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FABLE  XLVII.
The Court of Death.
1 Death, on a solemn night of state,
2 In all his pomp of terrors sate:
3 Th' attendants of his gloomy reign,
4 Diseases dire, a ghastly train,
5 Croud the vast court. With hollow tone
6 A voice thus thunder'd from the throne.
7 This night our minister we name,
8 Let ev'ry servant speak his claim;
9 Merit shall bear this eban wand.
10 All, at the word, stretch'd forth their hand.
11 Feaver, with burning heat possest,
12 Advanc'd, and for the wand addrest.
13 I to the weekly bills appeal,
14 Let those express my fervent zeal,
15 On ev'ry slight occasion near,
16 With violence I persevere.
17 Next Gout appears with limping pace,
18 Pleads how he shifts from place to place,
19 From head to foot how swift he flies,
20 And ev'ry joint and sinew plys,
21 Still working when he seems supprest,
22 A most tenacious stubborn guest.
23 A haggard spectre from the crew
24 Crawls forth, and thus asserts his due.
25 'Tis I who taint the sweetest joy,
26 And in the shape of love destroy:[Page 161]
27 My shanks, sunk eyes, and noseless face
28 Prove my pretension to the place.
29 Stone urg'd his ever-growing force.
30 And, next, Consumption's meagre corse,
31 With feeble voice, that scarce was heard,
32 Broke with short coughs, his suit prefer'd.
33 Let none object my lingring way,
34 I gain, like Fabius, by delay,
35 Fatigue and weaken ev'ry foe
36 By long attack, secure though slow.
37 Plague represents his rapid power,
38 Who thinn'd a nation in an hour.
39 All spoke their claim, and hop'd the wand.
40 Now expectation hush'd the band,
41 When thus the monarch from the throne.
42 Merit was ever modest known.
43 What, no physician speak his right!
44 None here! But fees their toils requite.
45 Let then Intemp'rance take the wand,
46 Who fills with gold their zealous hand.[Page 162]
47 You, Feaver, Gout, and all the rest,
48 (Whom wary men, as foes, detest,)
49 Forgo your claim; no more pretend:
50 Intemp'rance is esteem'd a friend,
51 He shares their mirth, their social joys,
52 And, as a courted guest, destroys;
53 The charge on him must justly fall,
54 Who finds employment for you all.
About this text
Author: John Gay
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Gay, John, 1685-1732. FABLES. By Mr. GAY. London: Printed for J. Tonson and J. Watts, MDCCXXVII., 1727, pp. 159-162. ,173,p.: ill.; 4°. (ESTC T13818)
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.
Other works by John Gay
- [FABLE ] INTRODUCTION TO THE FABLES. The Shepherd and the Philosopher. ()
- FABLE  I. The Lyon, the Tyger, and the Traveller. ()
- FABLE  II. The Spaniel and the Cameleon. ()
- FABLE  III. The Mother, the Nurse, and the Fairy. ()
- FABLE  IV. The Eagle, and the Assembly of Animals. ()
- FABLE  V. The Wild Boar and the Ram. ()
- FABLE  VI. The Miser and Plutus. ()
- FABLE  VII. The Lyon, the Fox, and the Geese. ()
- FABLE  VIII. The Lady and the Wasp. ()
- FABLE  IX. The Bull and the Mastiff. ()
- FABLE  X. The Elephant and the Bookseller. ()
- FABLE  XI. The Peacock, the Turkey, and Goose. ()
- FABLE  XII. Cupid, Hymen, and Plutus. ()
- FABLE  XIII. The tame Stag. ()
- FABLE  XIV. The Monkey who had seen the World. ()
- FABLE  XV. The Philosopher and the Pheasants. ()
- FABLE  XVI. The Pin and the Needle. ()
- FABLE  XVII. The Shepherd's Dog and the Wolf. ()
- FABLE  XVIII. The Painter who pleased No body and Every body. ()
- FABLE  XIX. The Lyon and the Cub. ()
- FABLE  XX. The Old Hen and the Cock. ()
- FABLE  XXI. The Rat-catcher and Cats. ()
- FABLE  XXII. The Goat without a beard. ()
- FABLE  XXIII. The Old Woman and her Cats. ()
- FABLE  XXIV. The Butterfly and the Snail. ()
- FABLE  XXV. The Scold and the Parrot. ()
- FABLE  XXVI. The Cur and the Mastiff. ()
- FABLE  XXVII. The Sick Man and the Angel. ()
- FABLE  XXVIII. The Persian, the Sun and the Cloud. ()
- FABLE  XXIX. The Fox at the point of death. ()
- FABLE  XXX. The Setting-dog and the Partridge. ()
- FABLE  XXXI. The Universal Apparition. ()
- FABLE  XXXII. The two Owls and the Sparrow. ()
- FABLE  XXXIII. The Courtier and Proteus. ()
- FABLE  XXXIV. The Mastiffs. ()
- FABLE  XXXV. The Barley-mow and the Dung-hill. ()
- FABLE  XXXVI. Pythagoras and the Countryman. ()
- FABLE  XXXVII. The Farmer's Wife and the Raven. ()
- FABLE  XXXVIII. The Turkey and the Ant. ()
- FABLE  XXXIX. The Father and Jupiter. ()
- FABLE  XL. The two Monkeys. ()
- FABLE  XLI. The Owl and the Farmer. ()
- FABLE  XLII. The Jugglers. ()
- FABLE  XLIII. The Council of Horses. ()
- FABLE  XLIV. The Hound and the Huntsman. ()
- FABLE  XLV. The Poet and the Rose. ()
- FABLE  XLVI. The Cur, the Horse, and the Shepherd's Dog. ()
- FABLE  XLVIII. The Gardener and the Hog. ()
- FABLE  XLIX. The Man and the Flea. ()
- FABLE  L. The Hare and many Friends. ()