When Winchester Races


When Winchester races first took their

It is said the good people forgot their old

Not applying at all for the leave of Saint

And that William of Wykeham's approval was faint.

The races however were fixed and

The company came and the Weather was

The Lords and the Ladies were satine'd and

And nobody saw any future alarming.—But when the old Saint was informed of these

He made but one Spring from his Shrine to the

Of the Palace which now lies so sadly in

And then he addressed them all standing aloof.'Oh! subjects rebellious!

Oh Venta depraved **When once we are buried you think we are

But behold me immortal!

By vice you're

You have sinned and must suffer, ten farther he

These races and revels and dissolute

With which you're debasing a neighboring

Let them stand—You shall meet with your curse in your

Set off for your course,

I'll pursue with my rain.

Ye cannot but know my command o'er

Henceforward I'll triumph in shewing my

Shift your race as you will it shall never be

The curse upon Venta is July in showers—'.** Jane Austen wrote this poem 3 days before she died.  Clearly she never lost her sense of humour.  However, that left her no time for checking or revision, which is no doubt why the 4th verse reads wrongly.  Most sources give the poem as above, but one corrects it like this:'Oh! subjects rebellious!

Oh Venta

When once we are buried you think we are

But behold me immortal!

By vice you're

You have sinned and must suffer' - then farther he said -It seems highly likely that this is what Jane Austen meant to write.

Morag

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