Swift’s own view of his poetry is apparently denigratory: ‘I have been only a man of rhymes, and that upon trifles, never having written serious couplets in my life; yet never any without a moral view . . . ’ These views he expressed in a letter to a friend in 1732, when Swift was sixty-five. By the end of 1731 he had produced 200 of the 250 or so poems he wrote, and was there fore in a position to take stock.