The Rebuke!

Here’s the next installment of poetry generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  Enjoy!

 

The Rebuke

I always thought it want of sense,
And the worst kind of impudence,
In men who are for love unfit,
Yet ever are attempting it;
Since women, when they find the cheat,
Can never pardon the deceit;
And whatever face they put upon’t,
Will soon or late revenge the affront.

Not long ago a well-known rake,
Who still was lewd for lewdness’ sake:
One evening, when ’twas wearing dark,
Went out a-strolling to the park:
Where he did meet a harlot gay,
Who soared  about in hopes of prey:
The rake, well versed in such affairs,
Soon guessed her meaning by her airs,
And, going briskly up, began,
“Nor farther look, for I’m your man.”

“My man,” said she, “I know you not;
“What do you mean, you drunken sot?”
“Not know me,” said the foremost spark,
“Faith, Madam, though the night grows dark,
“Yet you may know me by this mark:”
Then in her hand he something laid,
At which the strumpet seemed afraid.

“What’s that,” said she, ‘you wicked beast?”
The fellow , tickled with the jest,
Applied his lips close to her ear,
and said “it is my p—–k, my dear.”

“Thy p——k,” she cried, in great surprise,
“A p——k, and of so small a size!
“It either is your little finger,
“Or you’re a vile Italian singer.”

Note: printed on the page following the title page was the following: “from a collection of poems that have been generally ascribed to Thomas, sixth Earl of Harrington. He was the son of Charles, the fifth Earl, and Margaret Lesslie, Countess of Rothes; and fought on the Royal side at the battle of Shirreffmuir, along with his brother John Lesslie, Earl of Rothes, and his own son, Lord Binning. These poems, according to Pinkerton, were printed about 1730, and have been reprinted in 1753, 1765, 1767, and 1777. He was also the author of Mia treatise on forest trees, which has gone through several editions. He died in 1735.” However, if these dates are correct (and I am by no means an expert historian in such matters), these poems could only have been written by either the first or second Earl of Harrington (William Stanhope and W.S. Jr.).

 

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