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Dost thou bewilder'd wander all alone,
In the green thicket of a mossy stone;
Or tumbled from the toadstool's slippery round,
Perhaps all maim'd, lie grovelling on the ground?
Dost thou, embosom'd in the lovely rose,
Or sunk within the peach's down, repose?
Within the king-cup if thy limbs are spread,
Or in the golden cowslip's velvet head:
O shew me, Flora, midst those sweets, the flower
Where sleeps my Grildrig in his fragrant bower!
"But ah! I fear thy little fancy roves
On little females, and on little loves;
"Thy pigmy children, and thy tiny spouse,
Thy baby play-things that adorn thy house,
Doors, windows, chimneys, and the spacious rooms,
Equal in size to cells of honeycombs,
Hast thou for these now ventured from the shore,
bean-shell, and a straw thy oar?
Or in thy box, now bounding on the main,
Shall I ne'er bear thy self and house again?
And shall I set thee on my hand no more,
To see thee leap the lines, and traverse o'er
My spacious palm? Of stature scarce a span,
Mimic the actions of a real man?
No more behold thee turn my watch's key,
As seamen at a capstern anchors weigh?
How wert thou wont to walk with cautious tread,
A dish of tea like milk-pail on thy head?
How chase the mite that bore thy cheese away,
And keep the rolling maggot at a bay ?"
She said, but broken accents stopp'd her voice, Soft as the speaking-trumpet's mellow noise: She sobb'd a storm, and wiped her flowing eyes, Which seem'd like two broad suns in misty skies! O squander not thy grief; those tears command To weep upon our cod in Newfoundland: The plenteous pickle shall preserve the fish, And Europe taste thy sorrows in a dish.
MARY GULLIVER TO CAPTAIN LEMUEL GULLIVER.
The captain, some time after his return, being retired to Mr. Sympson's in the country, Mrs. Gulliver, apprehending from his late behaviour some estrangement of his affections, writes him the following expostulating, soothing, and tenderly-complaining epistle.
WELCOME, thrice welcome, to thy native place!
What, touch me not? what, shun a wife's embrace? Have I for this thy tedious absence borne, And waked, and wish'd whole nights for thy return? In five long years I took no second spouse; What Redriff wife so long hath kept her vows? Your eyes, your nose, inconstancy betray; Your nose you stop, your eyes you turn away. "Tis said, that thou should'st cleave unto thy wife; Once thou didst cleave, and I could cleave for life. Hear, and relent! hark how thy children moan; Be kind at least to these, they are thy own: Be bold, and count them all; secure to find The honest number that you left behind. See how they pat thee with their pretty paws: Why start you? are they snakes? or have they claws? Thy Christian seed, our mutual flesh and bone: Be kind at least to these, they are thy own.
Biddell, like thee, might farthest India rove;
He changed his country, but retain'd his love.
There's Captain Pennell,1 absent half his life,
Comes back, and is the kinder to his wife.
Yet Pennell's wife is brown, compared to me;
And Mrs. Biddell sure is fifty-three.
Not touch me! never neighbour call'd me slut:
Was Flimnap's dame more sweet in Lilliput ?
I've no red hair to breathe an odious fume;
At least thy consort's cleaner than thy groom.
Why then that dirty stable-boy thy care?
What mean those visits to the sorrel mare?
1 Names of the sea captains mentioned in Gulliver's Travels.
Say, by what witchcraft, or what demon led,—
Preferr'st thou litter to the marriage bed!
Some say the devil himself is in that mare:
If so, our dean shall drive him forth by prayer.
Some think you mad, some think you are possess'd;
That Bedlam and clean straw will suit you best.
Vain means, alas! this frenzy to appease,
That straw, that straw, would heighten the disease.
My bed (the scene of all our former joys,
Witness two lovely girls, two lovely boys,)
Alone I press; in dreams I call my dear,
I stretch my hand, no Gulliver is there!
I wake, I rise, and, shivering with the frost,
Search all the house, my Gulliver is lost!
Forth in the street I rush with frantic cries;
The windows open, all the neighbours rise;
"Where sleeps my Gulliver? O tell me where!"
The neighbours answer, "With the sorrel mare."
At early morn, I to the market haste,
(Studious in everything to please thy taste;)
A curious fowl and sparagrass I chose
(For I remember you were fond of those);
Three shillings cost the first, the last seven groats;
Sullen you turn from both, and call for oats.
Others bring goods and treasure to their houses,
Something to deck their pretty babes and spouses;
My only token was a cup like horn,
That's made of nothing but a lady's corn.
"Tis not for that I grieve; no, 'tis to see
The groom and sorrel mare preferred to me!
These, for some moments when you deign to quit,
And (at due distance) sweet discourse admit,
'Tis all my pleasure thy past toil to know,
For pleased remembrance builds delight on woe.
At every danger pants thy consort's breast,
And gaping infants squall to hear the rest.
How did I tremble, when, by thousands bound,
I saw thee stretch'd on Lilliputian ground?
When scaling armies climb'd up every part,
Each step they trod, I felt upon my heart.
But when thy torrent quench'd the dreadful blaze,
King, queen, and nation, staring with amaze,
Full in my view how all my husband came,
And what extinguish'd theirs, increased my flame.
Those spectacles, ordain'd thine eyes to save,
Were once my present; love that armour gave.
How did I mourn at Bolgolam's decree!
For when he sign'd thy death, he sentenced me.
When folks might see thee all the country round
For sixpence, I'd have given a thousand pound.
Lord! when the giant-babe that head of thine
Got in his mouth, my heart was up in mine!
When in the marrow-bone I see thee ramm'd;
Or on the house-top by the monkey cramm'd,
The piteous images renew my pain,
And all thy dangers I weep o'er again.
But on the maiden's nipple when you rid,
Pray Heaven, 'twas all a wanton maiden did!
Glumdalclitch too!-with thee I mourn her case:
Heaven guard the gentle girl from all disgrace!
O may the king that one neglect forgive,
And pardon her the fault by which I live!
Was there no other way to set him free?
My life, alas! I fear proved death to thee.
O teach me, dear, new words to speak my flame! Teach me to woo thee by thy best-loved name! Whether the style of Grildrig please thee most, So call'd on Brobdignag's stupendous coast, When on the monarch's ample hand you sate, And hollow'd in his ear intrigues of state; Or Quinbus Flestrin more endearment brings; When like a mountain you looked down on kings: If ducal Nardac Lilliputian peer,
Or Glumglum's humbler title soothe thy ear:
Nay, would kind Jove my organs so dispose,
To hymn harmonious Houyhnhnm through the nose,
I'd call thee Houyhnhnm, that high sounding name;
Thy children's noses all should twang the same.
So might I find my loving spouse of course
Endued with all the virtues of a horse.
TO QUINBUS FLESTRIN, THE MAN-MOUNTAIN.
Lost, I gaze,
Can our eyes
Reach thy size ?
May my lays
Swell with praise,
All thy fire!
Bards of old
Of him told,
When they said
Propp'd the skies:
See! and believe your eyes!
See him stride
When he treads,
Groan and shake:
Let his spurn
Man and steed,
Troops take heed!
Left and right,
Speed your flight!
Lest an host
Beneath his foot be lost.
From his hide,
Safe from wound