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Poems of Jonathan Swift, Volume One

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By: (1667-1745)

Sit back and listen to these light-hearted witty rhymes and see the world Jonathan Swift saw -- and maybe recognize your own. Think there is such a thing as corrupt rich guys who pretend they're God's gift to the world? So did Swift. Think some of these types strut around as if calls of nature don't apply to them? So did Swift. In one hilarious poem, he even describes gold diggers fighting over the loaded gentleman's gaseous offerings! His poem On Poetry, A Rhapsody, censored for treasonous mocking of the royal family, is in its rare uncensored form here. As free as he himself is with his sharp tongue against the blackened rich and corrupt , he knows others might have to kiss up to eat. So he includes many verses of advice on how to go about lying for a living, for example, "Your interest lies to learn the knack Of whitening what before was black." Despite the decay and hypocrisy he sees all around him he stays upbeat throughout -- even making fun out of his own tragic onset of deafness. You already know this giant of English literature for the great feast of prose he left us. Think of these delicious poems here as your sinful dessert.

First Page:


Edited by


Barrister, Inner Temple Author of "The Life of Lord Chesterfield"

London G. Bell and Sons, Ltd.


[Illustration: Jonathan Swift From the bust by Cunningham in St. Patrick's Cathedral]


The works of Jonathan Swift in prose and verse so mutually illustrate each other, that it was deemed indispensable, as a complement to the standard edition of the Prose Works, to issue a revised edition of the Poems, freed from the errors which had been allowed to creep into the text, and illustrated with fuller explanatory notes. My first care, therefore, in preparing the Poems for publication, was to collate them with the earliest and best editions available, and this I have done.

But, thanks to the diligence of the late John Forster, to whom every lover of Swift must confess the very greatest obligation, I have been able to do much more. I have been able to enrich this edition with some pieces not hitherto brought to light notably, the original version of "Baucis and Philemon," in addition to the version hitherto printed; the original version of the poem on "Vanbrugh's House"; the verses entitled "May Fair"; and numerous variations and corrections of the texts of nearly all the principal poems, due to Forster's collation of them with the transcripts made by Stella, which were found by him at Narford formerly the seat of Swift's friend, Sir Andrew Fountaine see Forster's "Life of Swift," of which, unfortunately, he lived to publish only the first volume... Continue reading book >>

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