Poems and Essays

by Joseph Howe




    [During a discussion in the House of Assembly a large dog made good his entrance and walked about the House, apparently astonished at the singularity of his situation. The following lines were suggested by the incident.]

Why, Rover, by what wily art
    Did you get entrance here?
By playing well a Patriot’s part,
    And wasting bread and beer?

By kissing each Elector’s wife,
    And flirting with his sister,
And swearing that, upon your life,
    Your heart could ne’er resist her?

Did you shake many a voter’s hand,
    And tell full many a story—
For days upon the hustings stand,
    And bow to Whig and Tory?

While rights, and liberties, and laws
    Were always on your tongue,
Enlisting hundreds in your cause,
    You’d just as soon have hung?

And now you’re here, come tell us, pray,
    Which side you mean to sit—
What part do you intend to play,
    A Dummy or a Wit?

Will you seek fame like H. and B.,
    By making lengthy speeches, [Page 182]
Or range upon the side of D.
    When ’gainst our punch he preaches?

And will you kick, and bark and bite,
    When Road Votes come before ye,
Or put the Council all to flight,
    Whene’er the fit comes o’er ye?

Will you stand up, ten times at least,
    To speak on every question,
And give the House a glorious feast,
    Enough to check digestion?

Or will you sit your sixty days*
    For Five-and-Thirty Guineas,
And ne’er attempt your voice to raise
    Like many other ninnies? [Page 183]

* Formerly members of the House of Assembly received 35 guineas for the session, which was supposed to last 60 days. [back]