Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Restoration Verse
William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Restoration Verse.  1910.
By George Farquhar (1677?–1707)
A TRIFLING 1 song you shall hear;
  Begun with a trifle and ended.
All trifling people draw near,
  And I shall be nobly attended.
Were it not for trifles a few,        5
  That lately have come into play;
The men would want something to do,
  And the women want something to say.
What makes men trifle in dressing?
  Because the ladies, they know,        10
Admire, by often possessing,
  That eminent trifle, a Beau.
What mortal man would be able
  At White’s half an hour to sit,
Or who could bear a tea-table,        15
  Without talking of trifles for wit?
The Court is from trifles secure;
  Gold Keys are no trifles, we see;
White rods are no trifles, I’m sure,
  Whatever their bearers may be.        20
But if you will go to the place
  Where trifles abundantly breed,
The Levée will show you his Grace
  Makes promises trifles indeed.
A coach with six footmen behind,        25
  I count neither trifle, nor sin;
But, ye gods! how oft do we find
  A scandalous trifle within.
A flask of champagne, people think it
  A trifle, or something as bad;        30
But if you’ll contrive how to drink it,
  You’ll find it no trifle, egad!
A parson’s a trifle at sea,
  A widow’s a trifle in sorrow;
A peace is a trifle to-day;        35
  Who knows what may happen to-morrow?
A black coat, a trifle may cloak;
  Or to hide it, the red may endeavour;
But if once the army is broke,
  We shall have more trifles than ever.        40
The stage is a trifle, they say;
  The reason, pray carry along;
Because at ev’ry new play,
  The house they with trifles so throng.
But with people’s malice to trifle,        45
  And to set us all on a foot;
The author of this is a trifle,
  And his Song is a trifle to boot.
Note 1. From Beaux’ Stratagem, 1707. [back]

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