[Page 320]


* It may be proper to inform the reader that this piece has already appeared in print, having found its way, though with some unnecessary additions by an unknown hand, into the Leeds Journal, without the author's privity.

1 THUS says the prophet of the Turk,
2 Good mussulman abstain from pork;
3 There is a part in ev'ry swine,
4 No friend or follower of mine
5 May taste, whate'er his inclination,
6 On pain of excommunication.
7 Such Mahomet's mysterious charge,
8 And thus he left the point at large.
9 Had he the sinful part express'd
10 They might with safety eat the rest;
11 But for one piece they thought it hard
12 From the whole hog to be debarr'd,
13 And set their wit at work to find
14 What joint the prophet had in mind.
[Page 321]
15 Much controversy strait arose,
16 These chuse the back, the belly those;
17 By some 'tis confidently said
18 He meant not to forbid the head,
19 While others at that doctrine rail,
20 And piously prefer the tail.
21 Thus, conscience freed from ev'ry clog,
22 Mahometans eat up the hog.
23 You laugh 'tis well the tale apply'd
24 May make you laugh on t'other side.
25 Renounce the world, the preacher cries
26 We do a multitude replies.
27 While one as innocent regards
28 A snug and friendly game at cards;
29 And one, whatever you may say,
30 Can see no evil in a play;
31 Some love a concert or a race,
32 And others, shooting and the chase.
33 Revil'd and lov'd, renounc'd and follow'd,
34 Thus bit by bit the world is swallow'd;
[Page 322]
35 Each thinks his neighbour makes too free,
36 Yet likes a slice as well as he,
37 With sophistry their sauce they sweeten,
38 'Till quite from tail to snout 'tis eaten.


  • TEI/XML [chunk] (XML - 83K / ZIP - 9.1K) / ECPA schema (RNC - 357K / ZIP - 73K)
  • Plain text [excluding paratexts] (TXT - 1.4K / ZIP - 1.0K)

Facsimile (Source Edition)

(Page images digitized by the University of California Libraries.)



All Images (PDF - 744K)

About this text

Themes: virtue; vice
Genres: allegory

Text view / Document view

Source edition

Cowper, William, 1731-1800. Poems: by William Cowper, of the Inner Temple, Esq. London: printed for J. Johnson, 1782, pp. 320-322. [4],367,[1]p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T14895; OTA K027775.000) (Page images digitized by the University of California Libraries.)

Editorial principles

The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 4.0.0.

Other works by William Cowper