John O' Badenyon

When first I came to be a man

Of twenty years or so,

I thought myself a handsome youth,

And fain the world would know;

In best attire I stept abroad,

With spirits brisk and gay,

And here and there and every where

Was like a morn in May;

No care I had nor fear of want,

But rambled up and down,

And for a beau I might have past

In country or in town;

I still was pleas'd where'er I went,

And when I was alone,

I tun'd my pipe and pleas'd myself

Wi' John o' Badenyon.

Now in the days of youthful prime

A mistress I must find,

For love , I heard, gave one an air

And ev'n improved the mind:

On Phillis fair above the rest

Kind fortune fixt my eyes,

Her piercing beauty struck my heart,

And she became my choice;

To Cupid now with hearty prayer

I offer'd many a vow;

And danc'd and sung, and sigh'd, and swore,

As other lovers do;

But, when at last I breath'd my flame,

I found her cold as stone;

I left the girl, and tun'd my pipe

To John o' Badenyon.

When love had thus my heart beguil'd

With foolish hopes and vain;

To friendship's port I steer'd my course,

And laugh'd at lovers' pain;

A friend I got by lucky chance,

'Twas something like divine,

An honest friend's a precious gift,

And such a gift was mine;

And now whatever might betide

A happy man was I,

In any strait I knew to whom

I freely might apply;

A strait soon came: my friend I try'd;

He heard, and spurn'd my moan;

I hy'd me home, and tun'd my pipe

To John o' Badenyon.

Methought I should be wiser next

And would a patriot turn,

Began to doat on Johnny Wilkes,

And cry up Parson Horne.

Their manly spirit I admir'd,

And prais'd their noble zeal,

Who had with flaming tongue and pen

Maintain'd the public weel;

But e'er a month or two had past,

I found myself betray'd,

'Twas self and party after all,

For a' the stir they made;

At last I saw the factious knaves

Insult the very throne,

I curs'd them a', and tun'd my pipe

To John o' Badenyon.

What next to do I mus'd a while,

Still hoping to succeed,

I pitch'd on books for company

And gravely try'd to read:

I bought and borrowed every where

And study'd night and day,

Nor mist what dean or doctor wrote

That happen'd in my way;

Philosophy I now esteem'd

The ornament of youth,

And carefully through many a page

I hunted after truth.

A thousand various schemes I try'd,

And yet was pleas'd with none,

I threw them by, and tun'd my pipe

To John o' Badenyon.

And now ye youngsters everywhere,

That wish to make a show,

Take heed in time, nor fondly hope

For happiness below;

What you may fancy pleasure here,

Is but an empty name,

And girls , and friends , and books , and so,

You'll find them all the same;

Then be advised and warning take

From such a man as me;

I'm neither Pope nor Cardinal,

Nor one of high degree;

You'll meet displeasure every where;

Then do as I have done,

Ev'n tune your pipe and please yourselves

With John o' Badenyon.

Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.