Poem of the day

To Celia
by Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

I hate the town and all its ways;
Ridottos, operas, and plays;
The ball, the ring, the mall, the court;
Wherever the beau-monde resort;
Where beauties lie in ambush for folks,
Earl Straffords, and the Duke of Norfolks;
All coffee-houses, and their praters;
All courts of justice, and debaters;
All taverns, and the sots within ’em;
All bubbles and the rogues that skin ’em.
I hate all critics; may they burn all,
From Bentley to the Grub Street Journal.
All bards, as Dennis hates a pun:
Those who have wit, and who have none.
All nobles, of whatever station;
And all the parsons in the nation.
All quacks and doctors read in physic,
Who kill or cure a man that is sick.
All authors that were ever heard on,
From Bavius up to Tommy Gordon;
Tradesmen with cringes ever stealing,
And merchants, whatsoe’er they deal in.
I hate the blades professing slaughter,
More than the devil holy water.
I hate all scholars, beaus, and squires;
Pimps, puppies, parasites, and liars.
All courtiers, with their looks so smooth;
And players, from Boheme to Booth.
I hate the world, cramm’d all together,
From beggars, up the Lord knows whither.

   Ask you then, Celia, if there be
The thing I love? my charmer, thee.
Thee more than light, than life adore,
Thou dearest, sweetest creature more
Than wildest raptures can express;
Than I can tell, — or thou canst guess.

   Then tho’ I bear a gentle mind,
Let not my hatred of mankind
Wonder within my Celia move,
Since she possesses all my love.

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