[Page 223]

The Man bitten by Fleas.

1 A Peevish Fellow laid his Head
2 On Pillows, stuff'd with Down;
3 But was no sooner warm in Bed,
4 With hopes to rest his Crown,
[Page 224]
5 But Animals of slender size,
6 That feast on humane Gore,
7 From secret Ambushes arise,
8 Nor suffer him to snore;
9 Who starts, and scrubs, and frets, and swears,
10 'Till, finding all in vain,
11 He for Relief employs his Pray'rs
12 In this old Heathen strain.
13 Great Jupiter! thy Thunder send
14 From out the pitchy Clouds,
15 And give these Foes a dreadful End,
16 That lurk in Midnight Shrouds:
17 Or Hercules might with a Blow,
18 If once together brought,
19 This Crew of Monsters overthrow,
20 By which such Harms are wrought.
[Page 225]
21 The Strife, ye Gods! is worthy You,
22 Since it our Blood has cost;
23 And scorching Fevers must ensue,
24 When cooling Sleep is lost.
25 Strange Revolutions wou'd abound,
26 Did Men ne'er close their Eyes;
27 Whilst those, who wrought them wou'd be found
28 At length more Mad, than Wise.
29 Passive Obedience must be us'd,
30 If this cannot be Cur'd;
31 But whilst One Flea is slowly bruis'd,
32 Thousands must be endur'd.
33 Confusion, Slav'ry, Death and Wreck
34 Will on the Nation seize,
35 If, whilst you keep your Thunders back,
36 We're massacr'd by Fleas.
[Page 226]
37 Why, prithee, shatter-headed Fop,
38 The laughing Gods reply;
39 Hast thou forgot thy Broom, and Mop,
40 And Wormwood growing nigh?
41 Go sweep, and wash, and strew thy Floor,
42 As all good Housewives teach;
43 And do not thus for Thunders roar,
44 To make some fatal Breach:
45 Which You, nor your succeeding Heir,
46 Nor yet a long Descent
47 Shall find out Methods to repair,
48 Tho' Prudence may prevent.
49 For Club, and Bolts, a Nation call'd of late,
50 Nor wou'd be eas'd by Engines of less Weight:
51 But whether lighter had not done as well,
52 Let their Great-Grandsons, or their Grandsons tell.


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Title (in Source Edition): The Man bitten by Fleas.
Genres: fable

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Source edition

Winchilsea, Anne Kingsmill Finch, Countess of, 1661-1720. Miscellany poems, on several occasions: Written by the Right Honble Anne, Countess of Winchilsea. London: printed for J. B. and sold by Benj. Tooke, William Taylor, and James Round, 1713, pp. 223-226. [8],390p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T94539; Foxon pp. 274-5; OTA K076314.000) (Page images digitized from a copy in the Bodleian Library [Buxton 100].)

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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 Anne Finch (née Kingsmill), countess of Winchilsea