I askd my Dear Friend Orator Prigg

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Blake manuscript - Notebook - page 060

Edited text:[1][edit]


* * *
  
I ASKÈD[2] my dear friend Orator Prig:
‘What’s the first part of oratory?’ He said: ‘A great wig.
‘And what is the second?’ Then, dancing a jig
And bowing profoundly, he said: ‘A great wig.’
5 ‘And what is the third?’ Then he snored like a pig,
And, puffing his cheeks out, replied: ‘A great wig.’
So if a great painter with questions you push,
‘What’s the first part of painting?’ he’ll say: ‘A paint-brush.’
‘And what is the second?’ with most modest blush,
10 He’ll smile like a cherub, and say: ‘A paint-brush.’
‘And what is the third?’ he’ll bow like a rush,
With a leer in his eye, he’ll reply: ‘A paint-brush.’
Perhaps this is all a painter can want:
But, look yonder—that house is the house of Rembrandt!

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The original text:[3][edit]


* * *

I askd my Dear Friend Orator Prigg[4]
Whats the first part of Oratory he said a great wig
And what is the second then dancing a jig
And bowing profoundly he said a great wig
5And what is the third then he snord like a pig
And puffing his cheeks he replied a Great wig[5]

So if a Great Panter with Questions you push
Whats the first Part of Panting hell say a Pant Brush
And what is the second with most modest blush
10Hell smile like a Cherub & say[6] a pant Brush
And what is the third hell bow like a rush
With a lear in his Eye hell reply a Pant Brush

Perhaps this is all a Painter can want
But look yonder that house is the house of Rembrant[7]

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Notes[edit]

  1. The Poetical Works of William Blake, including the unpublished French Revolution together with the Minor Prophetic Books and Selections from The Four Zoas, Milton & Jerusalem; edited with an introduction and textual notes by John Sampson, Hon. D.Litt. Oxon., 1862–1931. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1908.
  2. Blake has marked this piece ‘to come in Barry: a Poem’. 6 And, puffing his cheeks out,] And thrust out his cheeks and MS. 1st rdg. del.
  3. "The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake", ed. by David V. Erdman, Anchor Books, 1988, p. 515.
  4. Satiric verses and epigrams from Blake's Notebook#“I askd my Dear Friend Orator Prigg...”|"I askd my Dear Friend Orator Prigg..."]] N 60
  5. 6 puffing his cheeks he replied] smild like a Cherub & said 1st rdg
  6. 10 smile like a Cherub & say] nod wink & smile & reply 1st rdg
  7. At the end the ms reads “&c / to come in Barry a Poem”, an indication that these verses are but a patch made for a poem (now lost, or never finished) on the rebellious Academician James Barry.

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