[Page 74]


The Goat without a beard.

1 'TIS certain, that the modish passions
2 Descend among the croud, like fashions.
3 Excuse me then; if pride, conceit,
4 (The manners of the fair and great)
5 I give to monkeys, asses, dogs,
6 Fleas, owls, goats, butterflys and hogs.
[Page 75]
7 I say, that these are proud. What then?
8 I never said, they equal men.
9 A Goat (as vain as goat can be)
10 Affected singularity:
11 Whene'er a thymy bank he found,
12 He roll'd upon the fragrant ground,
13 And then with fond attention stood,
14 Fix'd, o'er his image in the flood.
15 I hate my frowzy beard, he crys;
16 My youth is lost in this disguise.
17 Did not the females know my vigour,
18 Well might they loath this rev'rend figure.
19 Resolv'd to smooth his shaggy face,
20 He sought the barber of the place.
21 A flippant monkey, spruce and smart,
22 Hard by, profest the dapper art;
23 His pole with pewter basons hung,
24 Black rotten teeth in order strung,
[Page 76]
25 Rang'd cups, that in the window stood,
26 Lin'd with red rags, to look like blood,
27 Did well his threefold trade explain,
28 Who shav'd, drew teeth, and breath'd a vein.
29 The Goat he welcomes with an air,
30 And seats him in his wooden chair,
31 Mouth, nose and cheek the lather hides,
32 Light, smooth and swift the razor glides.
33 I hope your custom, Sir, says pug.
34 Sure never face was half so smug!
35 The Goat, impatient for applause,
36 Swift to the neighb'ring hill withdraws;
37 The shaggy people grinn'd and star'd.
38 Heighday! what's here? without a beard!
39 Say, brother, whence the dire disgrace?
40 What envious hand hath robb'd your face?
41 When thus the fop with smiles of scorn.
42 Are beards by civil nations worn?
43 Ev'n Muscovites have mow'd their chins.
44 Shall we, like formal Capucins,
[Page 77]
45 Stubborn in pride, retain the mode,
46 And bear about the hairy load?
47 Whene'er we through the village stray,
48 Are we not mock'd along the way,
49 Insulted with loud shouts of scorn,
50 By boys our beards disgrac'd and torn?
51 Were you no more with goats to dwell,
52 Brother, I grant you reason well,
53 Replys a bearded chief. Beside,
54 If boys can mortify thy pride,
55 How wilt thou stand the ridicule
56 Of our whole flock? affected fool!
57 Coxcombs, distinguish'd from the rest,
58 To all but coxcombs are a jest.


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): FABLE [22] XXII. The Goat without a beard.
Author: John Gay
Themes: animals
Genres: fable

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Source edition

Gay, John, 1685-1732. FABLES. By Mr. GAY. London: Printed for J. Tonson and J. Watts, MDCCXXVII., 1727, pp. 74-77. [14],173,[1]p.: ill.; 4°. (ESTC T13818)

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Typography, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation have been cautiously modernized. The source of the text is given and all significant editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. 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.

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