The Gadfly

John Keats 1795 (Moorgate) – 1821 (Rome)



1.
All gentle folks who owe a grudge
To any living thing
Open your ears and stay your t[r]udge
Whilst I in dudgeon sing.

2.
The Gadfly he hath stung me sore--
O may he ne'er sting you!
But we have many a horrid bore
He may sting black and blue.

3.
Has any here an old grey Mare
With three legs all her store,
O put it to her Buttocks bare
And straight she'll run on four.

4.
Has any here a Lawyer suit
Of 1743,
Take Lawyer's nose and put it to't
And you the end will see.

5.
Is there a Man in Parliament
Dum[b-] founder'd in his speech,
O let his neighbour make a rent
And put one in his breech.

6.
O Lowther how much better thou
Hadst figur'd t'other day
When to the folks thou mad'st a bow
And hadst no more to say.

7.
If lucky Gadfly had but ta'en
His seat * * * * * * * * *
And put thee to a little pain
To save thee from a worse.

8.
Better than Southey it had been,
Better than Mr. D-------,
Better than Wordsworth too, I ween,
Better than Mr. V-------.

9.
Forgive me pray good people all
For deviating so --
In spirit sure I had a call --
And now I on will go.

10.
Has any here a daughter fair
Too fond of reading novels,
Too apt to fall in love with care
And charming Mister Lovels,

11.
O put a Gadfly to that thing
She keeps so white and pert --
I mean the finger for the ring,
And it will breed a wort.

12.
Has any here a pious spouse
Who seven times a day
Scolds as King David pray'd, to chouse
And have her holy way --

13.
O let a Gadfly's little sting
Persuade her sacred tongue
That noises are a common thing,
But that her bell has rung.

14.
And as this is the summon bo
num of all conquering,
I leave 'withouten wordes mo'
The Gadfly's little sting.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 10, 2023

1:48 min read
79

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABCBC ADEDE AFDFD AGXHH AXIXI AJKJK ALXXM AXHLH ANONO AFXFM ACXCG AXKMK ACPCP AOCOC
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 1,608
Words 350
Stanzas 14
Stanza Lengths 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5

John Keats

John Keats was an English Romantic poet. more…

All John Keats poems | John Keats Books

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    What is the term for the continuation of a sentence without a pause beyond the end of a line, couplet, or stanza.
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