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And only end where we begun ?
In vain this mischief we have done,
If we can do no more.
If men in peace can have their right,
Where's the necessity to fight,
That breaks both law and oath ?
They 'll say they fight not for the cause,
Nor to defend the king and laws,
But us againft them both.
Either the cause at first was ill,
Or being good, it is so still ;
And thence they will infer,
That either now or at the first
They were deceiv'd ; or, which is worst,
That we ourselves may err.
But plague and famine will come in,
For they and we are near of kin,
And cannot go afunder:
But while the wicked starve, indeed
The saints have ready at their need
God's providence, and plunder.
Princes we are if we prevail,
And gallant villains if we fail :
When to our fame 'tis told,
It will not be our least of praise,
Since a new state we could not raise,
To have defroy'd the old.
Then let us stay and fight, and vote,
Till London is not worth a groat;
Oh 'tis a patient beast !
When we have gaul'd and tir’d the mule,
And can no longer have the rule,
We'll have the spoil at least.
To the Five Members of the Honourable HOUSE OF C O M M O N S.
The humble Petition of the POETS.
AFTER so many concurring petitions
From all ages and sexes, and all conditions,
We come in the rear to present our follies
To Pym, Stroude, Hallerig, Hampden, and Holles.
Though set form of prayer be an abomination,
Set forms of petitions find great approbation :
Therefore, as others from th' bottom of their souls,
So we from the depth and bottom of our bowls,
According unto the bless'd form you have taught us,
We thank you first for the ills you have brought us :
For the good we receive we thank him that gave it,
you for the confidence only to crave it.
Next in course, we complain of the great violation
Of privilege (like the rest of our nation)
But 'tis none of yours of which we have spoken,
Which never had being until they were broken ;
But ours is a privilege ancient and native,
Hangs not on an ordinance, or power legislative.
And first, 'tis to speak whatever we please,
Without fear of a prison or pursuivants fees,
Next, that we only may lye by authority;
But in that also you have got the priority.
Next, an old custom, our fathers did name it
Poetical license, and always did claim it.
By this we have power to change age into youth,
Turn nonsense to sense, and falfhood to truth ;
In brief, to make good whatsoever is faulty;
This art some poet, or the devil has taught ye :
And this our property you have invaded,
And a privilege of both houses have made it.
But that trust above all in poets reposed,
That kings by them only are made and deposed,
This though you cannot do, yet you are willing :
But when we undertake deposing or killing,
They ’re tyrants and monsters ; and yet then the poet ,
Takes full revenge on the villains that do it :
And when we resume a fceptre or crown,
We are modest, and seek not to make it our own.
But is 't not presumption to write verses to you,
Who make better poems by far of the two ?
For all those pretty knacks you compose,
Alas, what are they but poems in profe?
And between those and ours there's no difference,
But that yours want the rhyme, the wit, and the fenfe :
But for lying (the most noble part of a poet)
You have it abundantly, and yourselves know it ;
And though you are modest and seem to abhor it,
"T has done you good service, and thank Hell for it :
Although the old maxim remains still in force,
That a fanctify'd caufe must have a fanétify'd course,
If poverty be a part of our trade,
So far the whole kingdom poets you have made,
Nay even so far as undoing will do it,
You have made king Charles himself a poer :
But provoke not his Muse, for all the world knows,
Already you have had too much of his profe.
Do you not know, not a fortnight ago,
How they bragg'd of a Western Wonder ? When a hundred and ten flew five thousand men,
With the help of lightning and thunder ?
There Hopton was flain, again and again,
Or else my author did lye ;
With a new Thanksgiving, for the dead who are living,
To God, and his fervant Chidleigh.
But now on which fide was this miracle try'd,
I hope we at last are even ;
For Sir Ralph and his knaves are risen from their graves,
To cudgel the clowns of Devon.
And there Stamford came, for his honour was lame
Of the gout three months together ;
But it prov'd, when they fought, but a running gout,
For his heels were lighter than ever.
For now he out-runs his arms and his guns,
And leaves all his money behind him ;
But they follow after ; unless he takes water,
At Plymouth again they will find him.
What Reading hath cost, and Stamford hath lost,
Goes deep in the sequestrations ; These wounds will not heal, with your new great seal,
Nor Jepson's declarations.
Now, Peters and Case, in your prayer and grace,
Remember the new Thanksgiving ; Isaac and his wife, now dig for your life,
Or shortly you'll dig for your living.
heard of that Wonder, of the Lightning and
Which made the lye so much the louder :
Now lift to another, that miracle's brother,
Which was done with a firkin of Powder.
O what a damp it struck through the camp'
But as for honest Sir Ralph,
It blew him to the Vies, without beard or eyes,
But at least three heads and a half.