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Original Elegy on a Country Alehouse

by Thomas Dermody (1775 - 1802)


Dim burns the taper with a twinkling flame,
The sooty coal forsakes the narrow grate,
Frail glasses broke a broken purse proclaim,
And vacant jugs the landlord' bill relate.

Here let me, then, the ruined state bewail,
Fair alehouse, fairest of the busy green;
With tears bemoan thy abdicated ale,
With signs survey the cellar's solemn scene.

Here oft, immersed in politics profound,
The social curate smoak'd his ev'ning pipe;
Here too the clerk hi mantling goblet crown'd,
And press'd the blushful glass in beauty ripe.

Oft did yon bell (a bell no more) with joy
Bound to the smith's reverberating hand;
Oft did the woodman yon crack'd screw employ,
And bottled nectars bounce at his command.

Ah! Here, the purring, solitary cat,
Musing, the hearth with em'rald eye reviews,
In grand Parnassian pomp the poet sat,
And quaff'd substantial bumpers to the Muse.

Here has he stood, meanwhile in his slumbering crew,
Stretch'd oe'r the floor, in awful silence lay;
(Sad proof how well thy former host could brew!)
And wept them hurried from the light of day.

Full many an epitaph, with cunning lore,
Frolic he muttered oe'r each victim's head;
To calm his sorrows, claim'd each tankard more,
And made the young sun light him to his bed.

No more the quaint-ey's catch, the teeming jest,
The loud-continued laugh, the ready wit,
Shall swell with fond applause the simple breast
The shrinking clown with poignant sting shall hit.

Farewell tobacco, mellowing ale farewell!
To higher themes the ardent bosom clings;
Yet let this verse thy alehouse-honours tell,
And if thy landlord shine, enroll'd with kings.

________

 

Clare Literature

Thomas Dermody