The Candidate

1 When sly Jemmy Twitcher had smugged up his face
2 With a lick of court whitewash and pious grimace,
3 A-wooing he went, where three sisters of old
4 In harmless society guttle and scold.
5 'Lord! Sister,' says Physic to Law, 'I declare
6 Such a sheep-biting look, such a pick-pocket air,
7 Not I, for the Indies! you know I'm no prude;
8 But his nose is a shame and his eyes are so lewd!
9 Then he shambles and straddles so oddly, I fear
10 No; at our time of life, 'twould be silly, my dear.'
11 'I don't know,' says Law, 'now methinks, for his look,
12 'Tis just like the picture in Rochester's book.
13 But his character, Phyzzy, his morals, his life;
14 When she died, I can't tell, but he once had a wife.
15 'They say he's no Christian, loves drinking and whoring,
16 And all the town rings of his swearing and roaring,
17 His lying and filching, and Newgate-bird tricks:
18 Not I, for a coronet, chariot and six.'
19 Divinity heard, between waking and dozing,
20 Her sisters denying and Jemmy proposing;
21 From dinner she rose with her bumper in hand,
22 She stroked up her belly and stroked down her band.
23 'What a pother is here about wenching and roaring!
24 Why David loved catches and Solomon whoring.
25 Did not Israel filch from the Egyptians of old
26 Their jewels of silver and jewels of gold?
27 The prophet of Bethel, we read, told a lie;
28 He drinks: so did Noah; he swears: so do I.
29 To refuse him for such peccadillos were odd;
30 Besides, he repents, and he talks about God.
31 'Never hang down your head, you poor penitent elf!
32 Come, buss me, I'll be Mrs Twitcher myself.
33 Damn ye both for a couple of Puritan bitches!
34 He's Christian enough that repents and that stitches.'


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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): The Candidate
Author: Thomas Gray
Themes: politics; virtue; vice
Genres: satire

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Source edition

Gray, Thomas, 1716-1771. Thomas Gray: English poems. Web. Oxford: Thomas Gray Archive, 2002.

Editorial principles

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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