Namby-Pamby: or, A Panegyric on the New Versification

Original Text: 
H. Carey, Poems on Several Occasions, 3rd edn. (London: E. Say, 1729): 55-61. 11632.e.70 British Library.
Nauty Pauty Jack-a-Dandy
Stole a Piece of Sugar-Candy,
From the Grocer's Shoppy-shop,
And away did hoppy-hop.
2All ye Witlings of the Stage!
3Learn your Jingles to reform!
4Crop your Numbers and Conform:
5Let your little Verses flow
6Gently, Sweetly, Row by Row:
7Let the Verse the Subject fit;
8Little Subject, Little Wit.
14From the Navel to the Knee;
15That her Father's Gracy-Grace
16Might give him a Placy-Place.
17He no longer writes of Mammy
20Of a Matron most distrest.
21Now the venal Poet sings
23Baby Dolls, and Baby Houses,
24Little Misses, Little Spouses;
25Little Play-Things, little Toys,
26Little Girls, and little Boys.
27As an Actor does his Part,
28So the Nurses get by Heart
29Namby Pamby's Little Rhimes,
30Little Jingle, Little Chimes,
31To repeat to Little Miss,
32Piddling Ponds of Pissy-Piss;
35Namby Pamby ne'er will die
36While the Nurse sings Lullabye.
37Namby Pamby's doubly mild,
38Once a Man, and twice a Child;
39To his Hanging-Sleeves restor'd;
40Now he foots it like a Lord;
41Now he pumps his little Wits;
43All by little tiny Bits.
44Now methinks I hear him say,
46Moon do's shine as bright as Day.
47Now my Namby Pamby's found
48Sitting on the Friar's Ground,
49Picking Silver, Picking Gold,
50Namby Pamby's never old.
52Namby Pamby still keeps in.
53Namby Pamby is no Clown,
55Now he courts the gay Ladee,
58Burning in the Brimstone Fire;
59Lyar, Lyar! Lick-spit, lick,
62Sitting in the Chimney-Corner,
63Eating of a Christmas-Pie,
64Putting in his Thumb, Oh, fie!
65Putting in, Oh, fie! his Thumb,
66Pulling out, Oh, strange! a Plumb.
68Sticking Apples in the Mud:
69When 'tis turn'd to Stee, Staw, Stire,
70Then he sticks 'em in the Mire.
72Calling for a Pot of Beer;
73Where's his Money? He's forgot:
74Get him gone, a Drunken Sot.
76And anon on Timber stride,
78London is a gallant Town!
79Now he gathers Riches in,
80Thicker, faster, Pin by Pin:
81Pins a-piece to see his Show,
82Boys and Girls flock Row by Row;
83From their Cloaths the Pins they take,
84Risque a Whipping for his sake;
85From their Frocks the Pins they pull,
86To fill Namby's Cushion full.
87So much Wit at such an Age,
88Does a Genius great presage,
89Second Childhood gone and past,
90Shou'd he prove a Man at last!
91What must second Manhood be,
92In a Child so bright as he?
93    Guard him, ye poetic Powers!
94Watch his Minutes, watch his Hours:
96Let poetic Fury fire him:
97Let the Poets, one and all,
98To his Genius Victims fall.


1] Nauty Pauty: The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, ed.Iona and Peter Opie (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952), no. 259 (p. 232):
Handy spandy, Jack-a-Dandy,
Loves plum cake and sugar candy;
He bought some at a grocer's shop,
And out he came, hop, hop, hop, hop.
Back to Line
9] a parody of Ambrose Philips (1674-1749), a minor poet not highly regarded then or now. Back to Line
10] Albion: Great Britain (then Scotland and England).
Hibernia: Ireland, a separate kingdom. Back to Line
11] Pilly-piss: perhaps, pissing on [his] cushion or "pill" (OED, "pillow"). Back to Line
12] Rhimy pim'd: presumably "rhyme-y" and a nonce word. Back to Line
13] Tartaretta Tartaree: perhaps a play on "tart," or prostitute. Back to Line
18] Andromache: "A reference to Phillips' play The Distrest Mother (Drury Lane 17/3/1712), the heroine of which is Andromache" (Wood, Poems: 255). Back to Line
19] panging: complaining. Back to Line
22] Clouts: clothes. Back to Line
33] Cacking-packing: excreting. Back to Line
34] Crady: cradle. Back to Line
42] Sh---ing Writes and Writing Sh-ts: the usual four-letter word. Back to Line
45] Opie, no. 75 (pp. 99-100), from 1708-09:
Boys and girls come out to play,
The moon doth shine as bright as day.
Leave your supper and leave your sleep,
And join your playfellows in the street.
Back to Line
51] Bally-Cally: an allusion to ballad, "ballet"? Back to Line
54] Opie, no. 306 (pp. 270-76), the first occurrence:
London Bridge is broken down,
Broken down, broken down,
London Bridge is broken down,
My fair lady.
Back to Line
56] Lady-Lee: the river Lea, identification courtesy of Paul Stanton, who writes, "Lady Lea is quoted in early versions of 'London Bridge Is Falling Down,' and is obviously a reference to the River Lea" in the lines "London Bridge is broken down, / Dance over the Lady Lea; / London Bridge is broken down, / With a gay lady." Back to Line
57] Lick-spit Lyar: a lying toady. Back to Line
60] possibly Opie, no. 255 (pp. 226-27):
Jack be nimble,
Jack be quick,
Jack jump over
The candle stick.
Back to Line
61] Opie, no. 262 (pp. 234-36), the first occurrence:
Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in a thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said, What a good boy am I?
Back to Line
67] Stee, Staw, Stud: stee and staw are variants of "sty" (a ladder), and stud means "upright timber." Back to Line
71] Opie, no. 196 (p. 195), the first occurrence:
Who comes here?
A grenadier.
What do you want?
A pot of beer.
Where's your money?
I forgot.
Get you gone,
You drunken lot.
Back to Line
75] possibly alluding to a lost early version of Opie, no. 29 (pp. 65-67):
Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To buy little Johnny a galloping horse
Back to Line
Opie, no. 309 (pp. 277-78), the first occurrence:
See-saw, sacradown,
Which is the way to London town?
One foot up and one foot down,
That is the way to London town.
Back to Line
95] Tuneful Nine: the Muses. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Namby Pamby: or, a panegyrick on the new versification address'd to A----- P---- (Dublin, 1725)
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 2001.