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English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Samuel Johnson

307. A Satire

LONG-EXPECTED one-and-twenty,

Ling’ring year, at length is flown;

Pride and pleasure, pomp and plenty,

Great (Sir John), are now your own.

Loosen’d from the minor’s tether,

Free to mortgage or to sell,

Wild as wind, and light as feather,

Bid the sons of thrift farewell.

Call the Betseys, Kates, and Jennies,

All the names that banish care;

Lavish of your grandsire’s guineas,

Show the spirits of an heir.

All that prey on vice and folly,

Joy to see their quarry fly;

There the gamester, light and jolly,

There the lender, grave and sly.

Wealth, my lad, was made to wander,

Let it wander as it will;

Call the jockey, call the pander,

Bid them come and take their fill.

When the bonny blade carouses,

Pockets full, and spirits high—

What are acres? What are houses?

Only dirt, or wet or dry.

Should the guardian, friend, or mother,

Tell the woes of wilful waste,

Scorn their counsel, scorn their pother,—

You can hang or drown at last!