The Parting Cup



Extract from the fourth verse of the ‘The Parting Cup’ from 1740. It was also re-printed in the ‘The Life of Oliver Goldsmith’ in 1837. This tale stated may relate to actual circumstances. The Carrick town may be Carrick-on-Suir, Carrick-on-Shannon or Carrickfergus. The most likely candidate may be Carrickfergus, as there were a number of Ralph families living in that area.


The Parting Cup...Cant IV


They advertise it then in Print,

And all Proposals must be sent

To them in Writing without fail,

Who are the Owners in Fat-tail,

With large Encomiums on the Farm,

That is enclos'd so snug and warm,

With Rocks and Bags and Rivulets,

Where you may-fish, or lay your Nets,

For Eeels young Salmon-trouts, and Sprates,

Where Boys may catch them in their Hats,

A Dwelling-house in good Repair,

With Office: such as they are,

It lies within twelve Miles of Carrick,

A Market Town: where stands a Barracks

But this indeed we adds much own,

'Tis sixty Miles from Dublin Town.


Our Tenant Patrick held it long,

But then he had it for a Song;

Some Years agoe 'twas rais'd to five

But Patrick never since eou'd thrive,

And yet before his Lease was out,

His Farm was ganted round about;

Ralph screw’d the Acre up to ten,

To which the Landlord put his Pen

And thus he held it some few Years,

But still was running in Arrears,

For Mercy cries let me surrender,

The Landlord then rejects the Tender,

Ralpb thus involv'd in Debt took Leg,

Now Pat. and Ralph are forc'd to beg:

No wonder Bread-Corn shou'd be dear,

And that the Poor shou'd Famine fear,

When some rich Men can scarce afford

Good Bread or Drink to. serve their Board,'

Give Sparingly their sower Ale,

With coarse black Bread at ev'ry Meal,

Half Bran, half bak’d with mouldy Crust;

Half sower, like Leaven: to your Gust;

That's seldom boulted thro' a. Sieve,

On which a Swede cou'd hardly live;

The Dregs of musty mouldy Wheat,

Which well bred Dog: wou'd scom to eat,

Who, in the Sense of Taste or Smell.

Their Masters often do excel,

And rather feed on canon Flesh;

Than what the Squire buys fresh and fresh;

Just as Pat Tracy bought his Goals,

By halves good luck! and not by wholes,

Not by half Tun but by half Barrel,

Which made his Wife with him to quarrel,

To vent her Passion and Displeasure,

That he shou'd stint her of her Measure. 


Laurence Whyte. Poems on various subjects, serious and diverting, never before published, etc. Dublin MDCCXL [1740]



Re-printed in

James Prior. The Life of Oliver Goldsmith. 1837







Last update: 10 June 2015