SENT TO MR. SHARP, AS AN APOLOGY FOR NOT DINING WITH HIM (1809–10) [*]
I cannot with pleasure leave home,
Though wit, wine, and friendship invite,
For that grim-visaged fiend is just come,
Who withers my germs of delight.
With the insult  of conquest he rides, 5
And demands from its peg my warm coat,
Deep-probing back, shoulders, and sides,
With a spur  —like the name to your note.
The  blithe Caledonian for once,
Whose humour will keep you from sinking,10
Will miss by good fortune the dunce,
Who spends his dull moments in thinking,
Should Doeg transgress, show the door,
And let this fine rain cool his flame;
Or to have him like me, make him poor, 15
And strike out the e from his name.