(1627–1656 / Durham)

A Satyre

Pray let m' alone, what do you think can I
Be still, while Pamphlets thus like hailstons fly
About mine eares? when every other day
Such huge Gigantick volumes doth display,
As great Knockfergus self could hardly bear,
Though he can on his knee th' ale standard rear,
To see such Paper-tyrants reign, who presse
Whole harmlesse to death, which nere the lesse
Are dogd by worser fates, Tobacco can
Calcine them soon to dust, the dripping-pan
•ack them to th' dung hill, if they Groc'ry meet
They do the office of a winding sheet:
How better were it for you to remain
(Poore Quires) in ancient raggs, then thus sustain

Such antick forms of tortures, then to lie
In sweating Tubs, and thus unpittyed fry,
Y' are Common-drudges of the world, if 't chance
A Pedant mend his shoes, you must advance
To Francforth Mart, and there demurely stand
Cloath'd in old sustian raggs, and shake the hand
With every greasie Dutchman, who perhaps
Puts ye 'ith' selfesame pocket with his scraps;
Or if you into some blind Convent fly
Y' are inquisition'd straight for heresie,
Unlesse your dareing Frontispice can tell
News of a Relick, or brave Miracle;
Then are you entertaind, and deskt up by
Our Ladies Psalter and the Rosary;
There to remain, till that their wisdomes please
To let you loose among the Novices,
But if you light at Court, unlesse you can
Audaciously claw some yong Nobleman,
Admire the choycest Beauties of the Court,
Abuse the country Parson, and make sport,
Chalke out set forms of Complements, and tell
Which Fashions on which bodyes might do well,

No surer paints my Lady, then you shall
Into disgrace irrevocably fall,
But if you melt in oyly lines, and swell
With amorous deep expressions, and can tell
Quaint tales of Lust, and make Antiquity
A patron of black Patches, and deny
That perrucks are unlawfull, and be saint
Old Jesabel for shewing how to paint,
Then th' art my Golden book, then maist thou lie
Adornd with plush or some embrodery
Upon her Ladyships own Couch, where ne're
A book that tasts Religion dare appear:
Thus must ye wretched shreds comply and bend
To every humour, or your constant friend
The Stationer will never give you room,
Y' are younger brothers welcomest from home,
Yet to speak truely 'tis your just deserts
To run such various hazards and such thwarts,
Suppose ye that the world is peopled now
With Cocknies or old women, that allow
Canon to every fable; that can soon
Perswade themselves the Asse drunk up the Moon,

That Fairies pinch the peccant maids, that pies
Do ever love to pick at witches eyes,
That mounsieur Tom-thumb on a pins-point lay,
That Pictrees feed the Divel nine times a day,
Yet such authentick stories do appear
In no worse Garb then folio, and still bear
No meaner badge then Aristotles name,
Or else descent from reverend Plinie claime;
One in a humour gives great Homer th' lie,
And pleases to annihilate poore Troy;
Another scourges Virgil, cause 'tis said
His fiction is not in due order laid:
This will create a monster, this will raise
A ne're found mountain, this will poure out seas,
This great Camillus to a reckoning calls
For giving so much money to the Gauls,
This counts how much the state of Egypt made
Of frogs that in the flime of Nilus laid,
We'l not disgest these gudgeons, th' world is now
At age, if 't do not towards dotage grow,
That starch't out beard that sits in th' Porph'ry chaire
And but for's crown's light headed, cannot erre,

Barthius has read all books, Jos. Scaliger
Proportiond lately the Diameter
Unto the circle Galileo's found,
Though not drunk, thinking that the earth ran round;
Tycho has tumbled down the orbs, and now
Fine tenuous aire doth in there places grow;
Maurolycus at length has cast it even
How many pulses journey 'tis to heaven,
A world of such knacks know we, think ye then
Sooner to peep out then be kikt from men;
Whether ye gallop in light rithmes, or chose
Gently to amble in a york-shire prose;
Whether ye bring some indigested news
From Spanish Surgeons, or Italian stews;
Whether ye fiercely raise some false Alarm,
And in a rage the Janizaries arm;
Whether ye reinforce old times, and con
What kind of stuff Adam's first suit was on;
Whether Ev's toes had cornes; or whether he
Did cut his beard spadwise or like a T:
Such brokage as is this will never do 't
We must have matter and good words to boot,

And yet how seldome meet they? most our rithmes
Rally in tunes but speak no sense like chimes:
Grave deep discourses full as ragged be
As are their Authours doublets, you'l not see
A word creep in, that cannot quickly show
A Genealogy to th' ark of Noah,
Or at the least pleads not prescription
From that great Cradle of Confusion:
What Pamphlet is there, where some Arabick
Scour's not the coast? from whence you may not pick
Some Chinese Character or Mystick spell,
Whereon the Criticks for an age may dwell,
Where there's some sentence to be understood
As hard to find as where old Athens stood:
Why do we live, why do our pulses beat?
To spend our bravest flames our noblest heat
On such poore triflles? to enlarge the day
By gloomy lamps, yet for no other prey
Then a Moatheaten Radix, or to know
The fashion of Deucalion's mothers shooe,
It will not quit the cost, that men should spend
Themselves, time, money to no other end;

That people should with such a deal of pains
Buy knowing nothing, and wisemens disdains:
But to prevent this, the more Politick sort
Of parents will to handycrafts resort,
If they observe their children do produce
Some flashings of a mounting genius,
Then must they with all diligence invade
Some rising calling or some gainfull trade,
But if it chance they have one leaden soul
Born for to number eggs he must to school,
Especiall' if some patron will engage
Th' advowson of a neighbouring vicarage;
Strange hedly Medly! who would make his swine
Turn Grey-hounds, or hunt foxes with his kine?
Who would employ his Sadle-nagg to come
And hold a trencher in the Dining-roome?
Who would engage Sr James that knows not what
His Cassock's made of, in affairs of state?
Or pluck a Richeleiu from the Helm to try
Conclusions to still Children when they cry?
Who would employ a Countrey-schoolmaster
To Construe to his boyes some new found star?

Poore leaden creatures yet shap'd out to rule,
Perpetuall Dictatours in a School,
Nor do you want your rods, though onely fed
With scraps of Tully and course barly bread;
Great threadbare Princes, which like Chess-kings brave
No longer then your Maisters give you leave,
Whose large dominions in some brew-house lies,
Asses commands o're you, you over boyes;
Who still possesse the Lodgings next the leads,
And cheat your Ladyes of their waiting maids,
Who if some lowly carriage do befriend
May grace the table at the lower end,
Upon condition that ye fairly rise
At the first entrance of th' Potato pies,
And while his Lordship for discourse doth call
You do not let one dram of Latin fall;
But tell how bravely your young Master swears
Which dogs best like his fancie, and what ears;
How much he undervalues learning, and
sTakes pleasure in a Sparrow-hauk well mand;
How oft he bears his foot-boy, and will dare
To gallop when no serving man is near;

How he black berries from the bushes caught
When antidoted with a mornings-draught;
How rather then he'l construe Greek he'l chose
To english Ovids Arte into prose:
Such talk is for his Lordships palate, he
Takes much delight in such like trumpery,
But still remember ye forbear to presse
Unseasonably some morall sentences,
Take head by all means how rough Seneca
Sally into your talk, that man they say
Rails against drinking healths, and merits hate
As sure as Ornis mockt a Graduate;
What a grand ornament our Gentry would
Soon loose, if every rug-gown might be bold
To rail at such Heroick feats? pray who
Could honour's Mistris health, if this did grow
Once out of fashion? 'las fine Idols they
Ere since poore Cheapside Crosse in rubbidge lay,
Ere since the Play-houses did want their prease,
And Players lay asleep like Dormouses,
Have suffred too too much, be not so sowre
With tender beauties they had once some power,

Take that away what do you leave them? what?
To Marshall fancies in a youngsters hat.
And well so too, since feathers were cashier'd
The Ribbands have been to some office reard,
Tis hard to meet a Lanspresado, where
Some ells of favours do not straight appear
Plasterd and dawbed o're and garnished
As feathers on a Southern-hacneys head,
Which if but ty'd together might at least
Trace Alexanders Conquests o're the East,
Or stitch't into a web, supply anew
With annuary cloakes the wandring Jew,
So learnd an age we live in, all are now
Turn'd poets, since their heads with fancyes glow,
'Las Poets! yes! O beat me witnesse all
Short-winded ballads, or what ere may fall
Within the verge of three half quarters, say
Produce we not more poems in a day,
(By this account) then waves on waves do break
Or Countrey Justices false English speak;
Suppose dame Julia's Messet thinkes it meet
To droop or hold up one of 'ts hinder feet,

What swarms of sonnets rise? how every wit
Capers on such an accident, to fit
Words to her faireships grief? but if by fate
Some long presumptuous s••• do boldly grate
Don Hugo's dublet ther's a stirre as though
Nile should his ancient limits overflow,
Or some curst Treason would blow up the state
As sure as Gamesters use to lie too late:
But if some fortune cogge them into Love,
In what a fifteenth sphear then do they move?
Not the least tittle of a word is set
That is not flanck't with a stout Epithet,
What rocks of Diamonds presently arise
In the soft Quagmires of two squinting eyes?
How teeth Discolour'd and half rotten bee
Transformed into Pearl or Ivory?
How every word's changd to a finest note?
And Jndian gummes are planted in her throat,
Speak in good earnest, are they not worse then boyes
Of foure year old, to dote on painted toyes?
Yet O how frequent! most our Sages shake
Off there old furres, and needs will Laurels take,

That it will be no wonder to rehearse
The crabdest of Geometry in verse,
Or from the dust of knotty Suarez see
A strange production of some poetry:
But stay too lavish muse, where run you, stay,
Take head your tongue bite not your eares away:
Besides y' have other businesse, and you might
More fitly far with teares then gall endight.

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