A Description of the Morning

Original Text: 
The Tatler, 9 (Will's Coffee-house, April 28, 1709). E-10 206 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto)
2Appearing, show'd the ruddy morn's approach.
3Now Betty from her master's bed had flown,
4And softly stole to discompose her own.
5The slip-shod 'prentice from his master's door
6Had par'd the dirt, and sprinkled round the floor.
7Now Moll had whirl'd her mop with dext'rous airs,
8Prepar'd to scrub the entry and the stairs.
10The kennel-edge, where wheels had worn the place.
11The small-coal man was heard with cadence deep;
12Till drown'd in shriller notes of "chimney-sweep."
13Duns at his lordship's gate began to meet;
15The turnkey now his flock returning sees,
17The watchful bailiffs take their silent stands;
18And schoolboys lag with satchels in their hands.

Notes

1] The poem is introduced as follows: "the town has, this half age, been tormented with insects called easy writers .... Such jaunty scribblers are so justly laughed at for their sonnets on Phillis and Chloris, and fantastical descriptions in 'em, that an ingenious kinsman of mine, of the family of the Staffs, Mr. Humphrey Wagstaff by name, has, to avoid their strain, run into a way perfectly new, and described things exactly as they happen: he never forms trees, or nymphs, or groves, where they are not, but makes the incidents just as they really appear. For an example of it: I stole out of his manuscript the following lines: they are a description of the morning, but of the morning in town; nay, of the morning at this end of the town, where my kinsman at present lodges." Back to Line
9] broomy stumps: worn-out broom.
9-10. to trace/The kennel-edge: to sweep down the gutter.
Back to Line
14] brickdust Moll: painted prostitute. Back to Line
16] In return for privileges, jailers demanded fees from their prisoners. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
1709
RPO poem Editors: 
G. G. Falle
RPO Edition: 
3RP 2.64.
Form: