Still for contrivance, trust the Petticoat!
And by her Proxy, every Muse shall vote.
By those who are now far away
I am instructed thus, to say —
In honour as in duty bound,
Could they in time, see British ground,
They would to Jove’s dread court repair
And give unbiased verdict there:
But most will own, and all will see,
That what’s impossible can’t be!
The Herring Pond doth lie between
The Muses, and the legal scene,
And nolens volens they must stay
Nor e’en sub-pœnas call obey;
Upon the banks of Seine they sport
Retainers of the Gallic Court,
Employed to stir imperial pap,
And chant in praise of infant nap.
But tho’ obliged to tarry there,
The Attic cause is still most dear,
To lend their aid they will not fail
Tho’ habeus there will naught avail.
In person they cannot attend,
But worthy subsitutes will send,
And all enriched by gifts divine
Fit proxies for th’ immortal Nine:
No strangers they, but all approved,
Admired, respected, or beloved.
Clio, Melpomone and she
The Queen of Sports and revelry,
Terpsichore, who trips along,
And the maid of sweetest song,
Calliope, whose sage advice
Disputes can settle in a trice,
Urania, mild and studious fair.
Euterpe with a martial air,
And to join the sister band
Polyhymnia by the hand
Will lead sweet Coila, fair and free,
Fraught with sentiment and glee!
Playful, and tender too, by turns
The Ayrshire Muse, the Muse of Burns,
Thus ad modo substitutio,
Each will answer the citatio!
Here are all proxies it must be allowed
From judge and jury, to the witness crowd.