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Now poor men starve and die,
And are not help'd by any :·
For charity waxeth cold,

And love is found in few;
This was not in time of old,
When this old cap was new.

Wherever you travell❜d then,
You might meet on the way
Brave knights and gentlemen,
Clad in their country grey,
That courteous would appear,
And kindly welcome you;

No puritans then were,

When this old cap was new.

Our ladies, in those days,

In civil habit went ;

Broad-cloth was then worth praise,
And gave the best content :
French fashions then were scorn'd,
Fond fangles then none knew;
Then modesty women adorn'd,
When this old cap was new.

A man might then behold

At Christmas, in each hall,

Good fires to curb the cold,

And meat for great and small :

The neighbours were friendly bidden,

And all had welcome true;

The poor from the gates were not chidden,

When this old cap was new.

Black jacks to every man

Were fill'd with wine and beer,
No pewter pot, nor can,

In those days did appear:
Good cheer in a nobleman's house
Was counted a seemly shew,
We wanted no brawn nor souse,
When this old cap was new.

We took not such delight
In cups of silver fine,

None under the degree of a knight
In plate drunk beer or wine :
Now each mechanical man

Hath a cupboard of plate for a shew,

Which was a rare thing then,

When this old cap was new.

Then bribery was unborn,
No simony men did use ;
Christians did usury scorn,
Devis'd among the Jews :
The lawyers to be feed,

At that time hardly knew ;
For man with man agreed,
When this old cap was new.

No captain then carous'd,
Nor spent poor soldiers pay,
They were not so abus'd
As they are at this day;
Of seven days they make eight,
To keep them from their due ;

Poor soldiers had their right,

When this old cap was new.

Which made them forward still
To go, although not prest;
And going with good will,

Their fortunes were the best.
Our English then, in fight,
Did foreign foes subdue ;
And forc'd them all to flight,
When this old cap was new.

God save our gracious King,
And send him long to live;
Lord! mischief on them bring,
That will not their alms give;
But seek to rob the poor

Of that which is their due:

This was not in time of


When this old cap was new.


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IN good King Charles's golden days
When loyalty no harm meant,
A zealous high-church man I was,
And so I got preferment:

[In Berkshire. See the Worthies of that county by Fuller: according to whom, this vivacious vicar was alternately a papist and protestant under the reigns of Henry the eighth, Edward the sixth,

To teach my flock I never miss'd,
Kings are by God appointed,
And damn'd are those that do resist,
Or touch The Lord's Anointed.
And this is law I will maintain,
Until my dying day, sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,
I'll be the vicar of Bray, sir.

When royal James obtain❜d the crown,
And popery came in fashion,
The penal laws I hooted down,

And read the Declaration :

The church of Rome I found would fit

Full well my constitution;

And had become a Jesuit,

But for the Revolution.

And this is law, &c.

When William was our King declar'd,
To ease the nation's grievance;
With this new wind about I steer'd,
And swore to him allegiance:
Old principles I did revoke,

Set conscience at a distance;
Passive obedience was a joke,
A jest was non-resistance.
And this is law, &c.

Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth. But as Captain Grose observes, this vicar has been modernized in the above song, and his versatility has been brought down to later times. The same story, he adds, is told of a Vicar of Bray near Brayhead in Ireland. See his Local Proverbs.]

When gracious Ann became our queen,
The church of England's glory,
Another face of things was seen,
And I became a tory:
Occasional conformists base,

I damn'd their moderation;

And thought the church in danger was,

By such prevarication.

And this is law, &c.

When George in pudding-time came o'er,
And moderate men look'd big, sir,
I turn'd a cat-in-pan once more,
And so became a whig, sir;
And thus preferment I procur'd
From our new faith's-defender;
And almost ev'ry day abjur'd
The Pope and the Pretender.
And this is law, &c.

Th' illustrious house of Hanover,
And Protestant succession;
To these I do allegiance swear—
While they can keep possession :

For in my faith and loyalty,

I never more will falter,

And George my lawful king shall be

Until the times do alter.

And this is law I will maintain,
Until my dying day, sir,

That whatsoever king shall reign,
I'll be the vicar of Bray, sir.

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