The Gadfly


    All gentle folks who owe a grudge
    To any living thing
    Open your ears and stay your t[r]udge
    Whilst I in dudgeon sing.

    The Gadfly he hath stung me sore
    O may he ne'er sting you!
    But we have many a horrid bore
    He may sting black and blue.

    Has any here an old grey Mare
    With three legs all her store,
    O put it to her Buttocks bare
    And straight she'll run on four.

    Has any here a Lawyer suit
    Of 1743,
    Take Lawyer's nose and put it to't
    And you the end will see.

    Is there a Man in Parliament
    Dum[b-] founder'd in his speech,
    O let his neighbour make a rent
    And put one in his breech.

    O Lowther how much better thou
    Hadst figur'd t'other day
    When to the folks thou mad'st a bow
    And hadst no more to say.

    If lucky Gadfly had but ta'en
    His seat
    And put thee to a little pain
    To save thee from a worse.

    Better than Southey it had been,
    Better than Mr. D-------,
    Better than Wordsworth too, I ween,
    Better than Mr. V-------.

    Forgive me pray good people all
    For deviating so --
    In spirit sure I had a call --
    And now I on will go.

    Has any here a daughter fair
    Too fond of reading novels,
    Too apt to fall in love with care
    And charming Mister Lovels,

    O put a Gadfly to that thing
    She keeps so white and pert --
    I mean the finger for the ring,
    And it will breed a wort.

    Has any here a pious spouse
    Who seven times a day
    Scolds as King David pray'd, to chouse
    And have her holy way --

    O let a Gadfly's little sting
    Persuade her sacred tongue
    That noises are a common thing,
    But that her bell has rung.

    And as this is the summon bo
    num of all conquering,
    I leave "withouten wordes mo"
    The Gadfly's little sting.


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Return to the John Keats library , or . . . Read the next poem; The Pot Of Basil; or, Isabella

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