Fine and feathery artisan,
Best of Plumists (if you can
With your art so far presume)
Make for me a Prince's Plume--
Feathers soft and feathers rare,
Such as suits a Prince to wear.
First thou downiest of men,
Seek me out a fine Pea-hen;
Such a Hen, so tall and grand,
As by Juno's side might stand,
If there were no cocks at hand.
Seek her feathers, soft as down,
Fit to shine on Prince's crown;
If thou canst not find them, stupid!
Ask the way of Prior's Cupid.
Ranging these in order due,
Pluck me next an old Cuckoo;
Emblem of the happy fates
Of easy, kind, cornuted mates.
Pluck him well--be sure you do--
Who wouldn’t be an old Cuckoo,
Thus to have his plumage blest,
Beaming on a Royal crest?
Bravo, Plumist!--now what bird
Shall we find for Plume the third?
You must get a learned Owl,
Bleakest of black-letter fowl--
Bigot bird that hates the light,
Foe to all that's fair and bright.
Seize his quills, (so formed to pen
Books that shun the search of men;
Books that, far from every eye,
In "sweltered venom sleeping" lie,)
Stick them in between the two,
Proud Pea-hen and Old Cuckoo.
Now you have the triple feather,
Bind the kindred stems together
With a silken tie whose hue
Once was brilliant Buff and Blue;
Sullied now--alas, how much!
Only fit for Yarmouth's touch.
There--enough--thy task is done;
Present, worthy George's Son;
Now, beneath, in letters neat,
Write "I SERVE," and all's complete.