Odes by Q. Horatius Flaccus, and the City Poet of 1788.

To Dicky Gossip.

While he thinks of tittle-tattle, not to forget
his wiggery.

Do you see that stately caxon, 1
Which looks with all its whiteness,2
Like a bush o’erlaid with snow ;3
And the curls, which range below,4
Stand stiff in frosty brightness.5
Come, melt some sweet pomatum— 6
And, for powder do not stint us ;7
Draw your irons from the stove ;8
And, Dicky, quickly move,9
To make my old wig as portentous,10
Don’t ask of to-morrow’s matters, 11
Since them, nor you, nor I, know ;12
Mind your shop, my boy, nor spurn13
From customers, to earn,14
For scraping their muzzles, their rhino.115
Show yourself a wise wig-maker,16
For sure you’ve enough to handle,17
As long as folks don’t wear18
Their own untrimmed grey hair,19
Without heeding the whispers of scandal.20
Yet ah, those ears so itching ! 21
My muse can not restrain ’em ;22
Should a laugh come from the street,23
Comb and razor you would quit,24
Nor longer could your fingers retain ’em.25

Editorial notes

  1. “rhino” is slang for money (OED).