Jonathan Swift was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for the Whigs, then for the Tories), poet and cleric who became Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.
He is remembered for works such as Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, and A Tale of a Tub. Swift is probably the foremost prose satirist in the English language, and is less well known for his poetry. Swift originally published all of his works under pseudonyms—such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, M.B. Drapier—or anonymously. He is also known for being a master of two styles of... more »
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Jonathan Swift Poems
A Beautiful Young Nymph Going To Bed
Corinna, Pride of Drury-Lane, For whom no Shepherd sighs in vain; Never did Covent Garden boast So bright a batter'd, strolling Toast;
A Satirical Elegy On The Death Of A Late...
"His Grace! impossible! what, dead! Of old age too, and in his bed! And could that mighty warrior fall, And so inglorious, after all?
A Description Of The Morning
Now hardly here and there a hackney-coach Appearing, show'd the ruddy morn's approach. Now Betty from her master's bed had flown, And softly stole to discompose her own.
A Description Of A City Shower
Careful Observers may fortel the Hour (By sure Prognosticks) when to dread a Show'r: While Rain depends, the pensive Cat gives o'er Her Frolicks, and pursues her Tail no more.
Deprived of root, and branch and rind, Yet flowers I bear of every kind: And such is my prolific power, They bloom in less than half an hour;
Elegy Upon Tiger
Her dead lady's joy and comfort, Who departed this life The last day of March, 1727: To the great joy of Bryan
The Place Of The Damned
All folks who pretend to religion and grace, Allow there's a HELL, but dispute of the place: But, if HELL may by logical rules be defined The place of the damned -I'll tell you my mind.
Phillis, Or, The Progress Of Love
Desponding Phillis was endu'd With ev'ry Talent of a Prude, She trembled when a Man drew near; Salute her, and she turn'd her Ear:
The Progress Of Poetry
The Farmer's Goose, who in the Stubble, Has fed without Restraint, or Trouble; Grown fat with Corn and Sitting still, Can scarce get o'er the Barn-Door Sill:
Stella's Birthday March 13, 1727
This day, whate'er the Fates decree, Shall still be kept with joy by me: This day then let us not be told, That you are sick, and I grown old;
On Stella's Birth-Day, 1719
Stella this Day is thirty four, (We shan't dispute a Year or more) However Stella, be not troubled, Although thy Size and Years are doubled,
Advice To The Grub Street Verse-Writers
Ye poets ragged and forlorn, Down from your garrets haste; Ye rhymers, dead as soon as born, Not yet consign'd to paste;
I'm wealthy and poor, I'm empty and full, I'm humble and proud, I'm witty and dull.
Never sleeping, still awake, Pleasing most when most I speak; The delight of old and young,
Quotationsmore quotations »
''I cannot but conclude the bulk of your natives to be the most pernicious race of little, odious vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth.''Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Anglo-Irish satirist. The king of Brobdingnag to Gulliver, in "A Voyage to Brobdingnag," ch. 6, Gulliver's Travels (1726)....
''Where I am not understood, it shall be concluded that something very useful and profound is couched underneath.''Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Anglo-Irish satirist. The Tale of a Tub, preface (1704).
''The most positive men are the most credulous.''Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Anglo-Irish satirist. Thoughts on Various Subjects (1711).
''Ambition often puts Men upon doing the meanest offices; so climbing is performed in the same position with creeping.''Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Anglo-Irish satirist. Thoughts on Various Subjects (1711).
''We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.''Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), Anglo-Irish satirist. repr. in Jonathan Swift: A Critical Edition of the Major Works, eds. Angus Ross and David Woolley (1...
A Beautiful Young Nymph Going To Bed
Corinna, Pride of Drury-Lane,
For whom no Shepherd sighs in vain;
Never did Covent Garden boast
So bright a batter'd, strolling Toast;
No drunken Rake to pick her up,
No Cellar where on Tick to sup;
Returning at the Midnight Hour;
Four Stories climbing to her Bow'r;
Then, seated on a three-legg'd Chair,
Takes off her artificial Hair:
Now, picking out a Crystal Eye,
She wipes it clean, and lays it by.
Her Eye-Brows from a Mouse's Hide,
Stuck on with Art on either Side,
Pulls off with Care, and first displays 'em,
Then in a Play-Book smoothly ...