George Herbert is one of the three main metaphysical poets alongside
John Donne and Andrew Marvell. Though Marvell was published after the English Civil War, poetry was
normally recited or hand written in to booklets as copies. Printing of poetry
was considered a little vulgar at the time. Herbert
was the most keen of the three to preach and the famous one I have copied below
is so typical of the metaphysical genre because it takes a while to work out
and then it just clicks like a cryptic clue: simplistic I know, but I'm sure
you take my meaning.
JORDAN. (I) by George Herbert.
Who sayes that fictions onely and false hair
Become a verse ? Is there in truth no beautie ?
Is all good structure in a winding stair ?
May no lines passe, except they do their dutie
Not to a true, but painted chair ?
Is it not verse, except enchanted groves
And sudden arbours shadow course-spunne lines ?
Must purling streams refresh a lovers loves ?
Must all be vail’d, while he that reades, divines,
Catching the sense at two removes ?
Shepherds are honest people ; let them sing :
Riddle who list, for me, and pull for Prime :
I envie no mans nightingale or spring ;
Nor let them punish me with losse of ryme,
Who plainly say, My God, My King.
The first and perhaps most well known
by John Donne
MARK but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is ;
It suck'd me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be.
Thou know'st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead ;
Yet this enjoys before it woo,
And pamper'd swells with one blood made of two ;
And this, alas ! is more than we would do.
O stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, yea, more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our marriage bed, and marriage temple is.
Though parents grudge, and you, we're met,
And cloister'd in these living walls of jet.
Though use make you apt to kill me,
Let not to that self-murder added be,
And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.
Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it suck'd from thee?
Yet thou triumph'st, and say'st that thou
not thyself nor me the weaker now.
'Tis true ; then learn how false fears be ;
Just so much honour, when thou yield'st to me,
Will waste, as this flea's death took life from thee.
A DIVINE MISTRESS
Nature's pieces still I see Some error that might mended be ;
Something my wish could still remove,
Alter or add ; but my fair love
Was framed by hands far more divine,
For she hath every beauteous line.
Yet I had been far happier,
Had Nature, that made me, made her.
Then likeness might (that love creates)
Have made her love what now she hates ;
Yet, I confess, I cannot spare
From her just shape the smallest hair ;
Nor need I beg from all the store
Of heaven for her one beauty more.
She hath too much divinity for me :
You gods, teach her some more humanity.
HE that loves a rosy cheek,
Or a coral lip admires,
Or from star-like eyes doth seek
Fuel to maintain his fires ;
As old Time makes these decay,
So his flames must waste away.
But a smooth and steadfast mind,
Gentle thoughts and calm desires,
Hearts with equal love combined,
Kindle never-dying fires.
Where these are not, I despise
Lovely cheeks, or lips, or eyes.
No tears, Celia, now shall win
My resolved heart to return ;
I have search'd thy soul within,
And find nought but pride and scorn :
I have learn'd thy arts, and now
Can disdain as much as thou.
Some power in my revenge convey
That love to her I cast away.
To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
by Robert Herrick 1648
GATHER ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old time is still a-flying :
And this same flower that smiles to-day
To-morrow will be dying.
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he's a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he's to setting.
That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer ;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.
Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may go marry :
For having lost but once your prime
You may for ever tarry.
Cooper's Hill 1642
Sure there are poets which did never dream
Upon Parnassus, nor did taste the stream
Of Helicon; we therefore may suppose
Those made not poets, but the poets those.
And as courts make not kings, but kings the court,
So where the Muses and their train resort,
Parnassus stands: if I can be to thee
A poet, thou Parnassus art to me.
Nor wonder, if (advantage in my flight,
By taking wing from thy auspicious height)
Through untraced ways and airy paths I fly,
More boundless in my fancy than my eye:
My eye, which swift as thought contracts the space
That lies between, and first salutes the place
Crowned with that sacred pile, so vast, so high,
That whether 'tis a part of earth or sky
Uncertain seems, and may be thought a proud
Aspiring mountain, or descending cloud,
Paul's, the late theme of such a Muse whose flight
Has bravely reached and soared above thy height;
Now shalt thou stand though sword, or time, or fire,
Or zeal more fierce than they, thy fall conspire,
Secure, whilst thee the best of poets sings,
Preserved from ruin by the best of kings.
Under his proud survey the city lies,
And like a mist beneath a hill doth rise,
Whose state and wealth, the business and the crowd,
Seems at this distance but a darker cloud;
And is to him who rightly things esteems
No other in effect than what it seems.
Where, with like haste, through several ways they run,
Some to undo and some to be undone;
While luxury and wealth, like war and peace,
Are each the other's ruin and increase,
As rivers lost in seas, some secret vein
Thence reconveighs, there to be lost again.
Oh, happiness of sweet retired content!
To be at once secure and innocent.
Windsor the next (where Mars with Venus dwells,
Beauty with strength) above the valley swells
Into my eye and doth itself present
With such an easy unforced ascent
That no stupendous precipice denies
Access, no horror turns away our eyes;
But such a rise as doth at once invite
A pleasure and a reverence from the sight.
Thy mighty master's emblem, in whose face
Sat meekness, heightened with majestic grace;
Such seems thy gentle height, made only proud
To be the basis of that pompous load,
Than which a nobler weight no mountain bears,
But Atlas only that supports the spheres.
When nature's hand this ground did thus advance,
'Twas guided by a wiser power than chance,
Marked out for such a use as if 'twere meant
T'invite the builder, and his choice prevent.
Nor can we call it choice when what we choose,
Folly or blindness only could refuse.
A crown of such majestic towers doth grace
The gods' great mother when her heavenly race
Do homage to her; yet she cannot boast
Amongst that numerous and celestial host
More heroes than can Windsor, nor doth fame's
Immortal book record more noble names.
Not to look back so far, to whom this isle
Owes the first glory of so brave a pile,
Whether to Caesar, Albanact, or Brute,
The British Arthur, or the Danish Canute
(Though this of old no less contest did move
Than when for Homer's birth seven cities strove;
Like him in birth, thou shouldst be like in fame,
As thine his fate, if mine had been his flame);
But whosoe'er it was, nature designed
First a brave place, and then as brave a mind.
Not to recount those several kings, to whom
It gave a cradle, or to whom a tomb,
But thee, great Edward, and thy greater son,
(The lilies which his father wore, he won)
And thy Bellona, who the consort came
Not only to thy bed, but to thy fame;
She to thy triumphs led one captive king
And brought that son, which did the second bring.
Then didst thou found that Order (whether love
Or victory thy royal thoughts did move).
Each was a noble cause, and nothing less
Than the design has been the great success,
Which foreign kings and emperors esteem
The second honor to their diadem.
Had thy great destiny but given thee skill
To know, as well as power to act her will,
That from those kings, who then thy captives were
In after-times should spring a royal pair
Who should possess all that thy mighty power,
Or thy desires more mighty, did devour,
To whom their better fate reserves whate'er
The victor hopes for, or the vanquish'd fear;
That blood, which thou and thy gransire shed,
And all that since these sister nations bled,
Had been unspilt, had happy Edward known
That all the blood he spilt had been his own.
When he that patron chose in whom are joined
Soldier and martyr, and his arms confined
Within the azure circle, he did seem
But to foretell and prophesy of him
Who to his realms that azure round hath joined,
Which nature for their bound at first designed;
That bound, which to the world's extremest ends,
Endless itself, its liquid arms extends:
Nor doth he need those emblems which we paint,
But is himself the soldier and the saint.
Here should my wonder dwell, and here my praise;
But my fixed thoughts my wandering eye betrays,
Viewing a neighboring hill, whose top of late
A chapel crowned, till in the common fate
The adjoining Abbey fell (may no such storm
Fall on our times, where ruin must reform).
Tell me, my Muse, what monstrous dire offense,
What crime could any Christian king incense
To such a rage? Was't luxury, or lust?
Was he so temperate, so chaste, so just?
Were these their crimes? They were his own much more;
But wealth is crime enough to him that's poor,
Who having spent the treasures of his crown,
Condemns their luxury to feed his own.
And yet this act, to varnish o'er the shame
Of sacrilege, must bear devotion's name.
No crime so bold but would be understood
A real, or at least a seeming good.
Who fears not to do ill, yet fears the name,
And free from conscience, is a slave to fame.
Thus he the church at once protects and spoils;
But Prince's swords are sharper than their styles.
And thus to the ages past he makes amends,
Their charity destroys, their faith defends.
Then did religion in a lazy cell,
In empty, airy contemplations dwell,
And like the block, unmoved, lay; but ours,
As much too active, like the stork devours.
Is there no temperate region can be known,
Betwixt their frigid, and our torrid zone?
Could we not wake from that lethargic dream,
But to be restless in a worse extreme?
And for that lethargy was there no cure,
But to be cast into a calenture?
Can knowledge have no bound, but must advance
So far, to make us wish for ignorance?
And rather in the dark to grope our way
Than led by a false guide to err by day?
Who sees these dismal heaps, but would demand
What barbarous invader sacked the land?
But when he hears no Goth, no Turk did bring
This desolation, but a Christian king,
When nothing but the name of zeal appears
'Tixt our best actions and the worst of theirs,
What does he think our sacrilege would spare,
When such the effects of our devotions are?
Parting from thence 'twixt anger, shame, and fear,
Those for what's past, and this for what's too near,
My eye, descending from the hill, surveys
Where Thames amongst the wanton valleys strays.
Thames, the most loved of all the ocean's sons,
By his old sire, to his embraces runs,
Hasting to pay his tribute to the sea,
Like mortal life to meet eternity.
Though with those streams he no resemblance hold,
Whose foam is amber and their gravel gold;
His genuine, and less guilty wealth to explore,
Search not his bottom, but survey his shore,
O'er which he kindly spreads his spacious wing,
And hatches plenty for the ensuing spring.
Nor then destroys it with too fond a stay,
Like mothers which their infants overlay;
Nor with a sudden and impetuous wave,
Like profuse kings, resumes the wealth he gave.
No expected inundations spoil
The mower's hopes, nor mock the plowman's toil;
But God-like his unwearied bounty flows;
First he loves to do, then loves the good he does.
Nor are his blessings to his banks confined,
But free and common as the sea or wind;
When he to boast, or to disperse his stores,
Full of the tributes of his grateful shores,
Visits the world, and in his flying towers
Brings home to us, and makes the Indies ours;
Finds wealth where 'tis, bestows it where it wants,
Cities in deserts, woods in cities plants,
So that to us no thing, no place is strange,
While his fair bosom is the world's exchange.
O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme!
Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not dull,
Strong without rage, without o'er-flowing full.
Heaven her Eridanus no more shall boast,
Whose fame in thine, like lesser currents lost,
Thy nobler streams shall visit Jove's abodes,
To shine amongst the stars and bathe the gods.
Here nature, whether more intent to please
Us or herself with strange varieties
(For things of wonder give no less delight
To the wise Maker's, than beholder's sight,
Though these delights from several causes move;
For so our children, thus our friends we love),
Wisely she knew the harmony of things,
As well as that of sounds, from discords springs.
Such was the discord which did first disperse
Form, order, beauty through the universe.
While dryness moisture, coldness heat resists,
All that we have, and that we are, subsists;
While the steep horrid roughness of the wood
Strives with the gentle calmness of the flood,
Such huge extremes when nature doth unite,
Wonder from thence results, from thence delight.
The stream is so transparent, pure, and clear,
That had the self-enamored youth gazed here,
So fatally deceived he had not been,
While he at the bottom, not his face had seen.
But his proud head the airy mountain hides
Among the clouds; his shoulders and his sides
A shady mantle clothes; his curled brows
Frown on the gentle stream, which calmly flows,
While winds and storms his lofty forehead beat,
The common fate of all that's high or great.
Low at his foot a spacious plain is placed,
Between the mountain and the stream embraced,
Which shade and shelter from the hill derives,
While the kind river wealth and beauty gives;
And in the mixture of all these appears
Variety, which all the rest indears.
This scene had some bold Greek, or British bard
Behold of old, what stories we had heard
Of fairies, satyrs, and the nymphs, their dames,
Their feasts, their revels, and their amorous flames.
'Tis the same still, although their airy shape
All but the quick poetic sight escape.
There Faunus and Sylvanus keep their courts,
And thither all the horned host resorts
To graze the ranker mead; that noble heard
On whose sublime and shady fronts is reared
Nature's great masterpiece, to show how soon
Great things are made, but sooner are undone.
Here have I seen the king, when great affairs
Give leave to slacken and unbend his cares,
Attended to the chase by all the flower
Of youth, whose hopes a nobler prey devour.
Pleasure with praise and danger they would buy,
And wish a foe that would not only fly.
The stag now conscious of his fatal growth,
At once indulgent to his fear and sloth,
To some dark covert his retreat had made,
Where no man's eye, nor heaven's should invade
His soft repose; when the unexpected sound
Of dogs and men his wakeful ear doth wound.
Roused with the noise, he scarce believes his ear,
Willing to think the illusions of his fear
Had given this alarm; but straight his view
Confirms that more than all he fears is true.
Betrayed in all his strengths, the wood beset,
All instruments, all arts of ruin met,
He calls to mind his strength and then his speed,
His winged heels, and then his armed head;
With these to avoid, with that his fate to meet;
But fear prevails and bids him thrust his feet.
So fast he flies that his reviewing eye
Has lost the chasers, and his ear the cry;
Exulting, till he finds their nobler sense
Their disproportioned speed does recompense.
Then curses his conspiring feet, whose scent
Betrays that safety which their swiftness lent.
Then tries his friends: among the baser herd,
Where he so lately was obeyed and feared,
His safety seeks; the herd, unkindly wise,
Or chases him from thence, or from him flies.
Like a declining statesman left forlorn
To his friends' pity and pursuers' scorn,
With shame remembers, while himself was one
Of the same herd, himself the same had done.
Thence to the coverts and the conscious groves,
The scenes of his past triumphs and his loves,
Sadly surveying where he ranged alone,
Prince of the soil and all the herd his own,
And like a bold knight errant did proclaim
Combat to all, and bore away the dame,
And taught the woods to echo to the stream
His dreadful challenge and his clashing beam;
Yet faintly now declines the fatal strife,
So much his love was dearer than his life.
Now every leaf and every moving breath
Presents a foe, and every foe a death.
Wearied, forsaken, and pursued, at last
All safety in despair of safety placed,
Courage he thence resumes, resolved to bear
All their assaults, since 'tis in vain to fear.
And now too late he wishes for the fight
That strength he wasted in ignoble flight.
But when he sees the eager chase renewed,
Himself by dogs, the dogs by men pursued,
He straight revokes his bold resolve, and more
Repents his courage than his fear before;
Finds that uncertain ways unsafest are,
And doubt a greater mischief than despair.
Then to the stream, when neither friends, nor force,
Nor speed, nor art avail, he shapes his course;
Thinks not their rage so desperate to assay
An element more merciless than they.
But fearless they pursue, nor can the flood
Quench their dire thirst; alas, they thirst for blood.
So toward a ship the oarfin'd galleys ply,
Which wanting sea to ride, or wind to fly,
Stands but to fall revenged on those that dare
Tempt the last fury of extreme despair.
So fares the stag among the enraged hounds,
Repels their force, and wounds returns for wounds.
And as a hero, whom his baser foes
In troops surround, now these assails, now those,
Though prodigal of life, disdains to die,
By common hands; but if he can descry
Some nobler foe's approach, to him he calls
And begs his fate, and then contented falls:
So when the king a mortal shaft lets fly
From his unerring hand, then glad to die,
Proud of the wound, to it resigns his blood
And stains the crystal with a purple flood.
This a more innocent and happy chase
Than when of old, but in the self-same place,
Fair liberty pursued, and meant a prey
To lawless power, here turned and stood at bay,
When in that remedy all hope was placed
Which was, or should have been at least, the last.
Here was that Charter sealed wherein the crown
All marks of arbitrary power lays down.
Tyrant and slave, those names of hate and fear,
The happier style of king and subject bear:
Happy when both to the same center move
When kings give liberty, and subjects love.
Therefore not long in force this Charter stood;
Wanting that seal, it must be sealed in blood.
The subjects armed, the more the princes gave,
The advantage only took the more to crave.
Till kings by giving, give themselves away,
And even that power that should deny, betray.
'Who gives constrained, but his own fear reviles,
Not thanked, but scorned; nor are they gifts, but spoils.'
Thus kings, by grasping more than they could hold,
First made their subjects by oppression bold;
And popular sway, by forcing kings to give
More than was fit for subjects to receive,
Ran to the same extremes; and one excess
Made both, by striving to be greater, less.
When a calm river, raised with sudden rains,
Or snows dissolved, o'erflows the adjoining plains,
The husbandmen with high-raised banks secure
Their greedy hopes, and this he can endure.
But if with bays and dams they strive to force
His channel to a new or narrow course,
No longer then within his banks he dwells;
First to a torrent, then a deluge swells;
Stronger and fiercer by restraint he roars,
And knows no bound, but makes his power his shores.
Hudibras: Part 1 - Canto I
One of my favourite poems, said to have been written during the English Civil War with the first publication believed to be 1648. The whole poem was not completed until the 1660s but it remains the best satire of Puritanism and the religious extremism that infiltrated British society throughout the period.
Sir Hudibras his passing worth,
The manner how he sallied forth;
His arms and equipage are shown;
His horse's virtues, and his own.
Th' adventure of the bear and fiddle
Is sung, but breaks off in the middle.
When civil dudgeon a first grew high,
And men fell out they knew not why?
When hard words, jealousies, and fears,
Set folks together by the ears,
And made them fight, like mad or drunk,
For Dame Religion, as for punk;
Whose honesty they all durst swear for,
Though not a man of them knew wherefore:
When Gospel-Trumpeter, surrounded
With long-ear'd rout, to battle sounded,
And pulpit, drum ecclesiastick,
Was beat with fist, instead of a stick;
Then did Sir Knight abandon dwelling,
And out he rode a colonelling.
A wight he was, whose very sight wou'd
Entitle him Mirror of Knighthood;
That never bent his stubborn knee
To any thing but Chivalry;
Nor put up blow, but that which laid
Right worshipful on shoulder-blade;
Chief of domestic knights and errant,
Either for cartel or for warrant;
Great on the bench, great in the saddle,
That could as well bind o'er, as swaddle;
Mighty he was at both of these,
And styl'd of war, as well as peace.
(So some rats, of amphibious nature,
Are either for the land or water).
But here our authors make a doubt
Whether he were more wise, or stout:
Some hold the one, and some the other;
But howsoe'er they make a pother,
The diff'rence was so small, his brain
Outweigh'd his rage but half a grain;
Which made some take him for a tool
That knaves do work with, call'd a fool,
And offer to lay wagers that
As MONTAIGNE, playing with his cat,
Complains she thought him but an ass,
Much more she wou'd Sir HUDIBRAS;
(For that's the name our valiant knight
To all his challenges did write).
But they're mistaken very much,
'Tis plain enough he was no such;
We grant, although he had much wit,
H' was very shy of using it;
As being loth to wear it out,
And therefore bore it not about,
Unless on holy-days, or so,
As men their best apparel do.
Beside, 'tis known he could speak GREEK
As naturally as pigs squeek;
That LATIN was no more difficile,
Than to a blackbird 'tis to whistle:
Being rich in both, he never scanted
His bounty unto such as wanted;
But much of either would afford
To many, that had not one word.
For Hebrew roots, although they're found
To flourish most in barren ground,
He had such plenty, as suffic'd
To make some think him circumcis'd;
And truly so, he was, perhaps,
Not as a proselyte, but for claps.
He was in LOGIC a great critic,
Profoundly skill'd in analytic;
He could distinguish, and divide
A hair 'twixt south, and south-west side:
On either which he would dispute,
Confute, change hands, and still confute,
He'd undertake to prove, by force
Of argument, a man's no horse;
He'd prove a buzzard is no fowl,
And that a lord may be an owl,
A calf an alderman, a goose a justice,
And rooks Committee-men and Trustees.
He'd run in debt by disputation,
And pay with ratiocination.
All this by syllogism, true
In mood and figure, he would do.
For RHETORIC, he could not ope
His mouth, but out there flew a trope;
And when he happen'd to break off
I' th' middle of his speech, or cough,
H' had hard words,ready to show why,
And tell what rules he did it by;
Else, when with greatest art he spoke,
You'd think he talk'd like other folk,
For all a rhetorician's rules
Teach nothing but to name his tools.
His ordinary rate of speech
In loftiness of sound was rich;
A Babylonish fdialect,
Which learned pedants much affect.
It was a parti-colour'd dress
Of patch'd and pie-bald languages;
'Twas English cut on Greek and Latin,
Like fustian heretofore on satin;
It had an odd promiscuous tone,
As if h' had talk'd three parts in one;
Which made some think, when he did gabble,
Th' had heard three labourers of Babel;
Or CERBERUS himself pronounce
A leash of languages at once.
This he as volubly would vent
As if his stock would ne'er be spent:
And truly, to support that charge,
He had supplies as vast and large;
For he cou'd coin, or counterfeit
New words, with little or no wit:
Words so debas'd and hard, no stone
Was hard enough to touch them on;
And when with hasty noise he spoke 'em,
The ignorant for current took 'em;
That had the orator, who once
Did fill his mouth with pebble stones
When he harangu'd, but known his phrase
He would have us'd no other ways.
In MATHEMATICKS he was greater
Than TYCHO BRAHE, or ERRA PATER:
For he, by geometric scale,
Could take the size of pots of ale;
Resolve, by sines and tangents straight,
If bread or butter wanted weight,
And wisely tell what hour o' th' day
The clock does strike by algebra.
Beside, he was a shrewd PHILOSOPHER,
And had read ev'ry text and gloss over;
Whate'er the crabbed'st author hath,
He understood b' implicit faith:
Whatever sceptic could inquire for,
For ev'ry why he had a wherefore;
Knew more than forty of them do,
As far as words and terms cou'd go.
All which he understood by rote,
And, as occasion serv'd, would quote;
No matter whether right or wrong,
They might be either said or sung.
His notions fitted things so well,
That which was which he could not tell;
But oftentimes mistook th' one
For th' other, as great clerks have done.
He could reduce all things to acts,
And knew their natures by abstracts;
Where entity and quiddity,
The ghosts of defunct bodies fly;
Where truth in person does appear,
Like words congeal'd in northern air.
He knew what's what, and that's as high
As metaphysic wit can fly;
In school-divinity as able
As he that hight, Irrefragable;
A second THOMAS, or, at once,
To name them all, another DUNCE:
Profound in all the Nominal
And Real ways, beyond them all:
For he a rope of sand cou'd twist
As tough as learned SORBONIST;
And weave fine cobwebs, fit for skull
That's empty when the moon is full;
Such as take lodgings in a head
That's to be let unfurnished.
He could raise scruples dark and nice,
And after solve 'em in a trice;
As if Divinity had catch'd
The itch, on purpose to be scratch'd;
Or, like a mountebank, did wound
And stab herself with doubts profound,
Only to show with how small pain
The sores of Faith are cur'd again;
Although by woeful proof we find,
They always leave a scar behind.
He knew the seat of Paradise,
Could tell in what degree it lies;
And, as he was dispos'd, could prove it,
Below the moon, or else above it.
What Adam dreamt of, when his bride
Came from her closet in his side:
Whether the devil tempted her
By a High Dutch interpreter;
If either of them had a navel:
Who first made music malleable:
Whether the serpent, at the fall,
Had cloven feet, or none at all.
All this, without a gloss, or comment,
He could unriddle in a moment,
In proper terms, such as men smatter
When they throw out, and miss the matter.
For his Religion, it was fit
To match his learning and his wit;
'Twas Presbyterian true blue;
For he was of that stubborn crew
Of errant saints, whom all men grant
To be the true Church Militant;
Such as do build their faith upon
The holy text of pike and gun;
Decide all controversies by
And prove their doctrine orthodox
By apostolic blows and knocks;
Call fire and sword and desolation,
A godly thorough reformation,
Which always must be carried on,
And still be doing, never done;
As if religion were intended
For nothing else but to be mended.
A sect, whose chief devotion lies
In odd perverse antipathies;
In falling out with that or this,
And finding somewhat still amiss;
More peevish, cross, and splenetick,
Than dog distract, or monkey sick.
That with more care keep holy-day
The wrong, than others the right way;
Compound for sins they are inclin'd to,
By damning those they have no mind to:
Still so perverse and opposite,
As if they worshipp'd God for spite.
The self-same thing they will abhor
One way, and long another for.
Free-will they one way disavow,
Another, nothing else allow:
All piety consists therein
In them, in other men all sin:
Rather than fail, they will defy
That which they love most tenderly;
Quarrel with minc'd-pies, and disparage
Their best and dearest friend, plum-porridge;
Fat pig and goose itself oppose,
And blaspheme custard through the nose.
Th' apostles of this fierce religion,
Like MAHOMET'S, were ass and pidgeon,
To whom our knight, by fast instinct
Of wit and temper, was so linkt,
As if hypocrisy and nonsense
Had got th' advowson of his conscience.
Thus was he gifted and accouter'd;
We mean on th' inside, not the outward;
That next of all we shall discuss:
Then listen, Sirs, it follows thus
His tawny beard was th' equal grace
Both of his wisdom and his face;
In cut and dye so like a tile,
A sudden view it would beguile:
The upper part thereof was whey;
The nether, orange mix'd with grey.
This hairy meteor did denounce
The fall of scepters and of crowns;
With grisly type did represent
Declining age of government;
And tell with hieroglyphick spade,
Its own grave and the state's were made.
Like SAMPSON'S heart-breakers, it grew
In time to make a nation rue;
Tho' it contributed its own fall,
To wait upon the publick downfal,
It was monastick, and did grow
In holy orders by strict vow;
Of rule as sullen and severe
As that of rigid Cordeliere.
'Twas bound to suffer persecution
And martyrdom with resolution;
T' oppose itself against the hate
And vengeance of th' incensed state;
In whose defiance it was worn,
Still ready to be pull'd and torn;
With red-hot irons to be tortur'd;
Revil'd, and spit upon, and martyr'd.
Maugre all which, 'twas to stand fast
As long as monarchy shou'd last;
But when the state should hap to reel,
'Twas to submit to fatal steel,
And fall, as it was consecrate,
A sacrifice to fall of state;
Whose thread of life the fatal sisters
Did twist together with its whiskers,
And twine so close, that time should never,
In life or death, their fortunes sever;
But with his rusty sickle mow
Both down together at a blow.
So learned TALIACOTIUS from
The brawny part of porter's bum
Cut supplemental noses, which
Wou'd last as long as parent breech;
But when the date of NOCK was out,
Off drop'd the sympathetic snout.
His back, or rather burthen, show'd,
As if it stoop'd with its own load:
For as AENEAS zbore his sire
Upon his shoulders thro' the fire,
Our Knight did bear no less a pack
Of his own buttocks on his back;
Which now had almost got the upper-
Hand of his head, for want of crupper.
To poise this equally, he bore
A paunch of the same bulk before;
Which still he had a special care
To keep well-cramm'd with thrifty fare;
As white-pot, butter-milk, and curds,
Such as a country-house affords;
With other vittle, which anon
We farther shall dilate upon,
When of his hose we come to treat,
The cupboard where he kept his meat.
His doublet was of sturdy buff,
And tho' not sword, yet cudgel-proof;
Whereby 'twas fitter for his use,
Who fear'd no blows, but such as bruise.
His breeches were of rugged woollen,
And had been at the siege of Bullen;
To old King HARRY so well known,
Some writers held they were his own.
Thro' they were lin'd with many a piece
Of ammunition bread and cheese,
And fat black-puddings, proper food
For warriors that delight in blood.
For, as we said, he always chose
To carry vittle in his hose,
That often tempted rats and mice
The ammunition to surprise:
And when he put a hand but in
The one or t' other magazine,
They stoutly in defence on't stood,
And from the wounded foe drew blood;
And 'till th' were storm'd and beaten out,
Ne'er left the fortify'd redoubt.
And tho' Knights Errant, as some think,
Of old did neither eat nor drink,
Because, when thorough desarts vast,
And regions desolate, they past,
Where belly-timber above ground,
Or under, was not to be found,
Unless they graz'd, there's not one word
Of their provision on record;
Which made some confidently write,
They had no stomachs, but to fight.
'Tis false: for a ARTHUR wore in hall
Round table like a farthingal,
On which with shirt pull'd out behind,
And eke before, his good Knights din'd.
Though 'twas no table, some suppose,
But a huge pair of round trunk hose;
In which he carry'd as much meat
As he and all the Knights cou'd eat,
When, laying by their swords and truncheons,
They took their breakfasts, or their nuncheons.
But let that pass at present, lest
We should forget where we digrest,
As learned authors use, to whom
We leave it, and to th' purpose come,
His puissant sword unto his side,
Near his undaunted heart, was ty'd;
With basket-hilt, that wou'd hold broth,
And serve for fight and dinner both.
In it he melted lead for bullets,
To shoot at foes, and sometimes pullets,
To whom he bore so fell a grutch,
He ne'er gave quarter t' any such.
The trenchant blade, Toledo trusty,
For want of fighting, was grown rusty,
And ate unto itself, for lack
Of somebody to hew and hack.
The peaceful scabbard where it dwelt
The rancour of its edge had felt;
For of the lower end two handful
It had devour'd, 'twas so manful;
And so much scorn'd to lurk in case,
As if it durst not shew its face.
In many desperate attempts,
Of warrants, exigents, contempts,
It had appear'd with courage bolder
Than Serjeant BUM invading shoulder.
Oft had it ta'en possession,
And pris'ners too, or made them run.
This sword a dagger had t' his page,
That was but little for his age;
And therefore waited on him so,
As dwarfs upon Knights Errant do.
It was a serviceable dudgeon,
Either for fighting or for drudging.
When it had stabb'd, or broke a head,
It would scrape trenchers, or chip bread;
Toast cheese or bacon; tho' it were
To bait a mouse-trap, 'twould not care.
'Twould make clean shoes; and in the earth
Set leeks and onions, and so forth.
It had been 'prentice to a brewer,
Where this and more it did endure;
But left the trade, as many more
Have lately done on the same score.
In th' holsters, at his saddle-bow,
Two aged pistols he did stow,
Among the surplus of such meat
As in his hose he cou'd not get.
These wou'd inveigle rats with th' scent,
To forage when the cocks were bent;
And sometimes catch 'em with a snap
As cleverly as th' ablest trap.
They were upon hard duty still,
And ev'ry night stood centinel,
To guard the magazine i' th' hose
From two-legg'd and from four-legg'd foes.
Thus clad and fortify'd, Sir Knight
From peaceful home set forth to fight.
But first with nimble, active force
He got on th' outside of his horse;
For having but one stirrup ty'd
T' his saddle, on the further side,
It was so short, h' had much ado
To reach it with his desp'rate toe:
But, after many strains and heaves,
He got up to the saddle-eaves,
From whence he vaulted into th' seat,
With so much vigour, strength and heat,
That he had almost tumbled over
With his own weight, but did recover,
By laying hold on tail and main,
Which oft he us'd instead of rein.
But now we talk of mounting steed,
Before we further do proceed,
It doth behoves us to say something
Of that which bore our valiant bumkin.
The beast was sturdy, large, and tall,
With mouth of meal, and eyes of wall.
I wou'd say eye; for h' had but one,
As most agree; tho' some say none.
He was well stay'd; and in his gait
Preserv'd a grave, majestick state.
At spur or switch no more he skipt,
Or mended pace, than Spaniard whipt;
And yet so fiery, he wou'd bound
As if he griev'd to touch the ground:
That CAESAR's horse, who, as fame goes
Had corns upon his feet and toes,
Was not by half so tender hooft,
Nor trod upon the ground so soft.
And as that beast would kneel and stoop
(Some write) to take his rider up,
So HUDIBRAS his ('tis well known)
Wou'd often do to set him down.
We shall not need to say what lack
Of leather was upon his back;
For that was hidden under pad,
And breech of Knight, gall'd full as bad.
His strutting ribs on both sides show'd
Like furrows he himself had plow'd;
For underneath the skirt of pannel,
'Twixt ev'ry two there was a channel
His draggling tail hung in the dirt,
Which on his rider he wou'd flurt,
Still as his tender side he prick'd,
With arm'd heel, or with unarm'd kick'd:
For HUDIBRAS wore but one spur;
As wisely knowing, cou'd he stir
To active trot one side of's horse,
The other wou'd not hang an arse.
A squire he had, whose name was RALPH,
That in th' adventure went his half:
Though writers, for more stately tone,
Do call him RALPHO; 'tis all one;
And when we can with metre safe,
We'll call him so; if not, plain RALPH:
(For rhyme the rudder is of verses,
With which like ships they steer their courses.)
An equal stock of wit and valour
He had laid in; by birth a taylor.
The mighty Tyrian Queen, that gain'd
With subtle shreds a tract of land,
Did leave it with a castle fair
To his great ancestor, her heir.
From him descended cross-legg'd Knights,
Fam'd for their faith, and warlike fights
Against the bloody cannibal,
Whom they destroy'd both great and small.
This sturdy Squire, he had, as well
As the bold Trojan Knight, seen Hell;
Not with a counterfeited pass
Of golden bough, but true gold-lace.
His knowledge was not far behind
The Knight's, but of another kind,
And he another way came by 't:
Some call it GIFTS, and some NEW-LIGHT;
A liberal art, that costs no pains
Of study, industry, or brains.
His wit was sent him for a token,
But in the carriage crack'd and broken.
Like commendation nine-pence crook'd,
With - To and from my love - it look'd.
He ne'er consider'd it, as loth
To look a gift-horse in the mouth;
And very wisely wou'd lay forth
No more upon it than 'twas worth.
But as he got it freely, so
He spent it frank and freely too.
For Saints themselves will sometimes be
Of gifts, that cost them nothing, free.
By means of this, with hem and cough,
Prolongers to enlighten'd stuff,
He cou'd deep mysteries unriddle
As easily as thread a needle.
For as of vagabonds we say,
That they are ne'er beside their way;
Whate'er men speak by this New Light,
Still they are sure to be i' th' right.
'Tis a dark-lanthorn of the Spirit,
Which none see by but those that bear it:
A light that falls down from on high,
For spiritual trades to cozen by
An Ignis Fatuus, that bewitches
And leads men into pools and ditches,
To make them dip themselves, and sound
For Christendom in dirty pond
To dive like wild-fowl for salvation,
And fish to catch regeneration.
This light inspires and plays upon
The nose of Saint like bag-pipe drone,
And speaks through hollow empty soul,
As through a trunk, or whisp'ring hole,
Such language as no mortal ear
But spirit'al eaves-droppers can hear:
So PHOEBUS, or some friendly muse,
Into small poets song infuse,
Which they at second-hand rehearse,
Thro' reed or bag-pipe, verse for verse.
Thus RALPH became infallible
As three or four-legg'd oracle,
The ancient cup, or modern chair;
Spoke truth point-blank, tho' unaware.
For MYSTICK LEARNING, wond'rous able
In magick Talisman and Cabal,
Whose primitive tradition reaches
As far as ADAM'S first green breeches:
Deep-sighted in intelligences,
Ideas, atoms, influences;
And much of Terra Incognita,
Th' intelligible world, cou'd say:
A deep OCCULT PHILOSOPHER,
As learn'd as the wild Irish are,
Or Sir AGRIPPA; for profound
And solid lying much renown'd.
He ANTHROPOSOPHUS, and FLOUD,
And JACOB BEHMEN understood:
Knew many an amulet and charm,
That wou'd do neither good nor harm:
In ROSY-CRUCIAN lore as learned,
As he that Vere adeptus earned.
He understood the speech of birds
As well as they themselves do words;
Cou'd tell what subtlest parrots mean,
That speak, and think contrary clean:
What Member 'tis of whom they talk,
When they cry, Rope, and walk, knave, walk.
He'd extract numbers out of matter,
And keep them in a glass, like water;
Of sov'reign pow'r to make men wise;
For drop'd in blear thick-sighted eyes,
They'd make them see in darkest night
Like owls, tho' purblind in the light.
By help of these (as he profess'd)
He had First Matter seen undress'd:
He took her naked all alone,
Before one rag of form was on.
The Chaos too he had descry'd,
And seen quite thro', or else he ly'd:
Not that of paste-board which men shew
For groats, at fair of Barthol'mew;
But its great grandsire, first o' the name,
Whence that and REFORMATION came;
Both cousin-germans, and right able
T' inveigle and draw in the rabble.
But Reformation was, some say,
O' th' younger house to Puppet-play.
He cou'd foretel whats'ever was
By consequence to come to pass;
As death of great men, alterations,
Diseases, battles, inundations.
All this, without th' eclipse o' th' sun,
Or dreadful comet, he hath done,
By inward light; away as good,
And easy to be understood;
But with more lucky hit than those
That use to make the stars depose,
Like Knights o' th' post, and falsely charge
Upon themselves what others forge:
As if they were consenting to
All mischiefs in the world men do:
Or, like the Devil, did tempt and sway 'em
To rogueries, and then betray 'em.
They'll search a planet's house, to know
Who broke and robb'd a house below:
Examine VENUS, and the MOON,
Who stole a thimble or a spoon;
And tho' they nothing will confess,
Yet by their very looks can guess,
And tell what guilty aspect bodes,
Who stole, and who receiv'd the goods.
They'll question MARS, and, by his look,
Detect who 'twas that nimm'd a cloke:
Make MERCURY confess, and 'peach
Those thieves which he himself did teach.
They'll find, i' th' physiognomies
O' th' planets, all men's destinies.;
Like him that took the doctor's bill,
And swallow'd it instead o' th' pill
Cast the nativity o' th' question,
And from positions to be guess'd on,
As sure as it' they knew the moment
Of natives birth, tell what will come on't.
They'll feel the pulses of the stars,
To find out agues, coughs, catarrhs;
And tell what crisis does divine
The rot in sheep, or mange in swine
In men, what gives or cures the itch;
What makes them cuckolds, poor or rich;
What gains or loses, hangs or saves;
What makes men great, what fools or knaves,
But not what wise; for only of those
The stars (they say) cannot dispose,
No more than can the Astrologians.
There they say right, and like true Trojans.
This RALPHO knew, and therefore took
The other course, of which we spoke.
Thus was the accomplish'd Squire endu'd
With gifts and knowledge, per'lous shrew'd.
Never did trusty Squire with Knight,
Or Knight with Squire, e'er jump more right.
Their arms and equipage did fit,
As well as virtues, parts, and wit.
Their valours too were of a rate;
And out they sally'd at the gate.
Few miles on horseback had they jogged,
But Fortune unto them turn'd dogged;
For they a sad adventure met,
Of which anon we mean to treat;
But ere we venture to unfold
Atchievements so resolv'd and bold,
We shou'd as learned poets use,
Invoke th' assistance of some muse:
However, criticks count it sillier
Than jugglers talking to familiar.
We think 'tis no great matter which
They're all alike; yet we shall pitch
On one that fits our purpose most
Whom therefore thus do we accost:
Thou that with ale, or viler liquors,
Did'st inspire WITHERS, PRYN, and VICKARS,
And force them, tho' it was in spite
Of nature and their stars, to write;
Who, as we find in sullen writs,
And cross-grain'd works of modern wits,
With vanity, opinion, want,
The wonder of the ignorant,
The praises of the author, penn'd
B' himself, or wit-insuring friend;
The itch of picture in the front,
With bays and wicked rhyme upon't;
All that is left o' th' forked hill,
To make men scribble without skill;
Canst make a poet spite of fate,
And teach all people to translate,
Tho' out of languages in which
They understand no part of speech;
Assist me but this once, I 'mplore,
And I shall trouble thee no more.
In western clime there is a town,
To those that dwell therein well known;
Therefore there needs no more be said here,
We unto them refer our reader;
For brevity is very good,
When w' are, or are not, understood.
To this town people did repair,
On days of market, or of fair,
And, to crack'd fiddle, and hoarse tabor,
In merriment did drudge and labor.
But now a sport more formidable
Had rak'd together village rabble:
'Twas an old way of recreating,
Which learned butchers call bear-baiting:
A bold advent'rous exercise,
With ancient heroes in high prize:
For authors do affirm it came
From Isthmian or Nemean game:
Others derive it from the bear
That's fix'd in northern hemisphere,
And round about the pole does make
A circle like a bear at stake,
That at the chain's end wheels about,
And overturns the rabble-rout.
For after solemn proclamation,
In the bear's name, (as is the fashion,
According to the law of arms,
To keep men from inglorious harms,)
That none presume to come so near
As forty foot of stake of bear,
If any yet be so fool-hardy,
T' expose themselves to vain jeopardy,
If they come wounded off, and lame,
No honour's got by such a maim;
Altho' the bear gain much, b'ing bound
In honour to make good his ground,
When he's engag'd, and takes no notice,
If any press upon him, who 'tis;
But let's them know, at their own cost,
That he intends to keep his post.
This to prevent, and other harms,
Which always wait on feats of arms,
(For in the hurry of a fray
'Tis hard to keep out of harm's way,)
Thither the Knight his course did steer,
To keep the peace 'twixt dog and bear;
As he believ'd he was bound to do
In conscience, and commission too;
And therefore thus bespoke the Squire.
We that are wisely mounted higher
Than constables in curule wit,
When on tribunal bench we sit,
Like speculators shou'd foresee,
From Pharos of authority,
Portended mischiefs farther then
Low Proletarian tything-men:
And therefore being inform'd by bruit,
That dog and bear are to dispute;
For so of late men fighting name,
Because they often prove the same;
(For where the first does hap to be,
The last does coincidere);
Quantum in nobis, have thought good,
To save th' expence of Christian blood,
And try if we, by mediation
Of treaty and accommodation,
Can end the quarrel and compose
The bloody duel without blows.
Are not our liberties, our lives,
The laws, religion and our wives,
Enough at once to lie at stake
For Cov'nant and the Cause's sake?
But in that quarrel dogs and bears,
As well as we must venture theirs
This feud, by Jesuits invented,
By evil counsel is fomented:
There is a MACHIAVILIAN plot,
(Tho' ev'ry Nare olfact is not,)
A deep design in't, to divide
The well-affected that confide,
By setting brother against brother,
To claw and curry one another.
Have we not enemies plus satis,
That Cane & Angue pejus hate us?
And shall we turn our fangs and claws
Upon our own selves, without cause?
That some occult design doth lie
In bloody cynarctomachy,
Is plain enough to him that knows
How Saints lead brothers by the nose.
I wish myself a pseudo-prophet,
But sure some mischief will come of it;
Unless by providential wit,
Or force, we averruncate it.
For what design, what interest,
Can beast have to encounter beast?
They fight for no espoused cause,
Frail privilege, fundamental laws,
Not for a thorough reformation,
Nor covenant, nor protestation,
Nor liberty of consciences,
Nor Lords and Commons ordinances;
Nor for the church, nor for church-lands,
To get them in their own no hands;
Nor evil counsellors to bring
To justice that seduce the King;
Nor for the worship of us men,
Though we have done as much for them.
Th' AEgyptians worshipp'd dogs, and for
Their faith made internecine war.
Others ador'd a rat, and some
For that church suffer'd martyrdom.
The Indians fought for the truth
Of th' elephant and monkey's tooth,
And many, to defend that faith,
Fought it out mordicus to death.
But no beast ever was so slight,
For man, as for his God, to fight.
They have more wit, alas! and know
Themselves and us better than so.
But we, who only do infuse
The rage in them like Boute-feus;
'Tis our example that instils
In them th' infection of our ills.
For, as some late philosophers.
Have well observ'd, beasts, that converse
With man, take after him, as hogs
Get pigs all the year, and bitches dogs.
Just so, by our example, cattle
Learn to give one another battle.
We read, in NERO's time, the heathen,
When they destroy'd the Christian brethren,
Did sew them in the skins of bears,
And then set dogs about their ears:
From thence, no doubt, th' invention came
Of this lewd antichristian game.
To this, quoth RALPHO, Verily
The point seems very plain to me.
It is an antichristian game,
Unlawful both in thing and name.
First, for the name: the word, bear-baiting
Is carnal, and of man's creating:
For certainly there's no such word
In all the scripture on record;
Therefore unlawful, and a sin;
And so is (secondly) the thing.
A vile assembly 'tis, that can
No more be prov'd by scripture than
Provincial, classic, national;
Mere human-creature cobwebs all.
Thirdly, it is idolatrous;
For when men run a whoring thus
With their inventions, whatsoe'er
The thing be, whether dog or bear,
It is idolatrous and pagan,
No less than worshipping of DAGON.
Quoth HUDIBRAS, I smell a rat;
RALPHO, thou dost prevaricate:
For though the thesis which thou lay'st
Be true ad amussim, as thou say'st;
(For that bear-baiting should appear
Jure divino lawfuller
Than synods are, thou dost deny,
Totidem verbis; so do I);
Yet there's a fallacy in this;
For if by sly HOMAEOSIS,
Tussis pro crepitu, an art
Under a cough to slur a f-t
Thou wou'dst sophistically imply,
Both are unlawful, I deny.
And I (quoth RALPHO) do not doubt
But bear-baiting may be made out,
In gospel-times, as lawful as is
Provincial or parochial classis;
And that both are so near of kin,
And like in all, as well as sin,
That put them in a bag, and shake 'em,
Yourself o' th' sudden would mistake 'em,
And not know which is which, unless
You measure by their wickedness:
For 'tis not hard t'imagine whether
O' th' two is worst; tho' I name neither.
Quoth HUDIBRAS, Thou offer'st much,
But art not able to keep touch.
Mira de lente, as 'tis i' th' adage,
Id est, to make a leek a cabbage;
Thou'lt be at best but such a bull,
Or shear-swine, all cry, and no wool;
For what can synods have at all
With bear that's analogical?
Or what relation has debating
Of church-affairs with bear-baiting?
A just comparison still is
Of things ejusdem generis;
And then what genus rightly doth
Include and comprehend them both?
If animal both of us may
As justly pass for bears as they;
For we are animals no less,
Altho' of different specieses.
But, RALPHO, this is not fit place
Nor time to argue out the case:
For now the field is not far off,
Where we must give the world a proof
Of deeds, not words, and such as suit
Another manner of dispute;
A controversy that affords
Actions for arguments, not words;
Which we must manage at a rate
Of prowess and conduct adequate
To what our place and fame doth promise,
And all the godly expect from us,
Nor shall they be deceiv'd, unless
We're slurr'd and outed by success;
Success, the mark no mortal wit,
Or surest hand can always hit:
For whatsoe'er we perpetrate,
We do but row, we're steer'd by Fate,
Which in success oft disinherits,
For spurious causes, noblest merits.
Great actions are not always true sons
Of great and mighty resolutions;
Nor do th' boldest attempts bring forth
Events still equal to their worth;
But sometimes fail, and, in their stead,
Fortune and cowardice succeed.
Yet we have no great cause to doubt;
Our actions still have borne us out;
Which tho' they're known to be so ample,
We need not copy from example.
We're not the only persons durst
Attempt this province, nor the first.
In northern clime a val'rous Knight
Did whilom kill his bear in fght,
And wound a fiddler; we have both
Of these the objects of our wroth,
And equal fame and glory from
Th' attempt of victory to come.
'Tis sung, there is a valiant Mamaluke
In foreign land, yclep'd -
To whom we have been oft compar'd
For person, parts; address, and beard;
Both equally reputed stout,
And in the same cause both have fought:
He oft in such attempts as these
Came off with glory and success;
Nor will we fail in th' execution,
For want of equal resolution.
Honour is like a widow, won
With brisk attempt and putting on;
With ent'ring manfully, and urging;
Not slow approaches, like a virgin.
'Tis said, as yerst the Phrygian Knight,
So ours with rusty steel did smite
His Trojan horse, and just as much
He mended pace upon the touch;
But from his empty stomach groan'd
Just as that hollow beast did sound,
And angry answer'd from behind,
With brandish'd tail and blast of wind.
So have I seen, with armed heel,
A wight bestride a Common-weal;
While still the more he kick'd and spurr'd,
The less the sullen jade has stirr'd.
The King was not known for his poetry and the following is often attributed the George Withers anyway but I have included it here since the original text states clearly that is it printed from the original 'hand' of Charles Stuart himself. I leave the debate about who wrote Majesty in Misery, to the thoughts of the reader.
Written by his late MAJESTY King CHARLES the first, dureing His Captivity at Carisbrook Castle, Anno DOM 1648.
GREAT Monarch of the World, from whose Power springs The Potency and Power of KINGS, Record the Royal Woe my suffering brings;
And Teach my Tongue, that ever did Confine It's Faculties in truths Serephick, Line, To Track the Treasons of Thy Foes and mine
Nature and Law, by the Divine Decree (The only root of Righteous Loyalty) With this Dim Diadem invested me,
With it, the sacred scepter, Purple Robe, The Holy unction, and the Royal Globe: Yet am I Levell'd with the Life of JOB
The fiercest Puries, that do dayly Tread Upon my Grief, my Gray Dis-crowned Head, Are those that owe my Bounty for their Bread.
They raise a War, and Christen it, The Cause, Whilst sacrilegious Hands have best Applause, Plunder, and Murder, are the Kingdoms Laws;
Tyranny, bears the Title of Taration! Revenge, and Robber, are Reformation! Oppression, gains the Name of Sequestration!
My Loyal subjects who in this bad Season Attend me (by the Law of GOD and Reason) They do Impeach, and Punish for High Treason
Next at the Clergy do their Furies Frown, Pious Episcopacy must go down, They will Destroy the Croffer and the Crown.
Church-men are Chain'd, and Schismaticks are free'd! Mechanicks Preach, and holy Fathers Bleed, The Crown is Crucified with the Creed.
The Church of England doth all Faction Foster, The Pulpit is Usurp'd by each Imposter, Ex Tempore Excludes the Pater Noster.
The Presbyter and Independent Seed, Springs with Broad Blades; to make Religion Bleed, Herod and Pontius Pilate are Agreed.
The corner-stone is Mis-plac'd by every Pavier, With such a Bloody Method and Behaviour, Their Ancestors did Cucifie our saviour
My Royal Consort, from whose Fruitful Womb, So many Princes Legally have come, Is forc'd in Pilgrimage to seek a Tomb.
Great Britain's Heir is forced into France, Whilst on his Father's Head his Foes Advance, Poor child! He weeps out His Inheritance.
With My own Power My Majesty they wound, In the King's Name, the King's Himself Uncrown'd So doth the Dust destroy the Diamond
Which Propositions Dayly they Enchant My Peoples Ears, such as do reason daunt, And the Almighty will not let Me Grant.
They promise to Erect My Royal Stem, To make me great t' Advance my Diadem, I I will first fall Down, and Worship them.
But for Refusal they Devour My Thrones, Distress My Children, and Destroy My Bones, I fear they'l Force Me to make Bread of stones.
My Life they prize at such a slender Rate That in My absence they draw Bills of Hate, To prove the King a Traitor to the State.
Fellows obtain more Priviledge then I, They are Allow'd to Answer e're they Die, 'Tis Death for Me to Ask the Reason, Why!
But, Sacred Saviour, with My Words I Echo Thee to Forgive, and not be Bitter to Such, as thou know'st do not know what they do
For since they from their LORD are so Disjoyned, As to Condemn those Edicts He appointed, How can they Prize the Power of His Anointed
Augment my Patience, Nullifie my Hate, Preserve My Issue, and Inspire My Mate, Yet though We Perish, Bless the Church and State.