On a MESSAGE-CARD in Verse.
Sent by a LADY.
1 HERMES, the gamester of the sky,
2 To share for once mankind's delights,
3 Slip'd down to earth, exceeding sly,
4 And bade his coachman drive to White's.
5 In form a beau; so light he trips,
6 You'd swear his wings were at his heels;
7 From glass to glass alert he skips,
8 And bows and prattles while he deals.[Page 264]
9 In short, so well his part he play'd,
10 The waiters took him for a peer;
11 And ev'n some great ones whisp'ring said
12 He was no vulgar foreigner.
13 Whate'er he was, he swept the board,
14 Won every bett, and every game;
15 Stript even the Rooks, who stampt and roar'd,
16 And wonder'd how the devil it came!
17 He wonder'd too, and thought it hard;
18 But found at last this great command
19 Was owing to one fav'rite card,
20 Which still brought luck into his hand.
21 The four of spades; whene'er he saw
22 Its sable spots, he laugh'd at rules,
23 Took odds beyond the gaming law,
24 And Hoyle and Philidor were fools.
25 But now, for now 'twas time to go,
26 What gratitude shall he express?
27 And what peculiar boon bestow
28 Upon the cause of his success?
29 Suppose, for something must be done,
30 On Juno's self he cou'd prevail
31 To pick the pips out, one by one,
32 And stick them in her peacock's tail,
33 Shou'd Pallas have it, was a doubt,
34 To twist her silk, or range her pins;
35 Or should the Muses cut it out,
36 For bridges to their violins.[Page 265]
37 To Venus should the prize be giv'n,
38 Superior beauty's just reward,
39 And 'gainst the next great rout in heaven
40 Be sent her for a message card.
41 Or hold — by Jove, a lucky hit!
42 Your goddesses are arrant farces;
43 Go, carry it to Mrs. —
44 And bid her fill it full of verses.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): On a MESSAGE-CARD in Verse. Sent by a LADY.
Author: William Whitehead
Themes: gambling; mythology
References: DMI 22458
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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.
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