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.


facebook share button twitter share button google plus share button tumblr share button reddit share button email share button share on pinterest pinterest

Create a library and add your favorite stories. Get started by clicking the "Add" button.
Add The Gadfly to your own personal library.

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

Anton Chekhov
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Susan Glaspell
Mark Twain
Edgar Allan Poe
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
Herman Melville
Stephen Leacock
Kate Chopin
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson