If, dearest Dismal, you for once can dine
Upon a single dish, and tavern wine,
Toland to you this invitation sends,
To eat the calfs head with your trusty friends.
Suspend awhile your vain ambitious hopes,
Leave hunting after bribes, forget your tropes.
To-morrow we our mystic feast prepare,
Where thou, our latest proselyte, shall share:
When we, by proper signs and symbols, tell,
How by brave hands the royal traitor fell;
The meat shall represent the tyrant's head,
The wine, his blood our predecessors shed;
Whilst an alluding hymn some artist sings,
We toast, Confusion to the race of kings!
At monarchy we nobly show our spight,
And talk, what fools call treason, all the night.
Who, by disgraces or ill fortune sunk,
Feels not his soul enliven'd when he's drunk?
Wine can clear up Godolphin's cloudy face,
And fill Jack Smith with hopes to keep his place:
By force of wine, ev'n Scarborough is brave,
Hal grows more pert, and Somers not so grave:
Wine can give Portland wit, and Cleaveland sense,
Montague learning, Bolton eloquence:
Cholmondeley, when drunk, can never lose his wand;
And Lincoln then imagines he has land.
My province is, to see that all be right,
Glasses and linen clean, and pewter bright;
From our mysterious club to keep out spies,
And Tories (dress'd like waiters) in disguise.
You shall be coupled as you best approve,
Seated at table next the man you love.
Sunderland, Orford, Boyle, and Richmond's grace
Will come; and Hampden shall have Walpole's place;
Wharton, unless prevented by a whore,
Will hardly fail; and there is room for more;
But I love elbow-room whene'er I drink;
And honest Harry is too apt to stink.
Let no pretence of bus'ness make you stay;
Yet take one word of counsel by the way.
If Guernsey calls, send word you're gone abroad;
He'll teaze you with King Charles, and Bishop Laud,
Or make you fast, and carry you to prayers;
But, if he will break in, and walk up stairs,
Steal by the back-door out, and leave him there;
Then order Squash to call a hackney chair.
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"Toland’s Invitation To Dismal To Dine With The Calve’s Head Club" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 22 Feb. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/24345/toland’s-invitation-to-dismal-to-dine-with-the-calve’s-head-club>.