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Short poem

Selected Poetry of John Gay (1685-1732)

from Representative Poetry On-line
Prepared by members of the Department of English at the University of Toronto
from 1912 to the present and published by the University of Toronto Press from 1912 to 1967.
RPO Edited by Ian Lancashire
A UTEL (University of Toronto English Library) Edition
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries
© 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto

Index to poems

Man may escape from rope and gun;
Nay, some have out-liv'd the doctor's pill;
Who takes a woman must be undone,
That basilisk is sure to kill.
The fly that sips treacle is lost in the sweets,
So he that tastes woman, woman, woman,
He that tastes woman, ruin meets.
        (The Beggar's Opera)
  1. The Beggar's Opera (excerpt)
  2. An Elegy on a Lap-dog
  3. Fable L: The Hare and Many Friends
  4. The Shepherd's Week (excerpt)
  5. Sweet William's Farewell to Black-ey'd Susan: A Ballad
  6. Trivia; or, the Art of Walking the Streets of London

Biographical information

Given name: John
Family name: Gay
Birth date: 1685
Death date: 4 December 1732
Nationality: English
Family relations
          father: William Gay
          sister: Katherine Baller
          sister: Joanna Fortescue
Language: English
Education: Free grammar school, Barnstaple
Politics: Tory
Patron: Duke of Queensberry
Literary period: Augustan
          Lottery commissioner: 1722 to 1731
          Barnstaple: 1685
Illness: Cholic: 1722
Cause of death: Fever
Buried at: Westminster Abbey
First RPO edition: 1997