Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON I.W. A.B. OF YORK, by JOHN CLEVELAND



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ON I.W. A.B. OF YORK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Say, my young sophister, what think'st of this?
Last Line: Who god's anointed, and his church, betrayed.
Subject(s): Williams, John. Archbishop Of York


SAY, my young sophister, what think'st of this?
Chimera's real, Ergo falleris.
The lamb and tiger, fox and goose agree
And here concorp'rate in one prodigy.
Call an Haruspex quickly: let him get
Sulphur and torches, and a laurel wet,
To purify the place: for sure the harms
This monster will produce transcend his charms. --
'Tis Nature's masterpiece of Error, this,
And redeems whatever she did amiss
Before, from wonder and reproach, this last
Legitimateth all her by-blows past.
Lo! here a general Metropolitan,
And arch-prelatic Presbyterian!
Behold his pious garbs, canonic face,
A zealous Episcopo-mastix Grace --
A fair blue-apron'd priest, a Lawn-sleeved brother,
One leg a pulpit holds, a tub the other.
Let's give him a fit name now if we can,
And make th' Apostate once more Christian.
'Proteus' we cannot call him: he put on
His change of shapes by a succession,
Nor 'the Welsh weather-cock', for that we find
At once doth only wait upon the wind.
These speak him not: but if you'll name him right,
Call him Religion's Hermaphrodite.
His head i' the sanctified mould is cast,
Yet sticks th' abominable mitre fast.
He still retains the 'Lordship' and the 'Grace',
And yet hath got a reverend elder's place.
Such acts must needs be his, who did devise
By crying altars down to sacrifice
To private malice; where you might have seen
His conscience holocausted to his spleen.
Unhappy Church! the viper that did share
Thy greatest honours, helps to make thee bare,
And void of all thy dignities and store.
Alas! thine own son proves the forest boar,
And, like the dam-destroying cuckoo, he,
When the thick shell of his Welsh pedigree
By thy warm fostering bounty did divide
And open -- straight thence sprung forth parricide:
As if 'twas just revenge should be dispatched
In thee, by th' monster which thyself hadst hatched.
Despair not though, in Wales there may be got,
As well as Lincolnshire, an antidote
'Gainst the foul'st venom he can spit, though's head
Were changed from subtle grey to pois'nous red.
Heaven with propitious eyes will look upon
Our party, now the cursed thing is gone;
And chastise Rebels who nought else did miss
To fill the measure of their sins, but his --
Whose foul imparalleled apostasy,
Like to his sacred character, shall be
Indelible. When ages, then of late
More happy grown, with most impartial fate
A period to his days and time shall give,
He by such Epitaphs as this shall live.
Here York's great Metropolitan is laid,
Who God's Anointed, and His Church, betrayed.





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