Ode to a Pig

While His Nose Was Boring

Communicated by Mr Vignoles

Hark! hark! that pig — that pig! the hideous note,
 Most loud, more dissonant, each moment grows —
Would we not think, the knife was in his throat?
 And yet they’re only boring thro’ his nose.

Thou foolish beast, so rudely to withstand
 Thy master’s will, to feel such idle fears!
Why, pig, there’s not a lady in the land
 Who has not also bor’d and ring’d her ears.

Pig! ’tis they master’s pleasure — then be still,
 And hold your nose to let the iron through —
Dare you resist your lawful sovereign’s will?
 Rebellious swine! you know not what you do?

To man o’er every beast the power was giv’n;
 Pig, hear the truth, and never murmur more!
Wou’d you rebel against the will of heav’n?
 Thou impious beast, be still! and let them bore!

The social pig resigns his nat’ral rights
 When first with man he convenants to live;
He barters them for safer sty delights,
 For grains and mash, which man alone can give.

Sure is provision on the social plan,
 Secure the comforts that to each belong:—
Oh! happy swine! th’ impartial sway of man
 Alike protects, the weak pig and the strong.

And you resist! you struggle now, because
 Your master has thought fit to bore your nose!
You grunt, in flat rebellion to the saws
 Society finds needful to impose!

Go to the forest, piggy, and deplore
 The miserable lot of savage swine!
See how the young pigs fly from the great boar,
 And see how coarse and scantily they dine.

Behold their hourly danger, when who will
 May hunt or snare or seize them for his food!
Oh! happy pig! whom none presumes to kill
 Till your protecting master, thinks it good!

And when, at last, the closing hours of life
 Arrives (for pigs must die as well as man)
When in your throat you feel the long sharp knife
 And the blood trickles to the under pan;

And when, at last, the death wound yawning wide,
 Fainter and fainter grows th’ expiring cry,
Is there no grateful joy, no loyal pride,
 To think that for your master’s Good you die?