Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Sing the Praises of a Fart

A Member of the Athenian Society, Athenian Sport: or, Two Thousand Paradoxes Merrily Argued, to Amuse and Divert the Age (London: B. Bragg, 1707), pp. 114-115 = Paradox XXVI (The Best Perfume, or a Paradox in Praise of Farting):
I sing the Praises of a Fart;
That I may do't by Rules of Art,
I will invoke no Deity,
But butter'd Pease and Furmity,
And think their Help sufficient
To fit and furnish my Intent.
For sure I must not use high Strains,
For fear it bluster out in Grains:
When Virgil's Gnat, and Ovid's Flea,
And Homer's Frogs strive for the day,
There is no reason in my mind,
That a brave Fart should come behind;
Since that you may it parallel
With any thing that doth excel:
Musick is but a Fart, that's sent
From the Guts of an Instrument:
The Scholar but farts, when he gains
Learning with cracking of his Brains,
And when he 'as spent much pain and toil,
Thomas and Dun to reconcile;
And to learn the abstracting Art,
What does he get by't? Not a Fart.
The Soldier makes his Foes to run,
With but the Farting of a Gun;
That's if he make the Bullet whistle,
Else 'tis no better than a Fizle:
And if withal the Wind do stir up
Rain, 'tis but a Fart in Syrrup.
They are but Farts, the Words we say,
Words are but Wind, and so are they.
Applause is but a Fart, the crude
Blast of the fickle Multitude.
Fine Boats that lie the Thames about,
Be but Farts several Docks let out.
Some of our Projects were, I think,
But Politick Farts; foh, how they stink!
As soon as born, they by and by,
Fart-like, but only breathe and die,
Farts are as good as Land, for both
We hold in Tail, and let them both:
Only the difference here is, that
Farts are let at a lower rate.
I'll say no more, for this is right,
That for my Guts I cannot write,
Tho I should study all my days,
Rhimes that are worth the thing I praise.
What I have said, take in good part,
If not, I do not care a FART.

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