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THE

HAUNCH OF VENISON,

A

POETICAL EPISTLE,

TO

LORD CLARE:

FIRST PRINTED IN M,DCC,LXV.

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THE

HAUNCH OF VENISON,

POETICAL EPISTLE,

TO

LORD C L A R E.

my lord, for

your venison, for finer or

THANKS

fatter Never rang'd in a forest, or smoak'd in a platter ; The haunch was a picture for painters to study, The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy ; Though my stomach was sharp, I could scarce help

regretting, To spoil such a delicate picture by eating ; I had thoughts, in my chambers, to place it in view, To be shęwn to my friends as a piece of virtu; As in some Irish houses, where things are so so, One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show: But, for eating a rasher of what they take pride in, They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fry'd in.

But

But hold-let me pause--don't I hear you pronounce,
'This tale of the bacon's a damnable bounce;
Well, suppose it a bounce---sure a poet may try,
By a bounce now and then, to get courage to fly.

But, my lord, it's no bounce: I protest in my turn,

, It's a truth-and your lordship may ask Mr. Burn.* To go on with my tale-as I gaz'd on the haunch, I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunch, So I cut it, and sent it to Reynolds undrest, To paint it, or eat it, just as he lik'd best, Of the neck and the breast I had next to dispose ; 'Twas a neck and a breast that might rival Monroe's : But in parting with these I was puzzled again, With the how, and the who, and the where, and the

when. There's H-d, and C-y, and H-rth, and H-ff, I think they love venison-I know they love beef. There's my countryman Higgins Oh! let him alone, For making a blunder, or picking a bone. But hang it-to poets who seldom can eat, Your very good mutton's a very good treat; Such dainties to them their health it might hurt, It's like sending them ruffles when wanting a shirt. While thus I debated, in reverie center'd, An acquaintance, a friend as he call’d himself, en• What have we got here?---Whythis is good eating! Your own I suppose--or is it in waiting?" “Why whose should it be?” cried I with a flounce; “ I get these things often-but that was a bounce: Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the nation, Are pleas'd to be kind—but I hate ostentation."

ter'd; An under-bred, fine-spoken fellow was he, And he smil'd as he look'd at the venison and me.

6 What • Lord Clare's nephew.

« If that be the case then, cried he, very gay, I'm glad I have taken this house in my way. To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me; No words—I insist on't-precisely at three : We'll have Johnson, and Burke, all the wits will be

there My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my lord Clare. And, now that I think on't, as I am a sinner! We wanted this venison to make out a dinner. What say youma pasty, it shall, and it must, And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust. Here, porter—this venison with me to Mile-end No stirring-I beg—my dear friend — my dear

friend !" Thus snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the wind, And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.

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Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf, And “ nobody with me at sea but myself;"* Tho' I could not help thinking my gentleman hasty, Yet Johnson, and Burke, and a good venison pasty,

Were

* See the letters that passed between his Royal Highness Henry, Duke of Cumberland, and Lady Grosvenor-12mo.

1769.

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