Mercury And The Elephant Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


As Merc'ry travell'd thro' a WoodA
Whose Errands are more Fleet than GoodA
An Elephant before him layB
That much encumber'd had the WayB
The Messenger who's still in hasteC
Wou'd fain have bow'd and so have pastD
When up arose th' unweildy BruteE
And wou'd repeat a late DisputeE
In which he said he'd gain'd the PrizeF
From a wild Boar of monstrous SizeF
But Fame quoth he with all her TonguesG
Who Lawyers Ladies Soldiers wrongsH
Has to my Disadvantage toldI
An Action throughly Bright and BoldI
Has said that I foul Play had us'dJ
And with my Weight th' Opposer bruis'dJ
Had laid my Trunk about his BrawnK
Before his Tushes cou'd be drawnK
Had stunn'd him with a hideous RoarL
And twenty thousand Scandals moreL
But I defy the Talk of MenM
Or Voice of Brutes in ev'ry DenM
Th' impartial Skies are all my CareN
And how it stands Recorded thereN
Amongst you Gods pray What is thoughtO
Quoth Mercury Then have you FoughtO
Solicitous thus shou'd I beP
For what's said of my Verse and MeP
Or shou'd my Friends Excuses frameQ
And beg the Criticks not to blameQ
Since from a Female Hand it cameQ
Defects in Judgment or in WitR
They'd but reply Then has she WritR
Our Vanity we more betrayB
In asking what the World will sayB
Than if in trivial Things like theseS
We wait on the Event with easeS
Nor make long Prefaces to showT
What Men are not concern'd to knowT
For still untouch'd how we succeedU
'Tis for themselves not us they ReadV
Whilst that proceeding to requiteV
We own who in the Muse delightV
'Tis for our Selves not them we WriteV
Betray'd by Solitude to tryW
Amusements which the Prosp'rous flyW
And only to the Press repairN
To fix our scatter'd Papers thereN
Tho' whilst our Labours are preserv'dV
The Printers may indeed be starv'dV

Anne Kingsmill Finch


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