Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HUE AND THE CRY AFTER SIR JOHN PRESBYTER, by JOHN CLEVELAND



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THE HUE AND THE CRY AFTER SIR JOHN PRESBYTER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: With hair in characters and lugs in text
Last Line: His finger's thicker than the prelates' loins.'
Subject(s): Prester John; Religious Discrimination; Religious Conflict


WITH hair in characters and lugs in text;
With a splay mouth and a nose circumflexed;
With a set ruff of musket-bore that wears
Like cartridges or linen bandoleers
Exhausted of their sulphurous contents
In pulpit fire-works, which that bomball vents;
The Negative and Covenanting Oath,
Like two mustachoes issuing from his mouth;
The bush upon his chin like a carved story,
In a box-knot cut by the Directory:
Madam's confession hanging at his ear,
Wire-drawn through all the questions, how and where;
Each circumstance so in the hearing felt
That when his ears are cropped he'll count them gelt;
The weeping cassock scared into a jump,
A sign the presbyter's worn to the stump, --
The presbyter, though charmed against mischance
With the divine right of an Ordinance!
If you meet any that do thus attire 'em,
Stop them, they are the tribe of Adoniram.
What zealous frenzy did the Senate seize,
That tare the Rochet to such rags as these?
Episcopacy minced, reforming Tweed
Hath sent us runts even of her Church's breed,
Lay-interlining clergy, a device
That's nickname to the stuff called lops and lice.
The beast at wrong end branded, you may trace
The Devil's footsteps in his cloven face;
A face of several parishes and sorts,
Like to a sergeant shaved at Inns of Courts.
What mean the elders else, those Kirk dragoons,
Made up of ears and ruffs like ducatoons;
That hierarchy of handicrafts begun;
Those New Exchange men of religion?
Sure, they're the antick heads, which placed without
The church, do gape and disembogue a spout.
Like them above the Commons' House, have been
So long without; now both are gotten in.
Then what imperious in the bishop sounds,
The same the Scotch executor rebounds;
This stating prelacy the classic rout
That spake it often, ere it spake it out.
(So by an abbey's skeleton of late
I heard an echo supererogate
Through imperfection, and the voice restore,
As if she had the hiccough o'er and o'er.)
'Since they our mixed diocesans combine
Thus to ride double in their discipline,
That Paul's shall to the Consistory call
A Dean and Chapter out of Weavers' Hall,
Each at the ordinance for to assist
With the five thumbs of his groat-changing fist.
Down, Dagon-synod, with thy motley ware,
Whilst we do swagger for the Common Prayer
(That dove-like embassy that wings our sense
To Heaven's gate in shape of innocence)
Pray for the mitred authors, and defy
These demicastors of divinity!
For, when Sir John with Jack-of-all-trades joins,
His finger's thicker than the prelates' loins.'





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