A View of the Town
O Pope, thou scourge to a licentious age,
Inspire these lines with thy severest rage;
Arm me with satire keen as Oldham wrote
Against the curst Divan, with poignant thought;
To lash a crime which filthy lechers use,
Sworn foes to mother Haywood’s and the stews;
Inverting nature to a foul design,
They stop the propagation of their kind. [lines 304-11, p. 18]
Forlorn Saphira with reclining head
Sighs for her absent lord in bridal bed;
He to St. James’s-Park with rapture flies,
And roams in search of some vile ingle prize;
Courts the foul pathick in the fair one’s place,
And with unnat’ral lust defiles his race.
From whence cou’d such polluted wretches spring,
How learn to propagate so foul a sin!
The sons of Sodom were destroy’d by fire,
Gomorrah felt the Lord’s destructive ire,
The great metropolis of England’s isle
Had like to’ve been the nation’s funeral pile:
Bold race of men! whom nothing can affright,
Not e’en their consciences in dead of night.
Let Jesuits some subtler pains invent,
For hanging is too mild a punishment:
Let them ly groaning on the racking-wheel,
Or feel the tortures of the burning steel; [lines 311-29, p. 19]
Whips, poisons, daggers, inquisitions, flames,
This crime the most exalted vengeance claims;
Or else be banish’d to some desart place,
And perish in each other’s foul embrace.
’Tis strange this sin shou’d flourish in our isle,
Where Cyprian Venus and the Graces smile,
Where tender virgins in the bloom of youth
Are fam’d for virtue, innocence, and truth,
With all the charms that nature can provide
For the gay mistress, or the lovely bride:
Can yet this savage race obdurate prove,
And beauty have no pow’r their hearts to move
To the warm transports of a female love!
By such foul slaves our species is disgrac’d,
And may they all be damn’d for want of taste. [lines 330-44, p. 20]
SOURCE: A View of the Town: in an Epistle to a Friend in the Country. A Satire, London: Printed by R. Penny, for the Author, and sold by A. Dodd, at the Peacock, without Temple-bar, 1735, pp. 18-20.
NOTES: John Oldham (1653-83) was noted for writing many satires. Mother Haywood was a bawdy-house keeper. An "ingle" is a catamite. It is worth noting the use of the term "inverted" in connection with homosexuality.
CITATION: If you cite this Web page, please use the following citation:
Rictor Norton (Ed.), "A View of the Town, 1735",
Homosexuality in Eighteenth-Century England: A Sourcebook, 28 February 2003