« EelmineJätka »
To do as crafty beggars use,
To maim themselves, thereby t' abuse
The simple man's compassion.
Have I so often passed between
Windsor and Westminster unseen,
And did myself divide,
To keep his Excellence in awe,
And give the Parliament the law?
For they knew none beside.
Did I for this take pains to teach
Our zealous ignorantş to preach,
And did their lungs inspire;
Gave them their texts, show'd them their parts,
And taught them all their little arts
To fing abroad the fire?
Sometimes to beg, sometimes to threaten,
And say the Cavaliers are beaten,
To stroke the people's ears;
Then straight when victory grows cheap,
And will no more advance the heap,
To raise the price of fears.
And now the books, and now the bells,
And now our act, the preacher tells,
To edify the people;
All our divinity is news,
And we have made of equal use
The pulpit and the steeple.
And shall we kindle all this flame
Only to put it out again?
And must we now give o'er,
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 against 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 asunder:
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 destroy'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 galld 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 Hon.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
THE HUMBLE PETITION OF THE POETS.
FTER so many concurring petitions From all
and sexes, and all conditions, We come in the rear to present our follies To Pym, Stroude, Haslerig, Hampden, and Holles. Tho' set form of prayer be an abomination, Set forms of petition find great approbation; Therefore as others froin 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, And 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 pow'r legislative.
And, first 'tis to speak whatever we please,
Without fear of a prison or pursuivants' fees.
Next, that we only may lie 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 pow'r to change age into youth,
Turn nonsense to sense, and falsehood 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 niade and deposed:
This tho' you cannot do, yet you are willing;
But when we undertake deposing or killing,
They're tyrants and inonsters; and yet then the poet
Takes full revenge on the villains that do it.
And when we resume a sceptre 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 poeins in prose?
And between those and ours there's no difference,
But that yours want therhyme, the wit, and the sense.
But for lying (the most noble part of a poet)
Yon have it abundantly, and yourselves know it;
And tho' you are modest, and seem to abhor it,
It has done you good service, and thank Hell for it.
Altho' the old maxim remains still in force,
That a sanctify'd cause must have a sanctify'd
If poverty be a part of our trade, [course,
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 poet :
But provoke not his Muse, for all the world knows
Already you have had too much of his prose.
A WESTERN WONDER. Do you not know, not a fornight ago, How they bragg’d of a Western Wonder? When a hundred and ten slew five thousand men With the help of lightning and thunder? There Hopeton was slain again and again, Or else
author did lie; With a new Thanksgiving for the dead who are living, To God and his servant Chidleigh. But now on which side was this miracle try'd? I hope we at last are even; For Sir Ralph and his knaves are risen from their To cudgel the clowns of Devon. [graves