To Quilca, a Country House not in Good Repair

By Jonathan Swift 1667–1745 Jonathan Swift
Let me thy Properties explain,
A rotten Cabin, dropping Rain;
Chimnies with Scorn rejecting Smoak;
Stools, Tables, Chairs, and Bed-steds broke:
Here Elements have lost their Vses,
Air ripens not, nor Earth produces:
In vain we make poor Sheelah toil,
Fire will not roast, nor Water boil.
Thro' all the Vallies, Hills, and Plains,
The Goddess Want in Triumph reigns;
And her chief Officers of State,
Sloth, Dirt, and Theft around her wait.

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Poet Jonathan Swift 1667–1745

POET’S REGION Ireland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Augustan

Poetic Terms Couplet

 Jonathan  Swift

Biography

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) was born to English parents in Dublin, Ireland, and his family moved throughout Great Britain. Deeply involved in politics and religion, Swift became one of the first prose satirists. His masterpiece is Gulliver’s Travels. Swift’s sharp wit carried over into his poetry, as in the mock elegy for himself, “Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift.”

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POET’S REGION Ireland

SCHOOL / PERIOD Augustan

Poetic Terms Couplet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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