Epigram. Auri Sacra Fames.

A poem by Thomas Gent

I knew a being once, his peaked head
With a few lank and greasy hairs was spread;
His visage blue, in length was like your own
Seen in the convex of a table-spoon.
His mouth, or rather gash athwart his face,
To stop at either ear had just the grace,
A hideous rift: his teeth were all canine,
And just like Death's (in Milton) was his grin.
One shilling, and one fourteen-penny leg,
(This shorter was than that, and not so big),
He had; and they, when meeting at his knees,
An angle formed of ninety-eight degrees.
Nature, in scheming how his back to vary,
A hint had taken from the dromedary:
His eyes an inward, screwing vision threw,
Striving each other through his nose to view.

His intellect was just one ray above
The idiot Cymon's ere he fell in love.
At school they Taraxippus[1] called the wight;
The Misses, when they met him, shriek'd with fright.
But, spite of all that Nature had denied,
When sudden Fortune made the cub her pride,
And gave him twenty thousand pounds a-year,
Then, from the pretty Misses you might hear,
"His face was not the finest, and, indeed,
He was a little, they must own, in-kneed;
His shoulders, certainly, were rather high,
But, then, he had a most expressive eye;
Nor were their hearts by outward charms inclined:
Give them the higher beauties of the mind!"

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