An Elegy on a Lap-dog
John Gay, Poems on Several Occasions (London: Jacob Tonson and Bernard Lintot, 1720). E-10 4365 Fisher Rare Book Library (Toronto).
1Shock's fate I mourn; poor Shock is now no more,
2Ye Muses mourn, ye chamber-maids deplore.
3Unhappy Shock! yet more unhappy fair,
4Doom'd to survive thy joy and only care!
5Thy wretched fingers now no more shall deck,
6And tie the fav'rite ribbon round his neck;
7No more thy hand shall smooth his glossy hair,
8And comb the wavings of his pendent ear.
9Yet cease thy flowing grief, forsaken maid;
10All mortal pleasures in a moment fade:
11Our surest hope is in an hour destroy'd,
12And love, best gift of heav'n, not long enjoy'd.
13 Methinks I see her frantic with despair,
14Her streaming eyes, wrung hands, and flowing hair
15Her Mechlen pinners rent the floor bestrow,
16And her torn fan gives real signs of woe.
17Hence Superstition, that tormenting guest,
18That haunts with fancied fears the coward breast;
19No dread events upon his fate attend,
20Stream eyes no more, no more thy tresses rend.
21Tho' certain omens oft forewarn a state,
22And dying lions show the monarch's fate;
23Why should such fears bid Celia's sorrow rise?
24For when a lap-dog falls no lover dies.
25 Cease, Celia, cease; restrain thy flowing tears,
26Some warmer passion will dispel thy cares.
27In man you'll find a more substantial bliss,
28More grateful toying, and a sweeter kiss.
29 He's dead. Oh lay him gently in the ground!
30And may his tomb be by this verse renown'd.
31Here Shock, the pride of all his kind, is laid;
32Who fawn'd like man, but ne'er like man betray'd.
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RPO poem Editors:
N. J. Endicott