Home  »  Poems of Places An Anthology in 31 Volumes  »  Dean Swift at Sir Arthur Acheson’s, in the North of Ireland

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Ireland: Vol. V. 1876–79.

Market Hill

Dean Swift at Sir Arthur Acheson’s, in the North of Ireland

By Jonathan Swift (1667–1745)

THE DEAN would visit Market Hill,

Our invitation was but slight;

I said, “Why let him, if he will.”

And so I bade Sir Arthur write.

His manners would not let him wait,

Lest we should think ourselves neglected,

And so we see him at our gate

Three days before he was expected.

After a week, a month, a quarter,

And day succeeding after day,

Says not a word of his departure,

Though not a soul would have him stay.

I ’ve said enough to make him blush,

Methinks, or else the devil ’s in ’t;

But he cares not for it a rush,

Nor for my life will take the hint.

But you, my dear, may let him know,

In civil language, if he stays,

How deep and foul the roads may grow,

And that he may command the chaise.

Or you may say, “My wife intends,

Though I should be exceeding proud,

This winter to invite some friends,

And, sir, I know you hate a crowd.”

Or, “Mr. Dean, I should with joy

Beg you would here continue still,

But we must go to Aghnecloy,

Or Mr. Moore will take it ill.”

The house accounts are daily rising;

So much his stay doth swell the bills:

My dearest life, it is surprising

How much he eats, how much he swills.

His brace of puppies, how they stuff!

And they must have three meals a day,

Yet never think they get enough;

His horses too eat all our hay.

O, if I could, how I would maul

His tallow face and wainscot paws,

His beetle brows, and eyes of wall,

And make him soon give up the cause!

Must I be every moment chid

With Skinnybonia, Snipe, and Lean?

O that I could but once be rid

Of this insulting tyrant Dean!