The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 17/A New Song of New Similes

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While this work is included within The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift and is not attributed to anyone other than Jonathan Swift, it may have been written by another member of the Scriblerus Club. The club, which was founded in 1714, included Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, John Gay, John Arbuthnot, Henry St John, and Thomas Parnell.


MY passion is as mustard strong;
I sit all sober sad,
Drunk as a piper all day long,
Or like a March hare mad.

Round as a hoop the bumpers flow;
I drink, yet can't forget her;
For, though as drunk as David's sow,
I love her still the better.

Pert as a pearmonger I'd be,
If Molly were but kind;
Cool as a cucumber could see
The rest of womankind.

Like a stuck pig I gaping stare,
And eye her o'er and o'er;
Lean as a rake with sighs and care,
Sleek as a mouse before.

Plump as a partridge was I known,
And soft as silk my skin;
My cheeks as fat as butter grown;
But as a groat now thin!

I, melancholy as a cat,
Am kept awake to peep;
But she, insensible of that,
Sound as a top can sleep.

Hard is her heart as flint or stone;
She laughs to see me pale;
And merry as a grig is grown,
And brisk as bottled ale.

The God of Love, at her approach,
Is busy as a bee!
Hearts sound as any bell or roach
Are smit, and sigh like me.

Ah me! as thick as hops or hail,
The fine men crowd about her:
But soon as dead as a door-nail
Shall I be, if without her.

Straight as my leg her shape appears;
O were we join'd together!
My heart would be scotfree from cares,
And lighter than a feather.

As fine as fivepence is her mien;
No drum was ever tighter;
Her glance is as the razor keen,
And not the sun is brighter.

As soft as pap her kisses are:
Methinks I taste them yet;
Brown as a berry is her hair,
Her eyes as black as jet.

As smooth as glass, as white as curds,
Her pretty hand invites;
Sharp as a needle are her words;
Her wit like pepper bites.

Brisk as a body-louse she trips,
Clean as a penny drest:
Sweet as a rose her breath and lips,
Round as the globe her breast.

Full as an egg was I with glee,
And happy as a king:
Good Lord! how all men envied me!
She lov'd like any thing.

But, false as Hell, she, like the wind,
Chang'd as her sex must do;
Though seeming as the turtle kind,
And like the Gospel true.

If I and Molly could agree,
Let who would take Peru!
Great as an emp'ror should I be,
And richer than a Jew.

Till you grow tender as a chick,
I'm dull as any post:
Let us like burs together stick,
And warm as any toast.

You'll know me truer than a die,
And wish me better sped,
Flat as a flounder when I lie,
And as a herring dead.

Sure as a gun she'll drop a tear,
And sigh, perhaps, and wish,
When I am rotten as a pear,
And mute as any fish.