The Observations of a Swine

Occasioned by the Lines which appear in the Register, of the 3rd inst. entitled ‘Patriotism’.

Did ‘Nature mean us to be slaves’
The property of fools and knaves?
Have we no claim or just pretense
To common rights and common sense?
Or, will you have say the Hand divine
Made some for Lords—the rest for Swine?
If this be fact, explain the cause
Why Swine must needs be ruled by laws?
Except we call their fate a law,
To eat dry husks and lay on straw,
And when they’ve fattened to be taken
And quarter’d into hams and bacon,
To satiate those who think it fit,
To eat the carcass bit by bit:—
Although ALL should not suffice,
Except our lot’s a sacrifice,
‘Twould be call’d Treason to repine!
Because, you know, we’re only Swine!

We’re only Swine!—how well it suits!
For shall putes may govern brutes;
And foolish men, in foolish things,
Oft act as well as foolish Kings:
Let SWINEHERD be the name for those,
Who lead the Nation by the nose,
And boast, that by a right divine,
They’re ruling men:—no,—driving Swine!

We’re only Swine!—think but what fun,
To see a Pig strut with his gun!
How fierce and terrible the fight,
To march large herds of Swine to fight!
The illustrious YORK, that noble Peer,
How famous must his name appear!
Instead of Heroes bold—to lead
A nasty filthy grunting Breed!
Yet, who can tell, but that, by chance,
He and his Swine may conquer France!

We’re only Swine!—What humble pride!
That nobles design us on to ride!
Yea Monarchs mount our bristly back,
And make each joint and sinew crack!
We groan beneath the ponderous weight,
Of all the creatures of the State!
Placemen and Pensioners (beside
An innocent, caterpillar tribe)
In greedy swarms upon us ride!

The Mighty who in splendour shine,
May thank their Stars that there are swine;
For, were we all of noble birth,
Where would we be Swine to root the earth,
To sweat and toil for their support,
Or, when they please, to be their sport?

Then hold not Swine in such disdain,
Since ‘tis by them you have your gain;
But learn to treat them with respect,
Lest they should grunt at your neglect:
For, should they be provok’d!—What then?
The Swine would rise—and rise to MEN!

Norton, May

Printed in the Sheffield Register No. 317,  28 June 1793 (currently held in Sheffield University Library Special Collections)

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