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POEM OF THE DAY

NONGTONGPAW

John Bull for pastime took a prance,
Some time ago, to peep at France;
To talk of sciences and arts,
And knowledge gain'd in foreign parts.
Monsieur, obsequious, heard him speak,
And answer'd John in heathen Greek:
To all he ask'd, 'bout all he saw,
'Twas, Monsieur, je vous n'entends pas.

John, to the Palais-Royal come,
Its splendor almost struck him dumb.
"I say, whose house is that there here?"
"House! Je vous n'entends pas, Monsieur."
"What, Nongtongpaw again!" cries John;
"This fellow is some mighty Don:
No doubt he's plenty for the maw,
I'll breakfast with this Nongtongpaw."

John saw Versailles from Marli's height,
And cried, astonish'd at the sight,
"Whose fine estate is that there here?"
"State! Je vous n'entends pas, Monsieur."
"His? what! the land and houses, too?
The fellow's richer than a Jew:
On everything he lays his claw!
I'd like to dine with Nongtongpaw."

Next tripping came a courtly fair,
John cried, enchanted with her air,
"What lovely wench is that there here?"
"Ventch! Je vous n'entends pas, Monsieur."
"What, he again? Upon, my life!
A palace, lands, and then a wife
Sir Joshua might delight to draw!
I'd like to sup with Nongtongpaw."

"But hold! whose funeral's that?" cries John.
"Je vous n'entends pas."--"What! is he gone?
Wealth, fame, and beauty could not save
Poor Nongtongpaw then from the grave!
His race is run, his game is up,--
I'd with him breakfast, dine, and sup;
But since he chooses to withdraw,
Good night t'ye, Mounseer Nongtongpaw!"

                                            Charles Dibdin.

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