The Rape of the TRAP,
a BALLAD; written at College, 1736.
1 'TWAS in a land of learning,
2 The Muse's favourite station,
3 Such pranks, of late,
4 Were play'd by a rat,
5 As gave them consternation!
6 All in a college-study,
7 Where books were in great plenty,
8 This rat would devour
9 More sense, in an hour,
10 Than I could write — in twenty.
11 His breakfast, half the morning,
12 He constantly attended;
13 And, when the bell rung
14 For evening-song,
15 His dinner scarce was ended.
16 Huge tomes of geo-graphy,
17 And maps lay all in flutter;
18 A river or a sea
19 Was to him a dish of tea,
20 And a kingdom — bread and butter.
21 Such havoc, spoil, and rapine,
22 With grief my Muse rehearses;
23 How freely he would dine
24 On some bulky school-divine,
25 And for desert — eat verses.
26 He spar'd not ev'n heroics,
27 On which we poets pride us:
28 And would make no more
29 Of King Arthurs, by the score,
30 Than — all the world beside does.
31 But if the desperate potion,
32 Might chance to over-dose him;
33 To check its rage,
34 He took a page
35 Of logic, to compose him.
36 A trap in haste and anger,
37 Was bought, you need not doubt on't;
38 And such was the gin,
39 Were a lion once in,
40 He could not, I think, get out on't.
41 With cheese, not books, 'twas baited;
42 The fact, I'll not bely it;
43 Since none, I tell ye that,
44 Whether scholar or rat,
45 Minds books, when he has other diet.
46 No more of trap and bait, sir,
47 Why should I sing — or either?
48 Since the rat, with mickle pride,
49 All their sophistry defy'd;
50 And dragg'd them away together.
51 Both trap and bait were vanish'd,
52 Thro' a fracture in the flooring;
53 Which, tho' so trim
54 It now may seem,
55 Had then a doz'n, or more in.
56 Then answer this, ye sages;
57 (Nor think I mean to wrong ye)
58 Had the rat, who thus did seize on
59 The trap, less claim to reason,
60 Than many a sage among ye?
61 Dan Prior's mice, I own it,
62 Were vermin of condition;
63 But the rat, who chiefly learn'd
64 What rats alone concern'd,
65 Was the deeper politician.
66 That England's topsy-turvy,
67 Is clear from these mishaps, sir,
68 Since traps, we may determine,
69 Will no longer take our vermin;
70 But vermin take our traps, sir.
71 Let sophs, by rats infested,
72 Then trust in cats to catch 'em;
73 Lest they prove the utter bane
74 Of our studies, where, 'tis plain,
75 No mortal sits — to watch 'em.
About this text
Title (in Source Edition): The Rape of the TRAP, a BALLAD; written at College, 1736.
Author: William Shenstone
Themes: animals; food; drink
Genres: ballad metre
References: DMI 27237
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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.
Other works by William Shenstone
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- CLOE to LYSANDER. ()
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- The EVER-GREEN. ()
- The EXTENT of COOKERY. ()
- In a shady Valley, near a running Water. ()
- Inscription near a Sheep-cote. 1745. ()
- An irregular ODE after SICKNESS, 1749. ()
- LYSANDER to CLOE. ()
- NANCY of the VALE. A BALLAD. ()
- ODE to a Young Lady, Somewhat too sollicitous about her Manner of Expression. ()
- ODE to HEALTH, 1730. ()
- ODE to INDOLENCE, 1750. ()
- ODE to MEMORY. 1748. ()
- ODE. Written 1739. ()
- On a ROOT-HOUSE. ()
- On a small Building in the Gothick Taste. ()
- A Pastoral BALLAD, in Four Parts. Written 1743. ()
- The PRICE of an EQUIPAGE. ()
- The Princess ELIZABETH: A Ballad, alluding to a Story recorded of her, when she was a Prisoner at Woodstock, 1554. ()
- The Progress of ADVICE. A common Case. ()
- RURAL ELEGANCE: An ODE to the late Duchess of SOMERSET. Written 1750. ()
- THE SCHOOL-MISTRESS. A POEM, In Imitation of Spenser. ()
- A SIMILE. ()
- SLENDER's GHOST. ()
- [Song] I. ()
- [Song] II. DAPHNE'S Visit. ()
- [Song] III. The ROSE-BUD. ()
- [Song] IV. Written in a Collection of Bacchanalian Songs. ()
- [Song] V. Imitated from the FRENCH. ()
- SONG I. ()
- SONG II. The LANDSKIP. ()
- SONG III. ()
- SONG IV. The SKY-LARK. ()
- SONG V. ()
- SONG VI. The Attribute of VENUS. ()
- To a LADY of QUALITY, Fitting up her LIBRARY, 1738. ()
- To the Memory of an agreeable LADY bury'd in Marriage to a Person undeserving her. ()
- UPON A VISIT to the same in Winter, 1748. ()
- Upon RIDDLES. ()
- VERSES to a FRIEND. ()
- VERSES written towards the close of the Year 1748, to WILLIAM LYTTELTON, Esq; ()
- Written at an INN on a particular Occasion. ()