To W.P, Esq. The Petition of Two Swans

W E are both of us male; sans-culottes , it is true;
But as loyal, dear Sir, as the Judge , or as you .
Now the males, whether ours be the case or your own,
Could be never intended for living alone:
We began with good-humour to move both together,
We discours'd on the news of the day, or the weather:
We divided between us the fish or the weed: —
That experiment fail'd, and we soon disagreed.

Now for days and for weeks in a different Lake,
Independent, though dull, all our circles we take;
Not a bow, should we meet — not a word or a note,
Not a card of politeness between us can float.
We are told by the Ducks, that, indulging their pique,
At the Eddistone's Light-house two men would not speak.
In the marvellous often most Ramblers have dealt.
This report we believ'd: it was Nature , we felt:
But, instead of those partners in glum discontent,
Had a Youth and a Girl to the Light-house been sent,
They would never have pouted for this and for that,
Or have quarrel'd for bones like a dog and a cat.
No monopolies thrive! Send a Lady for each ,
And between the two couples you 'll hear of no breach:
Among Swans infidelity never is known,
And, though wedded, the pairs never part from their own.
All that breathe in your scope the benevolence praise,
That has cater'd for each happy nights, happy days.
We alone are the charter of Nature deny'd,
When the Gardener and Groom have their Loves at their side.
As to Fish , we put none of the mouthfuls to pain,
And we leave you enough — as from all you abstain:
But conceive the delight, when, in forming the nest,
Assiduity 's crown'd, and attachment is bless'd.
Then your Daughters and Sons, with their goodness of heart,
In assisting the child-bed will each take a part:
Now we sit, and by turns the dear office divide:
It's a task we enjoy, and the labour is pride.
They are born! — do but see them! and mark when they bound
From the Lake to the wing, or make circles around!
How they follow the Parents with filial decorum,
As we sail in a dignify'd manner before 'em!
Without love , is no joy ; — and the Lake we abjure;
For a Bachelor's prison we cannot endure.
But the Judge , quite affected by our sad condition,
Has declar'd that he'll write you in form a Petition.
Then at Middleton Hall he 'll have done you some good,
And will prove that your taste he has well understood;
Will atone for the dirt and the fuss he has made,
But his debts of the heart will refuse to be paid .
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