One morning in May, when all nature was gay
Merry Momus and Mercury met,
With a “How do you do, and pray, Sir, how are you?”
Then bowing, each stroked his cravat.
Hermes cocks up his nose, while his hat back he throws
And his hand wipes the heat from his moistening brows.
“Fo! Fo! it’s such very hot weather!
And they drive me so fast, from the East to the West,
Sure I shan’t keep my limbs all together.
Why, I’m quite out of breath, and jaded to death!
No post-horse e’er trotted so fast,
To be sent here and there, without thought or care,
Between you and I, it won’t last.”
Quickly Momus replied (with his hand on his side)
“I should not much like such dominion.
It’s quite unseasonable, and greatly unreasonable!
I am just in your very opinion.
But who’s this coming on? with an up and a down,
I surely should know the odd gait.
By my tender desires! ’tis the God of the fires.”
And they all shook hands heartily straight;
Says Momus the Mellow, “Thou’st an honest old fellow!
As e’er took a draught of good ale,
Now say, here between us, pray how’s Madam Venus?
I hope she’s still hearty and hale?”
Old Mulciber frown’d and he turn’d him half round
Crying “Sir, you are pleas’d to be merry!
But I’ll fetch my sledge hammer, and give you a crammer
Shall make you cry Hey down derry!
For this, Sir, the case is, my wife’s one of the Graces
Young, beautiful, modest, and wise!
Most charming and fine, with an air quite divine
Fit wife for a peer of the skies!”
Then says Momus the Mellow, “Thou art a fine fellow,
To have a young Grace for a wife!
With a face like a Jew, and a skin brown and blue
You’re prettily matched by my life!
Besides, for your hobble, Jove made a rare cobble,
When he threw you down smack on the rock,
And your old greasy night-cap, with the up and down heel tap
Add wonderful charms to your stock,
When your Grace leads the dance, her dear Youth will advance
With an up and down, high and low jumble
Of their toes they’ll take care, and their elbows beware
Or some will come in for a tumble.”
Then Vulcan’s fierce ire blaz’d out like a fire!
And prepared to give Momus a dressing
Had not Hermes stepped in, with a shrug and a grin,
And appeased the old hunks with a blessing!
“Come! Come! then,” says Hermes, “Now be on good terms,
Why tease and torment one another?
You are both such good souls, by Vulcan’s best coals!
I love each of you like an own Brother!”
Vulcan being appeased, their minds were all eas’d
And down they sat friendly together,
Call’d on Hebe for whisky, to make ’em all frisky
And keep out the wind and the weather.
Then says Herm’s, “Bear a bob, and let’s all hob and nob,
And a notable story I’ll tell ye,
Of a rout made on Earth about Pandora’s birth
Full as odd, Sirs, as ever befell ye.
Why, they’re all up on arms, concerning her charms,
Contending in terms not so civil,
Some say she’s a saint, without any paint,
And some — she’s as black as the Devil!”
Vulcan rose with a kick-up, and spoke with a hiccup,
“Why zounds! Mercury, what do you mean?
You are worse than a Turk, to abuse my best work
That I finish’d so handsome and clean!
I curl’d up her wires, and I put on her tires
No smith in the world could amend her,
For I dress’d her in fringes, and scour’d all her hinges
As bright as a new polish’d fender!”
Then says Hermes, “Friend Dunder, you’re still in a blunder
No one has found fault with your work.
Why then give me some liquor, to make me see quicker,”
Says Vulcan, “then finish your quirk.”
Says Momus, “I say, let us witness this fray
And see how they squabble and fight
For when in the excursion, we’ve had our diversion
We may chance for to set them all right.”
Then down they both go, like two shots from a bow,
Leaving Vulcan to snore himself sober.
To Earth they straight went, where they found discontent
Fermenting like beer in October.
A certain philosopher read his text and gloss-over
Declaring mankind were all asses
Because from their birth till returned to the earth
Scarce any would live without glasses!
A certain great scholar, did bawl out and holler
“There’s nothing so wicked as woman!
A deceiver and thief, past all our belief
Since the Devil and she seduced Adam!
This the Grecians did know, a long while ago
When they fabled Pandora the Beauty
Who brought evils in store, would kill thousands more
And make us all swerve from our duty.”
This speech banished quiet, and bred such a riot
As made the two sexes stark foes,
They did squall, spit, and sputter, what abuse they could utter
And nearly were coming to blows.
A brisk strapping lass made a terrible pass
To where the poor Scholar did stray,
Then she aim’d such a blow, would have laid him right low,
But he popp’d his head out of the way.
She said, “Scum of the earth, pray who gave you birth?
I suppose you’ll deny ’twas a woman!
But to lie you can’t choose, after all your abuse
For I am sure Sirrah you are no man.”
The Scholar soon run, not liking the fun,
And sought his best safety in flight,
But Thalestris drew back, to renew her attack
Determined to do her sex right.
Then she faced the Philosopher, and knock’d his gloss over
Saying, “Let your bold reasoning lie there,
For if by our fates, we have such Judas mates
You can only be reckon’d a snare.”
When Momus the Mellow, that very odd fellow,
Saw the squabble was come to a test,
He pressed thro’ the bustle, with elbow and justle
To have his own share in the jest.
“Dear Honies,” says he, “look ye there do ye see
It’s nonsense for friends to be foes.
To be merry and wise, deserves praise to the skies,
So let the world pass as it goes.
If in brawling and quarrels you hoop each other’s barrels
The men must all live without wives.
For a man and his brother, can’t marry each other
And you’ll all be dead sick of your lives!”
Then they made a great rout, and got Momus about
Saying, “Who sent you here to deride us?
You shall pay for your joke, Mr. Pig-in-a-Poke
Or else, may some evil betide us.”
They pull’d Momus’ ears, till his eyes fill’d with tears,
And push’d him, with kicking and cuffing,
Till Hermes came near, for his friend in great fear,
To end their fierce fury and huffing.
Hermes carried a wand, so handsome and bland
Enrich’d with two blue and white serpents,
It had power to cure, whate’er ills men endure
And send folks to sleep in few moments!
Hermes straight wav’d his wand, so handsome and bland
Which set them all stretching and yawning,
Then laid down on the ground, in a sleep quite profound,
Without either blanket or awning:
They lay there all night, sans disturbance or fright,
For they napp’d it in very mild weather,
And forgetting all jars, scoldings, tumults, and wars
Rose good friends in the morning together!