The Double Transformation, A Tale Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


Secluded from domestic strifeA
Jack Book worm led a college lifeA
A fellowship at twenty fiveB
Made him the happiest man aliveB
He drank his glass and crack'd his jokeC
And freshmen wonder'd as he spokeC
Such pleasures unalloy'd with careD
Could any accident impairD
Could Cupid's shaft at length transfixE
Our swain arriv'd at thirty sixE
O had the archer ne'er come downF
To ravage in a country townF
Or Flavia been content to stopG
At triumphs in a Fleet street shopG
O had her eyes forgot to blazeH
Or Jack had wanted eyes to gazeH
O But let exclamation ceaseI
Her presence banish'd all his peaceI
So with decorum all things carriedJ
Miss frown'd and blush'd and then was marriedJ
Need we expose to vulgar sightK
The raptures of the bridal nightK
Need we intrude on hallow'd groundL
Or draw the curtains clos'd aroundL
Let it suffice that each had charmsM
He clasp'd a goddess in his armsM
And though she felt his usage roughN
Yet in a man 'twas well enoughN
The honey moon like lightning flewO
The second brought its transports tooO
A third a fourth were not amissP
The fifth was friendship mix'd with blissP
But when a twelvemonth pass'd awayQ
Jack found his goddess made of clayQ
Found half the charms that deck'd her faceR
Arose from powder shreds or laceR
But still the worst remain'd behindS
That very face had robb'd her mindS
Skill'd in no other arts was sheT
But dressing patching reparteeT
And just as humour rose or fellU
By turns a slattern or a belleU
'Tis true she dress'd with modern graceR
Half naked at a ball or raceR
But when at home at board or bedV
Five greasy nightcaps wrapp'd her headV
Could so much beauty condescendW
To be a dull domestic friendW
Could any curtain lectures bringX
To decency so fine a thingX
In short by night 'twas fits or frettingX
By day 'twas gadding or coquettingX
Fond to be seen she kept a bevyT
Of powder'd coxcombs at her levyT
The 'squire and captain took their stationsY
And twenty other near relationsY
Jack suck'd his pipe and often brokeX
A sigh in suffocating smokeX
While all their hours were pass'd betweenZ
Insulting repartee or spleenZ
Thus as her faults each day were knownA2
He thinks her features coarser grownA2
He fancies every vice she showsB2
Or thins her lip or points her noseB2
Whenever rage or envy riseC2
How wide her mouth how wild her eyesC2
He knows not how but so it isD2
Her face is grown a knowing phizD2
And though her fops are wond'rous civilE2
He thinks her ugly as the devilE2
Now to perplex the ravell'd nooseD2
As each a different way pursuesD2
While sullen or loquacious strifeA
Promis'd to hold them on for lifeA
That dire disease whose ruthless powerF2
Withers the beauty's transient flowerF2
Lo the small pox whose horrid glareD
Levell'd its terrors at the fairD
And rifling ev'ry youthful graceD2
Left but the remnant of a faceD2
The glass grown hateful to her sightK
Reflected now a perfect frightK
Each former art she vainly triesD2
To bring back lustre to her eyesD2
In vain she tries her paste and creamsD2
To smooth her skin or hide its seamsD2
Her country beaux and city cousinsD2
Lovers no more flew off by dozensD2
The 'squire himself was seen to yieldG2
And e'en the captain quit the fieldG2
Poor Madam now condemn'd to hackX
The rest of life with anxious JackX
Perceiving others fairly flownA2
Attempted pleasing him aloneA2
Jack soon was dazzl'd to beholdH2
Her present face surpass the oldH2
With modesty her cheeks are dy'dI2
Humility displaces prideI2
For tawdry finery is seenZ
A person ever neatly cleanZ
No more presuming on her swayQ
She learns good nature every dayQ
Serenely gay and strict in dutyT
Jack finds his wife a perfect beautyT

Oliver Goldsmith


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