The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 18/Bouts Rimés, on Signora Domitilla

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OUR schoolmaster may rave i' th' fit
Of classick beauty hæc & illa,
Not all his birch inspires such wit
As th' ogling beams of Domitilla.

Let nobles toast, in bright champaign,
Nymphs higher born than Domitilla;
I'll drink her health, again, again,
In Berkeley's tar, or sars'parilla.

At Goodman's Fields I've much admired
The postures strange of monsieur Brilla;
But what are they to the soft step,
The gliding air, of Domitilla?

Virgil has eternized in song
The flying footsteps of Camilla:
Sure, as a prophet, he was wrong;
He might have dream'd of Domitilla.

Great Theodose condemn'd a town
For thinking ill of his Placilla;
And deuse take London! if some knight
O' th' city wed not Domitilla.

Wheeler, sir George, in travels wise,
Gives us a medal of Plantilla;
But O! the empress has not eyes,
Nor lips, nor breast, like Domitilla.

Not all the wealth of plundered Italy,
Piled on the mules of king At-tila,
Is worth one glove (I’ll not tell a bit a lie)
Or garter, snatch'd from Domitilla.

Five years a nymph at certain hamlet,
Y-cleped Harrow of the Hill, a-
— bus'd much my heart, and was a damn'd let
To verse — but now for Domitilla.

Dan Pope consigns Belinda's watch
To the fair sylphid Momentilla,
And thus I offer up my catch
To th’ snow-white hands of Domitilla.

  1. Rhimes disposed in order, which are given to a poet, together with a subject, on which he is obliged to make verses, using the same words, and in the same order. The extravagance of a poet, named du Lot, gave occasion to this invention, about the year 1649. The most odd, out of the way rhimes were chosen; and every one endeavoured to fill them up as exactly as possible. Mr. Addison, in the Spectator, No. 60, adduces them as an instance of the decay of wit and learning among the French; and observes, that this piece of false wit has been finely ridiculed by Mr. Sarasin in "La Defaite des Bouts Riméz."