[Page 125]


1 A JOLLY, brave toper, who cou'd not forbear
2 Tho' his life was in danger, old port and stale beer,
3 Gave the doctors the hearing but still wou'd drink on,
4 Till the dropsy had swell'd him as big as a ton.
5 The more he took physic the worse still he grew,
6 And tapping was now the last thing he cou'd do.
7 Affairs at this crisis, and doctors come down,
8 He began to consider so sent for his son.
9 Tom, see by what courses I've shorten'd my life,
10 I'm leaving the world ere I'm forty and five;
11 More than probable 'tis, that in twenty-four hours,
12 This manor, this house, and estate will be yours;
13 My early excesses may teach you this truth,
14 That 'tis working for death to drink hard in one's youth.
15 Says Tom, (who's a lad of a generous spirit,
16 And not like young rakes who 're in haste to inherit,)
17 Sir, don't be dishearten'd; altho' it be true,
18 Th' operation is painful, and hazardous too,
19 'Tis no more than what many a man has gone thro'.
20 And then, as for years, you may yet be call'd young,
21 Your life after this may be happy and long.
22 Don't flatter me, Tom, was the father's reply,
23 With a jest in his mouth and a tear in his eye;
24 Too well by experience, my vessels, thou know'st,
25 No sooner are tap'd, but they give up the ghost.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The DROPSICAL MAN.
Themes: food; drink; parents; children
Genres: comic verse
References: DMI 181

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Source edition

Dodsley, Robert, 1703-1764. A Collection of Poems in Six Volumes. By Several Hands. Vol. VI. London: printed by J. Hughs, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1763 [1st ed. 1758], p. 125. 6v.: music; 8⁰. (ESTC T131163; OTA K104099.006) (Page images digitized by the Eighteenth-Century Poetry Archive from a copy in the archive's library.)

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