When Monmouth the chaste read those impudent lines
Which ty’d her dear monkey so fast by the loins,
Show’d his jackanapes tricks and his apish false smiles,
And set him a chattering aloft on the tiles,
She saw with a fright,
Howe’er they came by’t,
The rogues had describ’d pretty whirligig right.
And none can be certain, when scandals begin
To draw so near home, but that they shall come in.
She heard that the nine ladies’ turn would be next,
And fearing some bungler should mangle the text
And paint her sweet person like some hagged elf,
She wisely contriv’d how to draw it herself;
And luckily hit
On a method most fit
At once to display both her virtue and wit,
Not doubting to have from herself a good word,
And thus she bespoke the kind help of her lord:
”Methinks the same nine which they count so well writ
Has nothing of air, bon sens, or l’esprit.
The numbers so rough and so harsh the cadence,
As would blister a mouth embellished in France.
Come pour amusement
Let us make a song
And so do ourselves right, whome’er we do wrong.
We’ll give a beau tour to the feminine nine,
Among whom my prudence and virtue shall shine.
You yourself shall appear the great Turk of the scene
And I’ll recommend you so far to the Queen,
And soothe the vain humor to which you incline,
As to make you belov’d by two of the nine.
And that’s very fair
For a poor, sickly peer,
Who to my certain knowledge has nothing to spare;
And since these lampoons are the wit of the times,
I’ll furnish the sense if you’ll tag it with rhymes.”
Her spouse, fir’d at this, scream’d aloud and leapt forth,
And fetching his dead-doing pen in his wrath,
He workt off his piece with such art of the pen
That he aim’d at the ladies but wounded the men;
And labour’d so hard
The doors were all barr’d,
And none was admitted but trusty Blanchard.
‘Twas writ in such haste, you’re desir’d to dispense
With the want of true grammar, good English and sense.
(Earl of Dorset Charles Sackville)
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