Songs from The Beggar’s Opera: Air X-“Thomas, I Cannot"

By John Gay John Gay

Act I, Scene viii, Air X—“Thomas, I Cannot,”

Polly.          I like a ship in storms was tossed,
                        Yet afraid to put into land,
                   For seized in the port the vessel’s lost
                        Whose treasure is contraband.
                           The waves are laid,
                           My duty’s paid;
                        O joy beyond expression!
                           Thus safe ashore
                           I ask no more;
                        My all is in my possession.

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Poet John Gay

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Augustan

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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