;
Let Boston bellies grumble one whole day,
Whilst I the honours of your sire display;
For know, if I'm denied publication,
My facts must surely suffer mutilation;
For why do you see, when once in print am I,
I'm always sure to tell the self same lie;
'Tis for posterity I write 'tis true,
But them I publish to advantage you;
With flowers of Greece and Rome I'd soon be fluster'd,
I love no flowers, but the flower of mustard;
And that I love, because, the proverb cries,
That mustard makes a very weak man wise;
But tho' stern foe to royal tyrant guile
I must adopt for pomp the royal style. --
Know then Will Heath, our major general,
Was born near Boston, and that is not all;
O wonderous strange, and past profane belief,
Five generations, of the name of Heath,
Liv'd in one house, which stood on the same lot,
And dug potatoes from the self same spot;
And what's more strange our General so big,
On this same spot does still potatoes dig.

Cetera desunt





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