Henry Livingston, Jr.


Myndert Van Kleeck and Cornelia Livingston

Poem by Henry

Myndert Van Kleeck
(2 Feb 1744/45, Poughkeepsie NY)
(14 Dec 1799, Coxsackie NY)
+ Cornelia Livingston (15 Feb 1769, NYC)
(29 Sep 1750)
(14 Feb 1810, NYC)
(daughter of Henry Livingston, Sr. and Susannah Conklin)

(8 Mar 1793-5 Apr 1795)

Translation of a letter
from a tenant of Mrs. Van Kleeck to that lady, dated Jany 1787

My very good landlady, Mistress Van Kleeck,
(For the tears that o'erwhelm me I scarcely can speak)
I know that I promis'd you hogs two or three
(But who knows his destiny? Certain not me!)
That I promis'd three hogs I don't mean to deny
(I can prove that I had five or six upon sty.)

Three hogs did I say? Three sows I say then
Pon' honour I ne'er had a male upon pen.

Well Madam, the long and the short of the clatter
For mumbling & mincing will not better the matter;
And murder and truth my dear mammy wd say
By some means or other forever saw day;
And Daddy himself, as we chop'd in the wood
Would often observe that lying wan't good.

Tell truth my sweet fellow - no matter who feels it:
It ne'er can do hurt to the man who reveals it.

But stop! - While my Dady and Mammy's the subject
I am running aside the original object --

The sows my sweet madam - the sows I repeat
Which you and your household expected to eat.
Instead of attending their corn and their swill
Gave way to an ugly he-sow's wicked will.

When 'twill end your good lady-ship need not be told
For Nature is still, as she hath been of old;
And when he cries YES, mortals may not cry NO

So Madam farewell, with my holliday bow.


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