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Short poem

Henry Carey (ca. 1687-1743)

Namby-Pamby: or, A Panegyric on the New Versification

Nauty Pauty Jack-a-Dandy
Stole a Piece of Sugar-Candy,
From the Grocer's Shoppy-shop,
And away did hoppy-hop.

              1All ye Poets of the Age!
              2All ye Witlings of the Stage!
              3Learn your Jingles to reform!
              4Crop your Numbers and Conform:
              5Let your little Verses flow
              6Gently, Sweetly, Row by Row:
              7Let the Verse the Subject fit;
              8Little Subject, Little Wit.
              9Namby-Pamby is your Guide;
            10Albion's Joy, Hibernia's Pride.
            11Namby-Pamby Pilly-piss,
            12Rhimy pim'd on Missy-Miss;
            13Tartaretta Tartaree,
            14From the Navel to the Knee;
            15That her Father's Gracy-Grace
            16Might give him a Placy-Place.
            17He no longer writes of Mammy
            18Andromache, and her Lammy,
            19Hanging panging, at the Breast
            20Of a Matron most distrest.
            21Now the venal Poet sings
            22Baby Clouts, and Baby Things;
            23Baby Dolls, and Baby Houses,
            24Little Misses, Little Spouses;
            25Little Play-Things, little Toys,
            26Little Girls, and little Boys.
            27As an Actor does his Part,
            28So the Nurses get by Heart
            29Namby Pamby's Little Rhimes,
            30Little Jingle, Little Chimes,
            31To repeat to Little Miss,
            32Piddling Ponds of Pissy-Piss;
            33Cacking-packing like a Lady,
            34Or Bye-bying in the Crady.
            35Namby Pamby ne'er will die
            36While the Nurse sings Lullabye.
            37Namby Pamby's doubly mild,
            38Once a Man, and twice a Child;
            39To his Hanging-Sleeves restor'd;
            40Now he foots it like a Lord;
            41Now he pumps his little Wits;
            42Sh---ing Writes and Writing Sh-ts,
            43All by little tiny Bits.
            44Now methinks I hear him say,
            45Boys and Girls come out to Play!
            46Moon do's shine as bright as Day.
            47Now my Namby Pamby's found
            48Sitting on the Friar's Ground,
            49Picking Silver, Picking Gold,
            50Namby Pamby's never old.
            51Bally-Cally they begin,
            52Namby Pamby still keeps in.
            53Namby Pamby is no Clown,
            54London-Bridge is broken down:
            55Now he courts the gay Ladee,
            56Dancing o'er the Lady-Lee.
            57Now he sings of Lick-spit Lyar
            58Burning in the Brimstone Fire;
            59Lyar, Lyar! Lick-spit, lick,
            60Turn about the Candlestick!
            61Now he sings of Jacky Horner,
            62Sitting in the Chimney-Corner,
            63Eating of a Christmas-Pie,
            64Putting in his Thumb, Oh, fie!
            65Putting in, Oh, fie! his Thumb,
            66Pulling out, Oh, strange! a Plumb.
            67Now he plays at Stee, Staw, Stud,
            68Sticking Apples in the Mud:
            69When 'tis turn'd to Stee, Staw, Stire,
            70Then he sticks 'em in the Mire.
            71Now he acts the Grenadier,
            72Calling for a Pot of Beer;
            73Where's his Money? He's forgot:
            74Get him gone, a Drunken Sot.
            75Now on Cock-horse does he ride;
            76And anon on Timber stride,
            77See-and-Saw, and Sacch'ry down,
            78London is a gallant Town!
            79Now he gathers Riches in,
            80Thicker, faster, Pin by Pin:
            81Pins a-piece to see his Show,
            82Boys and Girls flock Row by Row;
            83From their Cloaths the Pins they take,
            84Risque a Whipping for his sake;
            85From their Frocks the Pins they pull,
            86To fill Namby's Cushion full.
            87So much Wit at such an Age,
            88Does a Genius great presage,
            89Second Childhood gone and past,
            90Shou'd he prove a Man at last!
            91What must second Manhood be,
            92In a Child so bright as he?
            93    Guard him, ye poetic Powers!
            94Watch his Minutes, watch his Hours:
            95Let your Tuneful Nine inspire him;
            96Let poetic Fury fire him:
            97Let the Poets, one and all,
            98To his Genius Victims fall.


1] Nauty Pauty: The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, ed.Iona and Peter Opie (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1952), no. 259 (p. 232):

Handy spandy, Jack-a-Dandy,
Loves plum cake and sugar candy;
He bought some at a grocer's shop,
And out he came, hop, hop, hop, hop.

9] a parody of Ambrose Philips (1674-1749), a minor poet not highly regarded then or now.

10] Albion: England.
Hibernia: Scotland.

11] Pilly-piss: perhaps, pissing on [his] cushion or "pill" (OED, "pillow").

12] Rhimy pim'd: presumably "rhyme-y" and a nonce word.

13] Tartaretta Tartaree: perhaps a play on "tart," or prostitute.

18] Andromache: "A reference to Phillips' play The Distrest Mother (Drury Lane 17/3/1712), the heroine of which is Andromache" (Wood, Poems: 255).

19] panging: complaining.

22] Clouts: clothes.

33] Cacking-packing: execreting.

34] Crady: cradle.

42] Sh---ing Writes and Writing Sh-ts: the usual four-letter word.

45-46] Opie, no. 75 (pp. 99-100), from 1708-09:

Boys and girls come out to play,
The moon doth shine as bright as day.
Leave your supper and leave your sleep,
And join your playfellows in the street.

51] Bally-Cally: an allusion to ballad, "ballet"?

54] Opie, no. 306 (pp. 270-76), the first occurrence:

London Bridge is broken down,
Broken down, broken down,
London Bridge is broken down,
My fair lady.

56] Lady-Lee: unidentified allusion.

57] Lick-spit Lyar: a lying toady.

60] possibly Opie, no. 255 (pp. 226-27):

Jack be nimble,
Jack be quick,
Jack jump over
The candle stick.

61] Opie, no. 262 (pp. 234-36), the first occurrence:

Little Jack Horner
Sat in the corner,
Eating a Christmas pie;
He put in a thumb,
And pulled out a plum,
And said, What a good boy am I?

67] Stee, Staw, Stud: stee and staw are variants of "sty" (a ladder), and stud means "upright timber."

71] Opie, no. 196 (p. 195), the first occurrence:

Who comes here?
A grenadier.
What do you want?
A pot of beer.
Where's your money?
I forgot.
Get you gone,
You drunken lot.

75] possibly alluding to a lost early version of Opie, no. 29 (pp. 65-67):

Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
To buy little Johnny a galloping horse

Opie, no. 309 (pp. 277-78), the first occurrence:

See-saw, sacradown,
Which is the way to London town?
One foot up and one foot down,
That is the way to London town.

95] Tuneful Nine: the Muses.

Online text copyright © 2005, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: H. Carey, Poems on Several Occasions, 3rd edn. (London: E. Say, 1729): 55-61. 11632.e.70 British Library.
First publication date: 1725
Publication date note: Namby Pamby: or, a panegyrick on the new versification address'd to A----- P---- (Dublin, 1725)
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 2001.
Recent editing: 4:2002/2/7

Form: couplets

Other poems by Henry Carey