I am jet black, as you may see,
The son of pitch and gloomy night:
Yet all that know me will agree,
I'm dead except I live in light.
Sometimes in panegyric high,
Like lofty Pindar, I can soar;
And raise a virgin to the sky,
Or sink her to a pocky whore.
My blood this day is very sweet,
To-morrow of a bitter juice;
Like milk, 'tis cried about the street,
And so applied to different use.
Most wondrous is my magic power:
For with one colour I can paint;
I'll make the devil a saint this hour,
Next make a devil of a saint.
Through distant regions I can fly,
Provide me but with paper wings;
And fairly show a reason why
There should be quarrels among kings:
And, after all, you'll think it odd,
When learned doctors will dispute,
That I should point the word of God,
And show where they can best confute.
Let lawyers bawl and strain their throats:
'Tis I that must the lands convey,
And strip their clients to their coats;
Nay, give their very souls away.
More verses by Jonathan Swift
- A New Year’s Gift For Bec
- Stella’s Birth-Day. 1724-5
- Cadenus And Vanessa
- Market Women’s Cries