[Page 406]


October, 1710.

1 Careful Observers may fortel the Hour
2 (By sure Prognostics) when to dread a Show'r:
3 While Rain depends, the pensive Cat gives o'er
4 Her Frolicks, and pursues her Tail no more.
5 Returning Home at Night, you'll find the Sink
6 Strike your offended Sense with double stink.
7 If you be wide, then gto not far to Dine,
8 You'll spend in Coach-hire more than save in Wine.
[Page 407]
9 A coming Show'r your shooting Corns presage,
10 Old Aches throb, your hollow Tooth will rage.
11 Sauntring in Coffee-house is Dulman seen;
12 He damns the Climate, and complains of Spleen.
13 MEAN while the South rising with dabbled Wings,
14 A Sable Cloud a-thwart the Welkin flings,
15 That swill'd more Liquor than it could contain,
16 And like a Drunkard gives it up again.
17 Brisk Susan whips her Linen from the Rope,
18 While the first drizzling show'r is born aslope,
19 Such is that Sprinkling which some careless Quean
20 Flirts on you from her Mop, but not so clean.
21 You fly, invoke the Gods; then turning, stop
22 To rail; she singing, still whirls on her Mop.
23 Not yet, the Dust had shun'd th' unequal Strife,
24 But aided by the Wind, fought still for Life;
[Page 408]
25 And wafted with its Foe by violent Gust,
26 'Twas doubtful which was Rain, and which was Dust.
27 Ah! where must nedy Poet seek for Aid,
28 When Dust and Rain at once his Coat invade;
29 His only Coat, where Dust confus'd with Rain,
30 Roughen the Nap, and leave a mingled Stain.
31 NOW in contiguous Drops the Flood comes down,
32 Threat'ning with Deluge this Devoted Town.
33 To Shops in Crouds the dagged Females fly,
34 Pretend to cheapen Goods, but nothing buy.
35 The Templer spruce, while ev'ry Spout's a-broach,
36 Stays till 'tis fair, yet seems to call a Coach.
37 The tuck'd-up Sempstress walks with hasty Strides,
38 While Streams run down her oil'd Umbrella's Sides.
[Page 409]
39 Here various Kinds by various Fortunes led,
40 Commence Acquaintance underneath a Shed.
41 Triumphant Tories, and desponding Whigs,
42 Forget their Fewds, and join to save their Wigs.
43 Box'd in a Chair the Beau impatient sits,
44 While Spouts run clatt'ring o'er the Roof by Fits;
45 And ever and anon with frightful Din
46 The Leather sounds, he trembles from within.
47 So when Troy Chair-men bore the Wooden Steed,
48 Pregnant with Greeks, impatient to be freed,
49 (Those Bully Greeks who, as the Moderns do,
50 Instead of paying Chair-men, run them thro'.)
51 Laoco'n struck the Outside with his Spear,
52 And each imprison'd Hero quak'd for Fear.
53 NOW from all Parts thw swelling Kennels flow,
54 And bear their Trophies with them as they go:
55 Filth of all Hues and Odours seem to tell
56 What Street they sail'd from, by their Sight and Smell.
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57 They, as each Torrent drives, with rapid Force
58 From Smithfield, or St. Pulchre's shape their Course,
59 And in huge Confluent join at Snow-Hill Ridge,
60 Fall from the Conduit prone to Holborn-Bridge.
61 Sweepings from Butchers Stalls, Dung, Guts, and Blood,
62 Drown'd Puppies, stinking Sprats, all drench'd in Mud,
63 Dead Cats and Turnip-Tops come tumbling down the Flood.


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Title (in Source Edition): A DESCRIPTION OF A CITY SHOWER. October, 1710.
Themes: city
Genres: georgic

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Swift, Jonathan, 1667-1745. Miscellanies in PROSE and VERSE [poems only]. London: printed for John Morphew, near Stationers Hall, 1711, pp. 406-410. [14],416p.; 8⁰. (ESTC T39454) (Page images digitized from microfilm of a copy in the English Faculty Library, Oxford [XL77.1[Mis]].)

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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.