All gentle folks who owe a grudge

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All gentle folks who owe a grudge
by John Keats

All gentle folks who owe a grudge
  To any living thing,
Open your ears and stay your trudge
  Whilst I in dudgeon sing.

The gad-fly he hath stung me sore -
  O may he ne'er sting you!
But we have many a horrid bore
  He may sting black and blue.

Has any here an old grey mare
  With three legs all her store?
O put it to her buttocks bare
  And straight she'll run on four.

Has any here a lawyer suit
  Of 1743?
Take lawyer's nose and put it to't
  And you the end will see.

Is there a man in Parliament
  Dumbfoundered in his speech?
O let his neighbour make a rent
  And put one in his breech.

O Lowther, how much better thou
  Hadst figure t'other day,
When to the folks that mad'st a bow
  And hadst no more to say,

If lucky gad-fly had but ta'en
  His seat upon thine arse,
And put thee to a little pain
  To save thee from a worse.

Better than Southey it had been,
  Better than Mr D—,
Better than Wordsworth too, I ween,
  Better than Mr V—.

Forgive me pray, good people all,
  For deviating so.
In spirit sure I had a call -
  And now I on will go.

Has any here a daughter fair
  Too fond of reading novels,
Too apt to fall in love with care
  And charming Mister Lovels?

O put a gad-fly to that thing
  She keeps so white and pert -
I mean the finger for the ring,
  And it will breed a Wert.

Has any here a pious spouse
  Who seven times a day
Scolds as King David prayed, to chouse
  And have her holy war?

O let a gad-fly's little sting
  Persuade her sacred tongue
That noises are a common thing,
  But that her bell has rung.

And as this is the summun bo-
  num of all conquering,
I leave withouten wordès mo
  The gad-fly's little sting.

This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.