Dear Goddess of Corn, whom the ancients we know,
(Among other odd whims of those comical bodies,)
Adorn’d with somniferous poppies, to show,
Thou wert always a true Country-gentleman’s Goddess.
Behold in his best, shooting-jacket, before thee,
An eloquent ‘Squire, who most humbly beseeches,
Great Queen of the Mark-lane (if the thing doesn’t bore thee),
Thou’lt read o’er the last of his never-last speeches.
Ah! Ceres, thou know’st not the slander and scorn
Now heap’d upon England’s ‘Squirearchy, so boasted;
Improving on Hunt, ’tis no longer the Corn,
‘Tis the growers of Corn that are now, alas! roasted.
In speeches, in books, in all shapes they attack us
Reviewers, economists – fellows, no doubt,
That you, my dear Ceres, and Venus, and Bacchus,
And Gods of high fashion know little about.
There’s B-nth-m, whose English is all his own making
Who thinks just as little of settling a nation
As he would of smoking his pipe, or of taking
(What he, himself, calls) his “post-prandial vibration.”
There are two Mr. M – lls, too, whom those that love reading
Through all that’s unreadable, call very clever;
And whreas M – ll Senior makes war on good breeding,
M – ll Junio makes war on all breeding whatever!
In short, my dear Goddess, Old England’s divided
Between ultra blockheads and superfine sages;
With which of these classes we, landlords, have sided
Thou’lt find in my Speech, if thou’lt read a few pages.
For therein I’ve prov’d, to my own satisfaction,
And that of all ‘Squires I’ve the honour of meeting,
That ’tis the most senseless and foul-mouth’d detraction
To say that poor people are fond of cheap eating.
On the contrary, such the “chaste notions” of food
That dwell in each pale manufacturer’s heart,
They would scorn any law, be it every so good,
That would make thee, dear Goddess, less dear than thou art!
And, oh! for Monopoly what a blest day,
When the Land and the Silk shall, in fond combination,
(Like Sulky and Silky, that pair in the play)
Cry out, with one voice, High Rents and Starvation!
Long life to the Minister! no matter who,
Or how dull he may be, if, with dignified spirit, he
Keeps the ports shut and the people’s mouth too,
We shall all have a long run of Freddy’s prosperity.
And, as for myself, who’ve like Hannibal, sworn
To hate the whole crew who would take our rents from us,
Had England but One to stand by thee, Dear Corn,
That last, honest Uni-Corn would be Sir Th-m-s!