Vulgar words in The Poems of Jonathan Swift, D.D., Volume 1 (Page 1)
This book at a glance
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Last year, a lad hence by his parents sent With other cattle to the city went; Where having cast his coat, and well pursued The methods most in fashion to be lewd, Return'd a finish'd spark this summer down, Stock'd with the freshest gibberish of the town; A jargon form'd from the lost language, wit, Confounded in that Babel of the pit; Form'd by diseased conceptions, weak and wild, Sick lust of souls, and an abortive child; Born between whores and fops, by lewd compacts, Before the play, or else between the acts; Nor wonder, if from such polluted minds Should spring such short and transitory kinds, Or crazy rules to make us wits by rote, Last just as long as every cuckoo's note: What bungling, rusty tools are used by fate!
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some pity show On cobblers militant below, Whom roguish boys, in stormy nights, Torment by pissing out their lights, Or through a chink convey their smoke, Enclosed artificers to choke.
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By your language, I judge, you think me a wench; He that makes love to me, must make it in French.
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When food and raiment now grew scarce, Fate put a period to the farce, And with exact poetic justice; For John was landlord, Phyllis hostess; They keep, at Stains, the Old Blue Boar, Are cat and dog, and rogue and whore.
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Thus all society is lost, Men laugh at one another's cost: And half the company is teazed That came together to be pleased: For all buffoons have most in view To please themselves by vexing you.
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Him let her marry for his face, And only coat of tarnish'd lace; To turn her naked out of doors, And spend her jointure on his whores; But, for a parting present, leave her A rooted pox to last for ever!
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So, when upon a moonshine night, An ass was drinking at a stream, A cloud arose, and stopt the light, By intercepting every beam: The day of judgment will be soon, Cries out a sage among the crowd; An ass has swallow'd up the moon!
~ ~ ~ Sentence 1,575 ~ ~ ~
 You for the news are ne'er to seek; While we, perhaps, may wait a week; You happy folks are sure to meet A hundred whores in every street; While we may trace all Dublin o'er Before we find out half a score.
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There are ten thousand Dicks beside; Slaves to their quiet and good name, Are used like Dick, and bear the blame.
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And when his last speech the loud hawkers did cry, He swore from his cart, "It was all a damn'd lie!"
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The hangman for pardon fell down on his knee; Tom gave him a kick in the guts for his fee: Then said, I must speak to the people a little; But I'll see you all damn'd before I will whittle.
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Five years a nymph at certain hamlet, Y-cleped Harrow of the Hill, a- --bused much my heart, and was a damn'd let To verse--but now for Domitilla.
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Thus Dædalus and Ovid too, That man's a blockhead, have confest: Powel and Stretch the hint pursue; Life is a farce, the world a jest.
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What Momus was of old to Jove, The same a Harlequin is now; The former was buffoon above, The latter is a Punch below.
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ON BURNING A DULL POEM 1729 An ass's hoof alone can hold That poisonous juice, which kills by cold.
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Methought, when I this poem read, No vessel but an ass's head Such frigid fustian could contain; I mean, the head without the brain.
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To Dublin he comes, to the bagnio he goes, And orders the landlord to bring him a whore; No scruple came on him his gown to expose, 'Twas what all his life he had practised before.
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The dean, and his landlord, a jolly comrade, Resolved for a fortnight to swim in delight; For why, they had both been brought up to the trade Of drinking all day, and of whoring all night.
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And precedents we can produce, if it please ye: Then why should the dean, when whores are so cheap, Be put to the peril and toil of a rape?
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The dean he was vex'd that his whores were so willing; He long'd for a girl that would struggle and squall; He ravish'd her fairly, and saved a good shilling; But here was to pay the devil and all.
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it turn'd poor Strephon's bowels When he beheld and smelt the towels, Begumm'd, bematter'd, and beslim'd, With dirt, and sweat, and ear-wax grim'd; No object Strephon's eye escapes; Here petticoats in frouzy heaps; Nor be the handkerchiefs forgot, All varnish'd o'er with snuff and snot.
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Come, tell us, has she play'd the whore?
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E. B._] THE PLACE OF THE DAMNED 1731 All folks who pretend to religion and grace, Allow there's a HELL, but dispute of the place: But, if HELL may by logical rules be defined The place of the damn'd--I'll tell you my mind.
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Wherever the damn'd do chiefly abound, Most certainly there is HELL to be found: Damn'd poets, damn'd critics, damn'd blockheads, damn'd knaves, Damn'd senators bribed, damn'd prostitute slaves; Damn'd lawyers and judges, damn'd lords and damn'd squires; Damn'd spies and informers, damn'd friends and damn'd liars; Damn'd villains, corrupted in every station; Damn'd time-serving priests all over the nation; And into the bargain I'll readily give you Damn'd ignorant prelates, and counsellors privy.
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Then let us no longer by parsons be flamm'd, For we know by these marks the place of the damn'd: And HELL to be sure is at Paris or Rome.
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While each pale sinner hung his head, Jove, nodding, shook the heavens, and said: "Offending race of human kind, By nature, reason, _learning_, blind; You who, through frailty, stepp'd aside; And you, who never fell--_through pride_: You who in different sects were shamm'd, And come to see each other damn'd; (So some folk told you, but they knew No more of Jove's designs than you;) --The world's mad business now is o'er, And I resent these pranks no more.
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--I to such blockheads set my wit!
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I damn such fools!--Go, go, you're _bit_."
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Thus, when a greedy sloven once has thrown His snot into the mess, 'tis all his own.
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By the multitude of those who deal in rhymes, from half a sheet to twenty, which come out every minute, there must be at least five hundred poets in the city and suburbs of London: half as many coffeehouse orators, exclusive of the clergy, forty thousand politicians, and four thousand five hundred profound scholars; not to mention the wits, the railers, the smart fellows, and critics; all as illiterate and impudent as a suburb whore.
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The god, who favour'd her request, Assured her he would do his best: But Venus had been there before, Pleaded the bishop loved a whore, And had enlarged her empire wide; He own'd no deity beside.
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Hort can assume more forms than I, A rake, a bully, pimp, or spy; Can creep, or run, or fly, or swim; All motions are alike to him: Turn him adrift, and you shall find He knows to sail with every wind; Or, throw him overboard, he'll ride As well against as with the tide.
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You'll find him swear, blaspheme, and damn (And every moment take a dram) His ghastly visage with an air Of reprobation and despair; Or else some hiding-hole he seeks, For fear the rest should say he squeaks; Or, as Fitzpatrick did before, Resolve to perish with his whore; Or else he raves, and roars, and swears, And, but for shame, would say his prayers.
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He had a way of insinuating himself into all ministers, under every change, either as pimp, flatterer, or informer.
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Not beggar's brat on bulk begot; Not bastard of a pedler Scot; Not boy brought up to cleaning shoes, The spawn of Bridewell or the stews; Not infants dropp'd, the spurious pledges Of gipsies litter'd under hedges; Are so disqualified by fate To rise in church, or law, or state, As he whom Phoebus in his ire Has blasted with poetic fire.
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The hawker shows you one in print, As fresh as farthings from the mint: The product of your toil and sweating; A bastard of your own begetting.
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But if you blab, you are undone: Consider what a risk you run: You lose your credit all at once; The town will mark you for a dunce; The vilest dogg'rel Grub Street sends, Will pass for yours with foes and friends; And you must bear the whole disgrace, Till some fresh blockhead takes your place.
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Thus every poet, in his kind, Is bit by him that comes behind: Who, though too little to be seen, Can teaze, and gall, and give the spleen; Call dunces, fools, and sons of whores, Lay Grub Street at each other's doors; Extol the Greek and Roman masters, And curse our modern poetasters; Complain, as many an ancient bard did, How genius is no more rewarded; How wrong a taste prevails among us; How much our ancestors outsung us: Can personate an awkward scorn For those who are not poets born; And all their brother dunces lash, Who crowd the press with hourly trash.
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OYSTERS Charming oysters I cry: My masters, come buy, So plump and so fresh, So sweet is their flesh, No Colchester oyster Is sweeter and moister: Your stomach they settle, And rouse up your mettle: They'll make you a dad Of a lass or a lad; And madam your wife They'll please to the life; Be she barren, be she old, Be she slut, or be she scold, Eat my oysters, and lie near her, She'll be fruitful, never fear her.
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SWIFT TO HIMSELF ON ST. CECILIA'S DAY Grave Dean of St. Patrick's, how comes it to pass, That you, who know music no more than an ass, That you who so lately were writing of drapiers, Should lend your cathedral to players and scrapers?
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For, as their appetites to quench, Lords keep a pimp to bring a wench; So men of wit are but a kind Of panders to a vicious mind Who proper objects must provide To gratify their lust of pride, When, wearied with intrigues of state, They find an idle hour to prate.
~ ~ ~ Sentence 3,599 ~ ~ ~
But I, in politics grown old, Whose thoughts are of a different mould, Who from my soul sincerely hate Both kings and ministers of state; Who look on courts with stricter eyes To see the seeds of vice arise; Can lend you an allusion fitter, Though flattering knaves may call it bitter; Which, if you durst but give it place, Would show you many a statesman's face: Fresh from the tripod of Apollo, I had it in the words that follow: Take notice to avoid offence, I here except his excellence: "So, to effect his monarch's ends, From hell a viceroy devil ascends; His budget with corruptions cramm'd, The contributions of the damn'd; Which with unsparing hand he strews Through courts and senates as he goes; And then at Beelzebub's black hall, Complains his budget was too small."