Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HIND AND THE PANTHER: PART 3, by JOHN DRYDEN

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Rhyming Dictionary Search
THE HIND AND THE PANTHER: PART 3, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Much malice mingled with a little wit
Last Line: With glorious visions of her future state.
Variant Title(s): The Hind And The Panther: A Poem In Three Parts: 3
Subject(s): Anglican Church; Catholics; Converts, Catholic; James Ii, King Of Scotland (1430-1460); Religious Discrimination; Stillingfleet, Edward (1635-1699); Roman Catholics; Catholicism; Religious Conflict

MUCH malice mingl'd with a little wit
Perhaps may censure this mysterious writ:
Because the Muse has peopl'd Caledon
With Panthers, Bears and Wolves, and beasts unknown,
As if we were not stock'd with monsters of our own.
Let AEsop answer, who has set to view,
Such kinds as Greece and Phrygia never knew;
And mother Hubbard in her homely dress
Has sharply blam'd a British Lioness,
That Queen, whose feast the factious rabble keep,
Expos'd obscenely naked and a-sleep.
Led by those great examples, may not I
The wanted organs of their words supply?
If men transact like brutes, 'tis equal then
For brutes to claim the privilege of men.
Others our Hind of folly will endite,
To entertain a dang'rous guest by night.
Let those remember, that she cannot dye
Till rolling time is lost in round eternity;
Nor need she fear the Panther, though untam'd,
Because the Lyon's peace was now proclaim'd;
The wary salvage would not give offence,
To forfeit the protection of her Prince;
But watch'd the time her vengeance to compleat,
When all her furry sons in frequent Senate met.
Mean while she quench'd her fury at the floud
And with a Lenten sallad cool'd her bloud.
Their commons, though but course, were nothing scant,
Nor did their minds an equal banquet want.
For now the Hind, whose noble nature strove
T' express her plain simplicity of love,
Did all the honours of her house so well,
No sharp debates disturb'd the friendly meal.
She turn'd the talk, avoiding that extreme,
To common dangers past, a sadly pleasing theam;
Remembering ev'ry storm which toss'd the state,
When both were objects of the publick hate,
And drop'd a tear betwixt for her own children's fate.
Nor fail'd she then a full review to make
Of what the Panther suffer'd for her sake.
Her lost esteem, her truth, her loyal care,
Her faith unshaken to an exil'd Heir,
Her strength t' endure, her courage to defy,
Her choice of honourable infamy.
On these prolixly thankfull, she enlarg'd,
Then with acknowledgments her self she charg'd:
For friendship of it self, an holy tye,
Is made more sacred by adversity.
Now should they part, malicious tongues wou'd say,
They met like chance companions on the way,
Whom mutual fear of robbers had possess'd;
While danger lasted, kindness was profess'd;
But that once o'er, the short-liv'd union ends,
The road divides, and there divide the friends.
The Panther nodded when her speech was done,
And thanked her coldly in a hollow tone.
But said, her gratitude had gone too far
For common offices of Christian care.
If to the lawfull Heir she had been true,
She paid but Caesar what was Caesar's due.
I might, she added, with like praise describe
Your suff'ring sons, and so return your bribe;
But incense from my hands is poorly priz'd,
For gifts are scorn'd where givers are despis'd.
I serv'd a turn, and then was cast away;
You, like the gawdy fly, your wings display,
And sip the sweets, and bask in your Great Patron's day.
This heard, the Matron was not slow to find
What sort of malady had seiz'd her mind:
Disdain, with gnawing envy, fell despight,
And canker'd malice stood in open sight:
Ambition, int'rest, pride without controul,
And jealousie, the jaundice of the soul;
Revenge, the bloudy minister of ill,
With all the lean tormenters of the will.
'Twas easie now to guess from whence arose
Her new made union with her ancient foes.
Her forc'd civilities, her faint embrace,
Affected kindness with an alter'd face:
Yet durst she not too deeply probe the wound,
As hoping still the nobler parts were sound;
But strove with Anodynes t' asswage the smart,
And mildly thus her med'cine did impart.
Complaints of Lovers help to ease their pain;
It shows a Rest of kindness to complain,
A friendship loth to quit its former hold,
And conscious merit may be justly bold.
But much more just your jealousie would show,
If others good were injury to you:
Witness ye heav'ns how I rejoice to see
Rewarded worth, and rising loyalty.
Your Warrior Offspring that upheld the crown,
The scarlet honours of your peacefull gown,
Are the most pleasing objects I can find,
Charms to my sight, and cordials to my mind:
When vertue spooms before a prosperous gale,
My heaving wishes help to fill the sail;
And if my pray'rs for all the brave were heard,
Caesar should still have such, and such should still reward.
The labour'd earth your pains have sow'd and till'd:
'Tis just you reap the product of the field.
Yours be the harvest, 'tis the beggars gain
To glean the fallings of the loaded wain.
Such scatter'd ears as are not worth your care,
Your charity for alms may safely spare,
And alms are but the vehicles of pray'r.
My daily bread is litt'rally implor'd,
I have no barns nor granaries to hoard;
If Caesar to his own his hand extends,
Say which of yours his charity offends:
You know, he largely gives, to more than are his friends.
Are you defrauded when he feeds the poor?
Our mite decreases nothing of your store;
I am but few, and by your fare you see
My crying sins are not of luxury.
Some juster motive sure your mind withdraws,
And makes you break our friendships holy laws,
For barefac'd envy is too base a cause.
Show more occasion for your discontent;
Your love, the Wolf, wou'd help you to invent.
Some German quarrel, or, as times go now,
Some French, where force is uppermost, will doe.
When at the fountains head, as merit ought
To claim the place, you take a swilling draught,
How easie 'tis an envious eye to throw
And tax the sheep for troubling streams below;
Or call her, (when no farther cause you find,)
An enemy profess'd of all your kind!
But then, perhaps, the wicked world wou'd think
The Wolf design'd to eat as well as drink.
This last allusion gaul'd the Panther more,
Because indeed it rubb'd upon the sore.
Yet seem'd she not to winch, though shrewdly pain'd:
But thus her Passive character maintain'd.
I never grudg'd, whate'er my foes report,
Your flaunting fortune in the Lyon's court.
You have your day, or you are much bely'd,
But I am always on the suff'ring side:
You know my doctrine, and I need not say
I will not, but I cannot disobey.
On this firm principle I ever stood:
He of my sons who fails to make it good,
By one rebellious act renounces to my bloud.
Ah, said the Hind, how many sons have you
Who call you mother, whom you never knew!
But most of them who that relation plead
Are such ungratious youths as wish you dead.
They gape at rich revenues which you hold
And fain would nible at your grandame gold
Enquire into your years, and laugh to find;
Your crazy temper shows you much declin'd.
Were you not dim, and doted, you might see
A pack of cheats that claim a pedigree,
No more of kin to you, than you to me.
Do you not know that for a little coin
Heralds can foist a name into the line?
They ask you blessing but for what you have,
But once possess'd of what with care you save,
The wanton boyes wou'd piss upon your grave.
Your sons of Latitude that court your grace,
Though most resembling you in form and face,
Are far the worst of your pretended race.
And, but I blush your honesty to blot:
Pray God you prove 'em lawfully begot:
For, in some Popish libells I have read,
The Wolf has been too busie in your bed;
At least their hinder parts, the belly-piece,
The paunch, and all that Scorpio claims are his.
Their malice too a sore suspicion brings;
For though they dare not bark, they snarl at kings;
Nor blame 'em for intruding in your line,
Fat Bishopricks are still of right divine.
Think you your new French Proselytes are come
To starve abroad, because they starv'd at home?
Your benefices twinckl'd from afar,
They found the new Messiah by the star:
Those Swisses fight on any side for pay,
And 'tis the living that conforms, not they.
Mark with what management their tribes divide,
Some stick to you, and some to t'other side
That many churches may for many mouths provide.
More vacant pulpits wou'd more converts make;
All wou'd have Latitude enough to take;
The rest unbenefic'd, your sects maintain
For ordinations without cures are vain,
And chamber practice is a silent gain.
Your sons of breadth at home, are much like these,
Their soft and yielding metals run with ease;
They melt, and take the figure of the mould:
But harden, and preserve it best in gold.
Your Delphick sword, the Panther then reply'd,
Is double-edg'd, and cuts on either side.
Some sons of mine, who bear upon their shield,
Three steeples Argent in a sable field,
Have sharply tax'd your converts, who unfed
Have follow'd you for miracles of bread;
Such who themselves of no religion are,
Allur'd with gain, for any will declare.
Bare lyes with bold assertions they can face,
But dint of argument is out of place.
The grim Logician puts 'em in a fright,
'Tis easier far to flourish than to fight.
Thus, our eighth Henry's marriage they defame;
They say the schism of beds began the game,
Divorcing from the Church to wed the Dame.
Though largely prov'd, and by himself profess'd
That conscience, conscience would not let him rest:
I mean, not till possess'd of her he lov'd,
And old, uncharming Catherine was remov'd.
For sundry years before did he complain,
And told his ghostly Confessour his pain.
With the same impudence, without a ground,
They say, that look the reformation round,
No Treatise of Humility is found.
But if none were, the Gospel does not want,
Our Saviour preach'd it, and I hope you grant,
The Sermon in the mount was Protestant:
No doubt, reply'd the Hind, as sure as all
The writings of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
On that decision let it stand or fall.
Now for my converts, who you say unfed
Have follow'd me for miracles of bread.
Judge not by hear-say, but observe at least,
If since their change, their loaves have been increast.
The Lyon buyes no Converts, if he did,
Beasts wou'd be sold as fast as he cou'd bid.
Tax those of int'rest who conform for gain,
Or stay the market of another reign.
Your broad-way sons wou'd never be too nice
To close with Calvin, if he paid their price;
But, rais'd three steeples high'r, wou'd change their note,
And quit the Cassock for the Canting-coat.
Now, if you damn this censure, as too bold,
Judge by your selves, and think not others sold.
Mean-time my sons accus'd, by fames report
Pay small attendance at the Lyon's court,
Nor rise with early crowds, nor flatter late,
(For silently they beg who daily wait.)
Preferment is bestow'd that comes unsought,
Attendance is a bribe, and then 'tis bought.
How they shou'd speed, their fortune is untry'd,
For not to ask, is not to be denied.
For what they have their God and King they bless,
And hope they shou'd not murmur, had they less.
But if reduc'd subsistence to implore,
In common prudence they wou'd pass your door.
Unpitty'd Hudibrass, your Champion friend,
Has shown how far your charities extend.
This lasting verse shall on his tomb be read,
He sham'd you living, and upbraids you dead.
With odious Atheist names you load your foes,
Your lib'ral Clergy why did I expose?
It never fails in charities like those.
In climes where true religion is profess'd,
That imputation were no laughing jest,
But Imprimatur, with a Chaplain's name,
Is here sufficient licence to defame.
What wonder is't that black detraction thrives?
The Homicide of names is less than lives,
And yet the perjur'd murtherer survives.
This said, she paus'd a little, and suppress'd
The boiling indignation of her breast;
She knew the vertue of her blade, nor wou'd
Pollute her satyr with ignoble bloud:
Her panting foes she saw before her lye,
And back she drew the shining weapon dry
So when the gen'rous Lyon has in sight
His equal match, he rouses for the fight;
But when his foe lyes prostrate on the plain,
He sheathes his paws, uncurls his angry mane;
And, pleas'd with bloudless honours of the day,
Walks over and disdains th' inglorious Prey.
So JAMES, if great with less we may compare,
Arrests his rowling thunder-bolts in air;
And grants ungratefull friends a lengthn'd space,
T' implore the remnants of long suff'ring grace.
This breathing-time the Matron took; and then,
Resum'd the thrid of her discourse agen.
Be vengeance wholly left to pow'rs divine,
And let heav'n judge betwixt your sons and mine:
If joyes hereafter must be purchas'd here
With loss of all that mortals hold so dear,
Then welcome infamy and publick shame,
And, last, a long farewell to worldly fame.
'Tis said with ease, but oh, how hardly try'd
By haughty souls to humane honour ty'd!
O sharp convulsive pangs of agonizing pride!
Down then, thou rebell, never more to rise,
And what thou didst and dost so dearly prize,
That fame, that darling fame, make that thy sacrifice.
'Tis nothing thou hast giv'n; then add thy tears
For a long race of unrepenting years
'Tis nothing yet; yet all thou hast to give:
Then add those may-be years thou hast to live.
Yet nothing still: then poor, and naked come,
Thy father will receive his unthrift home,
And thy blest Saviour's bloud discharge the mighty sum.
Thus (she pursu'd) I discipline a son
Whose uncheck'd fury to revenge wou'd run:
He champs the bit, impatient of his loss,
And starts a-side and flounders at the cross.
Instruct him better, gracious God, to know,
As thine is vengeance, so forgiveness too;
That, suff'ring from ill tongues he bears no more
Than what his Sovereign bears, and what his Saviour bore.
It now remains for you to school your child,
And ask why God's anointed he revil'd;
A King and Princess dead! did Shimei worse?
The curser's punishment should fright the curse:
Your son was warn'd, and wisely gave it o're,
But he who councell'd him has paid the score:
The heavy malice cou'd no higher tend,
But woe to him on whom the weights descend:
So to permitted ills the Daemon flys:
His rage is aim'd at him who rules the skyes;
Constrain'd to quit his cause, no succour found,
The foe discharges ev'ry Tyre around,
In clouds of smoke abandoning the fight,
But his own thund'ring peals proclaim his flight.
In Henry's change his charge as ill succeeds;
To that long story little answer needs,
Confront but Henry's words with Henry's deeds.
Were space allow'd, with ease it might be prov'd,
What springs his blessed reformation mov'd.
The dire effects appear'd in open sight,
Which from the cause, he calls a distant flight
And yet no larger leap than from the sun to light.
Now last, your sons a double Paean sound,
A Treatise of Humility is found.
'Tis found, but better had it ne'er been sought
Than thus in Protestant procession brought.
The fam'd original through Spain is known,
Rodriguez work, my celebrated son,
Which yours by ill-translating made his own;
Conceal'd its authour, and usurp'd the name,
The basest and ignoblest theft of fame.
My Altars kindl'd first that living coal;
Restore, or practice better what you stole:
That vertue could this humble verse inspire,
'Tis all the restitution I require.
Glad was the Panther that the charge was clos'd,
And none of all her fav'rite sons expos'd.
For laws of arms permit each injur'd man
To make himself a saver where he can.
Perhaps the plunder'd merchant cannot tell
The names of Pirates in whose hands he fell:
But at the den of thieves he justly flies,
And ev'ry Algerine is lawfull prize.
No private person in the foes estate
Can plead exemption from the publick fate.
Yet Christian laws allow not such redress;
Then let the greater supersede the less.
But let th' Abbetors of the Panther's crime
Learn to make fairer wars another time.
Some characters may sure be found to write
Among her sons; for 'tis no common sight,
A spotted Dam, and all her offspring white.
The Salvage, though she saw her plea controll'd,
Yet wou'd not wholly seem to quit her hold,
But offer'd fairly to compound the strife;
And judge conversion by the convert's life.
'Tis true, she said, I think it somewhat strange
So few shou'd follow profitable change;
For present joys are more to flesh and bloud
Than a dull prospect of a distant good.
'Twas well alluded by a son of mine,
(I hope to quote him is not to purloin;)
Two magnets, heav'n and earth, allure to bliss;
The larger loadstone that, the nearer this:
The weak attraction of the greater fails,
We nodd a-while, but neighbourhood prevails:
But when the greater proves the nearer too,
I wonder more your converts come so slow.
Methinks in those who firm with me remain,
It shows a nobler principle than gain.
Your inf'rence wou'd be strong (the Hind reply'd)
If yours were in effect the suff'ring side;
Your clergy sons their own in peace possess,
Nor are their prospects in reversion less.
My Proselytes are struck with awfull dread,
Your bloudy Comet-laws hang blazing o're their head.
The respite they enjoy but onely lent,
The best they have to hope, protracted punishment.
Be judge your self, if int'rest may prevail,
Which motives, yours or mine, will turn the scale.
While pride and pomp allure, and plenteous ease,
That is, till man's predominant passions cease,
Admire no longer at my slow encrease.
By education most have been misled;
So they believe, because they so were bred.
The Priest continues what the nurse began,
And thus the child imposes on the man.
The rest I nam'd before, nor need repeat;
But int'rest is the most prevailing cheat,
The sly seducer both of age and youth;
They study that, and think they study truth:
When int'rest fortifies an argument,
Weak reason serves to gain the wills assent;
For souls, already warp'd, receive an easie bent.
Add long prescription of establish'd laws,
And picque of honour to maintain a cause,
And shame of change, and fear of future ill,
And Zeal, the blind conductor of the will;
And chief among the still mistaking crowd,
The fame of teachers obstinate and proud,
And, more than all, the private Judge allowed.
Disdain of Fathers which the daunce began,
And last, uncertain whose the narrower span,
The clown unread, and half-read gentleman.
To this the Panther, with a scornfull smile:
Yet still you travail with unwearied toil,
And range around the realm without controll
Among my sons for proselytes to prole,
And here and there you snap some silly soul.
You hinted fears of future change in state,
Pray heav'n you did not prophesie your fate;
Perhaps you think your time of triumph near,
But may mistake the season of the year;
The Swallows fortune gives you cause to fear.
For charity (reply'd the Matron) tell
What sad mischance those pretty birds befell.
Nay, no mischance, (the salvage Dame reply'd,)
But want of wit in their unerring guide,
And eager haste and gaudy hopes and giddy pride.
Yet, wishing timely warning may prevail,
Make you the moral, and I'll tell the tale.
The Swallow, privileg'd above the rest
Of all the birds as man's familiar guest,
Pursues the Sun in summer brisk and bold,
But wisely shuns the persecuting cold:
Is well to chancels and to chimnies known,
Though 'tis not thought she feeds on smoak alone.
From hence she has been held of heav'nly line,
Endu'd with particles of soul divine.
This merry Chorister had long possess'd
Her summer seat, and feather'd well her nest:
Till frowning skys began to change their chear,
And time turn'd up the wrong side of the year;
The shedding trees began the ground to strow
With yellow leaves, and bitter blasts to blow.
Sad auguries of winter thence she drew,
Which by instinct, or Prophecy, she knew:
When prudence warn'd her to remove betimes,
And seek a better heav'n and warmer clymes.
Her sons were summon'd on a steeples height,
And, call'd in common council, vote a flight;
The day was nam'd, the next that shou'd be fair,
All to the gen'ral rendezvous repair,
They try their flutt'ring wings and trust themselves in air.
But whether upward to the moon they go,
Or dream the winter out in caves below,
Or hawk at flies elsewhere, concerns not us to know.
Southwards, you may be sure, they bent their flight,
And harbour'd in a hollow rock at night;
Next morn they rose, and set up ev'ry sail;
The wind was fair, but blew a mackrel gale:
The sickly young sat shiv'ring on the shoar,
Abhorr'd salt-water never seen before,
And pray'd their tender mothers to delay
The passage, and expect a fairer day.
With these the Martyn readily concurr'd,
A church-begot and church-believing bird;
Of little body, but of lofty mind,
Round belly'd, for a dignity design'd,
And much a dunce, as Martyns are by kind.
Yet often quoted Canon-laws and Code
And Fathers which he never understood,
But little learning needs in noble bloud.
For, sooth to say, the Swallow brought him in,
Her household Chaplain, and her next of kin.
In Superstition silly to excess,
And casting Schemes, by planetary guess:
In fine, shortwing'd, unfit himself to fly,
His fear foretold foul-weather in the sky.
Besides, a Raven from a withered Oak,
Left of their lodging, was observed to croke.
That omen lik'd him not, so his advice
Was present safety, bought at any price:
(A seeming pious care that covered cowardise.)
To strengthen this, he told a boding dream,
Of rising waters and a troubl'd stream,
Sure signs of anguish, dangers, and distress,
With something more, not lawfull to express:
By which he slyly seemed to intimate
Some secret revelation of their fate.
For he concluded, once upon a time,
He found a leaf inscrib'd with sacred rime,
Whose antique characters did well denote
The Sibyl's hand of the Cumaean Grott:
The mad divineress had plainly writ,
A time should come (but many ages yet,)
In which, sinister destinies ordain,
A Dame should drown with all her feather'd train,
And seas from thence be called the Chelidonian main.
At this, some shook for fear, the more devout
Arose, and bless'd themselves from head to foot.
'Tis true, some stagers of the wiser sort
Made all these idle wonderments their sport
They said, their onely danger was delay,
And he who heard what ev'ry fool cou'd say,
Would never fix his thoughts, but trim his time away.
The passage yet was good; the wind, 'tis true,
Was somewhat high, but that was nothing new,
Nor more than usual Equinoxes blew.
The Sun (already from the scales declin'd)
Gave little hopes of better days behind,
But change from bad to worse of weather and of wind.
Nor need they fear the dampness of the Sky
Should flag their wings, and hinder them to fly,
'Twas onely water thrown on sails too dry.
But, least of all, Philosophy presumes
Of truth in dreams, from melancholy fumes;
Perhaps the Martyn, hous'd in holy ground,
Might think of Ghosts that walk their midnight round,
Till grosser atoms tumbling in the stream
Of fancy, madly met and clubb'd into a dream.
As little weight his vain presages bear,
Of ill effect to such alone who fear.
Most prophecies are of a piece with these,
Each Nostradamus can foretell with ease:
Not naming persons, and confounding times,
One casual truth supports a thousand lying rimes.
Th' advice was true, but fear had seized the most,
And all good counsel is on cowards lost.
The question crudely put, to shun delay,
'Twas carried by the major part to stay.
His point thus gained, Sir Martyn dated thence
His pow'r, and from a Priest became a Prince.
He order'd all things with a busie care,
And cells, and refectories did prepare,
And large provisions laid of winter fare.
But now and then let fall a word or two
Of hope, that heav'n some miracle might show,
And, for their sakes the sun should backward go;
Against the laws of nature upward climb,
And, mounted on the Ram, renew the prime:
For which two proofs in Sacred story lay,
Of Ahaz dial and of Joshuah's day.
In expectation of such times as these
A chapel hous'd 'em, truly called of ease:
For Martyn much devotion did not ask,
They pray'd sometimes, and that was all their task.
It happen'd (as beyond the reach of wit
Blind prophecies may have a lucky hit)
That this accomplish'd, or at least in part.
Gave great repute to their new Merlin's art.
Some *Swifts, the Gyants of the Swallow kind,
Large limb'd, stout-hearted, but of stupid mind,
(For Swisses, or for Gibeonites design'd,) *Otherwise call'd
These Lubbers, peeping through a broken pane,
To suck fresh air, survey'd the neighbouring plain;
And saw (but scarcely could believe their eyes)
New Blossoms flourish and new flow'rs arise;
As God had been abroad, and walking there
Had left his foot-steps and reform'd the year:
The sunny hills from far were seen to glow
With glittering beams, and in the meads below
The burnish'd brooks appear'd with liquid gold to flow.
At last they heard the foolish Cuckow sing,
Whose note proclaim'd the holy-day of spring.
No longer doubting, all prepare to fly
And repossess their patrimonial sky.
The Priest before 'em did his wings display;
And that good omens might attend their way,
As luck wou'd have it, 'twas St. Martyn's day.
Who but the Swallow now triumphsalone?
The Canopy of heaven is all her own;
Her youthfull offspring to their haunts repair;
And glide along in glades, and skim in air,
And dip for insects in the purling springs,
And stoop on rivers to refresh their wings.
Their mothers think a fair provision made,
That ev'ry son can live upon his trade,
And now the carefull charge is off their hands,
Look out for husbands and new nuptial bands:
The youthfull widow longs to be supply'd;
But first the lover is by Lawyers ty'd
To settle jointure-chimneys on the bride.
So thick they couple, in so short a space,
That Martyns marr'age offerings rise apace;
Their ancient houses, running to decay,
Are furbish'd up and cemented with clay;
They teem already; stores of eggs are laid,
And brooding mothers call Lucina's aid.
Fame spreads the news, and foreign fowls appear
In flocks to greet the new returning year,
To bless the founder, and partake the cheer.
And now 'twas time (so fast their numbers rise)
To plant abroad, and people colonies;
The youth drawn forth, as Martyn had desir'd
(For so their cruel destiny requir'd)
Were sent far off on an ill fated day;
The rest wou'd need conduct 'em on their way,
And Martyn went, because he fear'd alone to stay.
So long they flew with inconsiderate haste,
That now their afternoon began to waste;
And, what was ominous, that very morn
The Sun was entr'd into Capricorn;
Which, by their bad Astronomers account,
That week the virgin balance shou'd remount;
An infant moon eclips'd him in his way,
And hid the small remainders of his day:
The crowd amaz'd pursued no certain mark;
But birds met birds, and justled in the dark;
Few mind the publick in a Panick fright;
And fear increas'd the horrour of the night.
Night came, but unattended with repose;
Alone she came, no sleep their eyes to close,
Alone, and black she came, no friendly stars arose.
What shou'd they doe, beset with dangers round,
No neighbouring Dorp, no lodging to be found,
But bleaky plains, and bare unhospitable ground?
The latter brood, who just began to fly,
Sick-feathered and unpractis'd in the sky,
For succour to their helpless mother call,
She spread her wings; some few beneath 'em craul,
She spread 'em wider yet, but cou'd not cover all.
T' augment their woes, the winds began to move
Debate in air, for empty fields above,
Till Boreas got the skyes, and poured amain
His ratling hail-stones mix'd with snow and rain.
The joyless morning late arose and found
A dreadfull desolation reign a-round,
Some buried in the Snow, some frozen to the ground:
The rest were strugling still with death, and lay
The Crows and Ravens rights, an undefended prey;
Excepting Martyn's race, for they and he
Had gain'd the shelter of a hollow tree,
But soon discover'd by a sturdy clown,
He headed all the rabble of a town,
And finished 'em with bats, or poll'd 'em down.
Martyn himself was caught a-live, and try'd
For treas'nous crimes, because the laws provide
No Martyn there in winter shall abide.
High on an Oak which never leaf shall bear,
He breath'd his last, exposed to open air,
And there his corps, unbless'd, is hanging still,
To show the change of winds with his prophetick bill.
The patience of the Hind did almost fail,
For well she mark'd the malice of the tale:
Which Ribbald art their church to Luther owes,
In malice it began, by malice grows,
He sowed the Serpent's teeth, an iron-harvest rose.
But most in Martyn's character and fate,
She saw her slander'd sons, the Panther's hate,
The people's rage, the persecuting state:
Then said, I take th' advice in friendly part,
You clear your conscience, or at least your heart:
Perhaps you fail'd in your fore-seeing skill,
For Swallows are unlucky birds to kill:
As for my sons, the family is bless'd,
Whose every child is equal to the rest:
No church reform'd can boast a blameless line;
Such Martyns build in yours, and more than mine:
Or else an old fanatick Author lyes,
Who summ'd their Scandals up by Centuries.
But through your parable I plainly see
The bloudy laws, the crowds barbarity:
The sun-shine that offends the purblind sight,
Had some their wishes, it wou'd soon be night.
Mistake me not, the charge concerns not you,
Your sons are male-contents, but yet are true.
As far as non-resistance makes 'em so,
But that's a word of neutral sense you know,
A passive term, which no relief will bring,
But trims betwixt a rebell and a king.
Rest well assured, the Pardelis reply'd,
My sons wou'd all support the regal side,
Though heav'n forbid the cause by battel should be try'd.
The Matron answered with a loud Amen,
And thus pursu'd her argument agen.
If, as you say, and as I hope no less,
Your sons will practise what your self profess,
What angry pow'r prevents our present peace?
The Lyon, studious of our common good,
Desires (and Kings desires are ill withstood)
To join our Nations in a lasting love;
The barrs betwixt are easie to remove,
For sanguinary laws were never made above.
If you condemn that Prince of Tyranny
Whose mandate forced your Gallick friends to fly,
Make not a worse example of your own,
Or cease to rail at causeless rigour shown,
And let the guiltless person throw the stone.
His blunted sword, your suff'ring brotherhood
Have seldom felt, he stops it short of bloud:
But you have ground the persecuting knife
And set it to a razor edge on life.
Curs'd be the wit which cruelty refines
Or to his father's rod the Scorpion joins;
Your finger is more gross than the great Monarch's loins.
But you perhaps remove that bloudy note,
And stick it on the first Reformers coat.
Oh let their crime in long oblivion sleep,
'Twas theirs indeed to make, 'tis yours to keep.
Unjust, or just, is all the question now,
'Tis plain, that not repealing you allow.
To name the Test wou'd put you in a rage;
You charge not that on any former age,
But smile to think how innocent you stand
Arm'd by a weapon put into your hand.
Yet still remember that you weild a sword
Forg'd by your foes against your Sovereign Lord.
Designed to hew th' imperial Cedar down,
Defraud Succession and dis-heir the Crown.
T' abhor the makers, and their laws approve,
Is to hate Traytors and the treason love:
What means it else, which now your children say,
We made it not, nor will we take away?
Suppose some great Oppressor had by slight
Of law, disseis'd your brother of his right,
Your common sire surrendring in a fright;
Would you to that unrighteous title stand,
Left by the villain's will to heir the land?
More just was Judas, who his Saviour sold;
The sacrilegious bribe he cou'd not hold,
Nor hang in peace, before he rendr'd back the gold.
What more could you have done than now you doe,
Had Oates and Bedlow, and their Plot been true?
Some specious reasons for those wrongs were found;
The dire Magicians threw their mists around,
And wise men walk'd as on enchanted ground.
But now when time has made th' imposture plain,
(Late though he follow'd truth, & limping held her train,)
What new delusion charms your cheated eyes again?
The painted Harlot might a while bewitch,
But why the Hag uncas'd and all obscene with itch?
The first Reformers were a modest race;
Our Peers possessed in peace their native place:
And when rebellious arms o'returned the state
They suffer'd onely in the common fate;
But now the Sov'reign mounts the regal chair
And mitr'd seats are full, yet David's bench is bare:
Your answer is, they were not dispossess'd,
They need but rub their mettle on the Test
To prove their ore: 'twere well if gold alone
Were touch'd and try'd on your discerning stone;
But that unfaithfull Test unfound will pass
The dross of Atheists and sectarian brass:
As if the experiment were made to hold
For base productions, and reject the gold:
Thus men ungodded may to places rise,
And sects may be preferr'd without disguise:
No danger to the church or state from these;
The Papist onely has his Writ of ease.
No gainfull office gives him the pretence
To grind the Subject or defraud the Prince.
Wrong conscience, or no conscience may deserve
To thrive, but ours alone is privileg'd to sterve.
Still thank your selves, you cry, your noble race
We banish not, but they forsake the place.
Our doors are open: true, but e'er they come
You toss your censing Test and fume the room;
As if 'twere Toby's rival to expell,
And fright the fiend who could not bear the smell.
To this the Panther sharply had reply'd;
But, having gain'd a Verdict on her side,
She wisely gave the loser leave to chide;
Well satisfied to have the But and peace,
And for the Plaintiff's cause she car'd the less,
Because she su'd in forma Pauperis;
Yet thought it decent something shou'd be said,
For secret guilt by silence is betray'd:
So neither granted all, nor much deny'd,
But answer'd with a yawning kind of pride.
Methinks such terms of proferr'd peace you bring,
As once AEneas to th' Italian King:
By long possession all the land is mine,
You strangers come with your intruding line
To share my sceptre, which you call to join.
You plead like him an ancient Pedigree,
And claim a peacefull seat by fates decree.
In ready pomp your Sacrificer stands,
To unite the Trojan and the Latin bands,
And that the league more firmly may be ty'd,
Demand the fair Lavinia for your bride.
Thus plausibly you veil th' intended wrong,
But still you bring your exil'd gods along;
And will endeavour in succeeding space,
Those household Poppits on our hearths to place.
Perhaps some barb'rous laws have been preferr'd;
I spake against the Test, but was not heard.
These to rescind and Peerage to restore
My gracious Sov'reign wou'd my vote implore:
I owe him much, but owe my conscience more.
Conscience is then your Plea, replied the Dame,
Which well-informed will ever be the same.
But yours is much of the Camelion hue,
To change the dye with ev'ry diff'rent view.
When first the Lyon sat with awfull sway,
Your conscience taught you duty to obey;
He might have had your Statutes and your Test;
No conscience but of subjects was profess'd.
He found your temper, and no farther try'd,
But on that broken reed your church rely'd.
In vain the sects assay'd their utmost art,
With offered treasures to espouse their part,
Their treasures were a bribe too mean to move his heart.
But when by long experience you had proov'd,
How far he cou'd forgive, how well he lov'd;
A goodness that excell'd his godlike race,
And onely short of heav'ns unbounded grace:
A floud of mercy that o'erflowed our Isle,
Calm in the rise, and fruitfull as the Nile,
Forgetting whence your AEgypt was supply'd,
You thought your Sov'reign bound to send the tide;
Nor upward look'd on that immortal spring,
But vainly deem'd, he durst not be a king:
Then conscience, unrestrain'd by fear, began
To stretch her limits, and extend the span,
Did his indulgence as her gift dispose,
And made a wise Alliance with her foes.
Can conscience own th' associating name,
And raise no blushes to conceal her shame?
For sure she has been thought a bashfull Dame.
But if the cause by battel should be try'd,
You grant she must espouse the regal side:
O Proteus Conscience, never to be ty'd!
What Phoebus from the Tripod shall disclose,
Which are in last resort, your friends or foes?
Homer, who learn'd the language of the sky,
The seeming Gordian knot wou'd soon unty;
Immortal pow'rs the term of conscience know,
But int'rest is her name with men below.
Conscience or int'rest be't, or both in one;
(The Panther answered in a surly tone,)
The first commands me to maintain the Crown,
The last forbids to throw my barriers down.
Our penal laws no sons of yours admit,
Our Test excludes your Tribe from benefit.
These are my banks your ocean to withstand,
Which proudly rising overlooks the land:
And once let in, with unresisted sway
Wou'd sweep the Pastors and their flocks away.
Think not my judgment leads me to comply
With laws unjust, but hard necessity:
Imperious need which cannot be withstood
Makes ill authentick, for a greater good.
Possess your soul with patience, and attend:
A more auspicious Planet may ascend;
Good fortune may present some happier time,
With means to cancel my unwilling crime;
(Unwilling, witness all ye Pow'rs above)
To mend my errours and redeem your love:
That little space you safely may allow,
Your all-dispensing pow'r protects you now.
Hold, said the Hind, 'tis needless to explain:
You would postpone me to another reign:
Till when you are content to be unjust,
Your part is to possess, and mine to trust.
A fair exchange propos'd of future chance,
For present profit and inheritance:
Few words will serve to finish our dispute,
Who will not now repeal wou'd persecute;
To ripen green revenge your hopes attend,
Wishing that happier Planet wou'd ascend:
For shame let Conscience be your Plea no more,
To will hereafter proves she might before;
But she's a Bawd to gain, and holds the Door.
Your care about your Banks, infers a fear
Of threatning Floods and Inundations near;
If so, a just Reprise would only be
Of what the Land usurped upon the Sea;
And all your Jealousies but serve to show
Your Ground is, like your Neighbour-Nation, low.
T' intrench in what you grant unrighteous Laws
Is to distrust the justice of your Cause;
And argues that the true religion lyes
In those weak Adversaries you despise.
Tyrannick force is that which least you fear,
The sound is frightfull in a Christian's ear:
Avert it, Heav'n; nor let that Plague be sent
To us from the dispeopled Continent.
But Piety commands me to refrain;
Those Pray'rs are needless in this Monarch's Reign.
Behold! how he protects your Friends opprest,
Receives the Banish'd, succours the Distress'd:
Behold, for you may read an honest open breast.
He stands in Day-light, and disdains to hide
An Act to which by Honour he is ty'd,
A generous, laudable, and Kingly Pride.
Your Test he would repeal, his Peers restore,
This when he says he means, he means no more.
Well, said the Panther, I believe him just,
And yet --
And yet, 'tis but because you must,
You would be trusted, but you would not trust.
The Hind thus briefly; and disdained t' inlarge
On Pow'r of Kings, and their Superiour charge,
As Heav'ns Trustees before the People's choice:
Tho' sure the Panther did not much rejoyce
Tohear those Echo's given of her once Loyal voice.
The Matron woo'd her Kindness to the last,
But cou'd not win; her hour of Grace was past.
Whom, thus persisting, when she could not bring
To leave the Woolf and to believe her King,
She gave Her up, and fairly wished her Joy
Of her late Treaty with her new Ally:
Which well she hop'd wou'd more successful prove,
Than was the Pigeons and the Buzzards love.
The Panther ask'd what concord there cou'd be
Betwixt two kinds whose Natures disagree?
The Dame reply'd, 'Tis sung in ev'ry Street,
The common chat of Gossips when they meet:
But, since unheard by you, 'tis worth your while
To take a wholesome Tale, though told in homely stile.
A plain good Man, whose Name is understood,
(So few deserve the name of Plain and Good)
Of three fair lineal Lordships stood possess'd,
And liv'd, as reason was, upon the best.
Inur'd to hardships from his early Youth,
Much had he done and suffered for his truth:
At Land, and Sea, in many a doubtfull Fight,
Was never known a more advent'rous Knight,
Who oftner drew his Sword, and always for the right.
As fortune wou'd (his fortune came tho' late)
He took Possession of his just Estate;
Nor rack'd his Tenants with increase of Rent,
Nor liv'd too sparing, nor too largely spent;
But overlook'd his Hinds, their Pay was just
And ready, for he scorn'd to go on trust:
Slow to resolve, but in performance quick;
So true, that he was awkward at a trick.
For little Souls on little shifts rely,
And coward Arts of mean Expedients try:
The noble Mind will dare do anything but lye.
False friends, (his deadliest foes,) could find no way
But shows of honest bluntness, to betray;
That unsuspected plainness he believ'd;
He looked into Himself, and was deceiv'd.
Some lucky Planet sure attends his Birth,
Or Heav'n would make a Miracle on Earth;
For prosp'rous Honesty is seldom seen
To bear so dead a weight, and yet to win;
It looks as Fate with Nature's Law would strive,
To show Plain-dealing once an age may thrive:
And, when so tough a frame she could not bend,
Exceeded her Commission to befriend.
This gratefull man, as Heaven encreas'd his Store,
Gave God again, and daily fed his Poor;
His House with all convenience was purvey'd;
The rest he found, but rais'd the Fabrick where he pray'd;
And in that Sacred Place his beauteous Wife
Employ'd Her happiest hours of Holy Life.
Nor did their Alms extend to those alone
Whom common Faith more strictly made their own;
A sort of Doves were hous'd too near their Hall,
Who cross the Proverb, and abound with Gall.
Tho' some, 'tis true, are passively inclin'd,
The greater Part degenerate from their kind;
Voracious Birds, that hotly Bill and breed,
And largely drink, because on Salt they feed.
Small Gain from them their Bounteous Owner draws;
Yet, bound by Promise, he supports their Cause,
As Corporations priviledg'd by Laws.
That House, which harbour to their kind affords,
Was built, long since, God knows, for better Birds;
But flutt'ring there, they nestle near the Throne,
And lodge in Habitations not their own,
By their high Crops, and Corny Gizzards known.
Like Harpy's, they could scent a plenteous board;
Then, to be sure, they never fail'd their Lord.
The rest was form, and bare Attendance paid,
They drunk, and eat, and grudgingly obey'd.
The more they fed, they raven'd still for more,
They drain'd from Dan, and left Beersheba poor;
All this they had by Law, and none repin'd,
The pref'rence was but due to Levi's Kind,
But when some Lay-preferment fell by chance
The Gourmands made it their Inheritance.
When once possess'd they never quit their Claim,
For then 'tis sanctify'd to Heav'ns high Name;
And Hallow'd thus, they cannot give Consent,
The Gift should be prophan'd by Worldly management.
Their Flesh was never to the Table served;
Tho' 'tis not thence inferr'd the Birds were starv'd;
But that their Master did not like the Food,
As rank, and breeding Melancholy Blood.
Nor did it with His Gracious Nature suite,
Ev'n though they were not Doves, to persecute:
Yet He refused, (nor could they take Offence)
Their Glutton Kind should teach him abstinence.
Nor Consecrated Grain their Wheat he thought,
Which, new from treading, in their Bills they brought:
But left his Hinds, each in his Private Pow'r,
That those who like the Bran might leave the Flow'r.
He for himself, and not for others chose,
Nor would He be impos'd on, nor impose;
But in their Faces His Devotion paid,
And Sacrifice with Solemn Rites was made,
And Sacred Incense on his Altars laid.
Besides these jolly Birds, whose Crops impure
Repaid their Commons with their Salt Manure,
Another Farm he had behind his House,
Not overstock't, but barely for his use;
Wherein his poor Domestick poultry Fed
And from His Pious Hands received their Bread.
Our pamper'd Pigeons with malignant Eyes
Beheld these Inmates and their Nurseries:
Tho' hard their fare, at Ev'ning and at Morn,
A Cruise of Water and an Ear of Corn,
Yet still they grudg'd that Modicum, and thought
A Sheaf in ev'ry single Grain was brought;
Fain would they filch that little Food away,
While unrestrain'd those happy Gluttons prey.
And much they griev'd to see so nigh their Hall
The Bird that warned St. Peter of his Fall;
That he should raise his miter'd Crest on high,
And clap his Wings and call his Family
To Sacred Rites; and vex th' Etherial Pow'rs
With midnight Mattins at uncivil Hours:
Nay more, his quiet Neighbours should molest,
Just in the sweetness of their Morning rest.
Beast of a bird, supinely when he might
Lye snugg and sleep, to rise before the light:
What if his dull Forefathers used that cry,
Cou'd he not let a Bad Example dye?
The World was fallen into an easier way;
This Age knew better, than to Fast and Pray.
Good Sense in Sacred Worship would appear
So to begin, as they might end the year.
Such feats in former times had wrought the falls
Of crowing Chanticleers in Cloyster'd Walls.
Expell'd for this and for their Lands, they fled;
And Sister Partlet, with her hooded head
Was hooted hence, because she would not pray a-Bed.
The way to win the restiff World to God
Was to lay by the Disciplining Rod,
Unnatural Fasts, and Foreign Forms of Pray'r;
Religion frights us with a meen severe.
'Tis Prudence to reform her into Ease,
And put Her in Undress, to make Her pleas;
A lively Faith will bear aloft the Mind
And leave the Luggage of Good Works behind.
Such Doctrines in the Pigeon-house were taught;
You need not ask how wondrously they wrought;
But sure the common Cry was all for these,
Whose Life, and Precept both encourag'd Ease.
Yet fearing those alluring Baits might fail,
And Holy Deeds o're all their Arts prevail,
(For Vice, tho' frontless and of harden'd Face,
Is daunted at the sight of awfull Grace,)
An hideous Figure of their Foes they drew
Nor Lines, nor Looks, nor Shades, nor Colours true;
And this Grotesque design, expos'd to Publick view.
One would have thought it some AEgyptian Piece,
With Garden-Gods, and barking Deities,
More thick than Ptolomey has stuck the Skies.
All so perverse a Draught, so far unlike,
It was no Libell where it meant to strike:
Yet still the daubing pleas'd, and Great and Small
To view the Monster crowded Pigeon-hall.
There Chanticleer was drawn upon his knees,
Adoring Shrines, and Stocks of Sainted Trees;
And by him a mishapen, ugly Race;
The curse of God was seen on ev'ry face.
No Holland emblem could that Malice mend,
But still the worse the look the fitter for a Fiend.
The Master of the Farm, displeas'd to find
So much of Rancour in so mild a kind,
Enquir'd into the Cause, and came to know,
The Passive Church had struck the foremost blow:
With groundless Fears, and Jealousies possest,
As if this troublesome intruding Guest
Would drive the Birds of Venus from their Nest.
A Deed his inborn Equity abhorr'd,
But Int'rest will not trust, tho God should plight his Word.
A Law, the Source of many Future harms,
Had banish'd all the Poultry from the Farms;
With loss of Life, if any should be found
To crow or peck on this forbidden Ground.
That Bloody Statute chiefly was design'd
For Chanticleer the white, of Clergy kind;
But after-malice did not long forget
The Lay that wore the Robe and Coronet.
For them, for their Inferiours and Allyes,
Their Foes a deadly Shibboleth devise:
By which unrighteously it was decreed,
That none to Trust, or Profit should succeed,
Who would not swallow first a poysonous wicked Weed;
Or that to which old Socrates was curs't,
Or Henbane-Juice to swell 'em till they burst.
The Patron (as in reason) thought it hard
To see this Inquisition in his Yard,
By which the Soveraign was of Subjects use debarred.
All gentle means he try'd, which might withdraw
Th' Effects of so unnatural a Law:
But still the Dove-house obstinately stood
Deaf to their own, and to their Neighbours good:
And which was worse, (if any worse could be)
Repented of their boasted Loyalty:
Now made the Champions of a cruel Cause,
And drunk with Fumes of Popular Applause;
For those whom God to ruine has design'd,
He fits for Fate, and first destroys their Mind.
New Doubts indeed they daily strove to raise,
Suggested Dangers, interpos'd Delays;
And Emissary Pigeons had in store,
Such as the Meccan Prophet us'd of yore,
To whisper Counsels in their Patrons Ear;
And veil'd their false Advice with Zealous Fear.
The Master smiled to see 'em work in vain,
To wear him out and make an idle reign:
He saw, but suffer'd their Protractive Arts,
And strove by mildness to reduce their Hearts;
But they abused that Grace to make Allyes
And fondly clos'd with former Enemies;
For fools are double Fools, endeav'ring to be wise.
After a grave Consult what course were best,
One, more mature in Folly than the rest,
Stood up, and told 'em with his head aside,
That desp'rate Cures must be to desp'rate Ills apply'd:
And therefore, since their main impending fear
Was from th' encreasing race of Chanticleer:
Some Potent Bird of Prey they ought to find,
A Foe profess'd to him and all his kind:
Some haggar'd Hawk, who had her eyry nigh,
Well pounc'd to fasten, and well wing'd to fly;
One they might trust, their common wrongs to wreak:
The Musquet, and the Coystrel were too weak,
Too fierce the Falcon, but, above the rest,
The noble Buzzard ever pleas'd me best;
Of small Renown, 'tis true; for, not to lye,
We call him but a Hawk by courtesie.
I know he haunts the Pigeon-house and Farm,
And more, in time of War has done us harm;
But all his hate on trivial Points depends,
Give up our Forms, and we shall soon be friends.
For Pigeons flesh he seems not much to care;
Cram'd Chickens are a more delicious fare;
On this high Potentate, without delay,
I wish you would conferr the Sovereign sway;
Petition him t' accept the Government,
And let a splendid Embassy be sent.
This pithy speech prevail'd; and all agreed,
Old Enmity's forgot, the Buzzard should succeed,
Their welcom Suit was granted soon as heard,
His Lodgings furnish'd, and a Train prepar'd,
With B's upon their Breast, appointed for his Guard.
He came, and Crown'd with great Solemnity,
God save King Buzzard, was the gen'rall cry.
A Portly Prince, and goodly to the sight,
He seem'd a Son of Anach for his height:
Like those whom stature did to Crowns prefer;
Black-brow'd and bluff, like Homer's Jupiter;
Broad-backed and Brawny built for Loves delight,
A Prophet form'd to make a female Proselyte.
A Theologue more by need, than genial bent,
By Breeding sharp, by Nature confident,
Int'rest in all his Actions was discern'd;
More learn'd than Honest, more a Wit than learn'd.
Or forc'd by Fear, or by his Profit led,
Or both conjoyn'd, his Native clime he fled:
But brought the Vertues of his Heav'n along;
A fair Behaviour, and a fluent Tongue.
And yet with all his Arts he could not thrive;
The must unlucky Parasite alive.
Loud Praises to prepare his Paths he sent,
And then himself pursu'd his Compliment!
But, by reverse of Fortune chac'd away,
His Gifts no longer than their Author stay;
He shakes the Dust against th' ungrateful race,
And leaves the stench of Ordures in the place.
Oft has he flatter'd, and blasphem'd the same,
For in his Rage, he spares no Sov'rains name:
The Hero, and the Tyrant change their style
By the same measure that they frown or smile;
When well receiv'd by hospitable Foes,
The kindness he returns, is to expose:
For Courtesies, tho' undeserv'd and great,
No gratitude in Fellon-minds beget;
As tribute to his Wit, the churl receives the treat.
His praise of Foes is venomously Nice,
So touch'd, it turns a Vertue to a Vice:
A Greek, and bountiful forewarns us twice.
Sev'n sacraments he wisely do's disown,
Because he knows Confession stands for one;
Where sins to sacred silence are convey'd,
And not for Fear, or Love, to be betray'd:
But he, uncall'd, his Patron to controul,
Divulg'd the secret whispers of his Soul;
Stood forth th' accusing Sathan of his Crimes,
And offerd to the Moloch of the Times.
Prompt to assayle, and careless of defence,
Invulnerable in his Impudence,
He dares the World, and, eager of a name,
He thrusts about, and justles into fame.
Frontless and Satyr-proof, he scowr's the streets,
And runs an Indian muck at all he meets.
So fond of loud Report, that not to miss
Of being known (his last and utmost bliss)
He rather would be known, for what he is.
Such was and is the Captain of the test,
Tho' half his Vertues are not here express't;
The modesty of Fame conceals the rest.
The spleenful Pigeons never could create
A Prince more proper to revenge their hate;
Indeed, more proper to revenge, than save;
A King, whom in his wrath, th' Almighty gave:
For all the Grace the Landlord had allow'd
But made the Buzzard and the Pigeons proud,
Gave time to fix their Friends, and to seduce the Crowd.
They long their Fellow-Subjects to inthrall,
Their Patrons promise into question call,
And vainly think he meant to make 'em Lords of all.
False Fears their Leaders fail'd not to suggest,
As if the Doves were to be dispossess't;
Nor Sighs nor Groans nor gogling Eyes did want,
For now the Pigeons too had learned to Cant.
The House of Pray'r is stock'd with large encrease;
Nor Doors, nor Windows can contain the Press:
For Birds of ev'ry feather fill th' abode;
Ev'n Atheists out of envy own a God:
And, reeking from the Stews, Adult'rers come,
Like Goths and Vandals to demolish Rome.
That Conscience, which to all their Crimes was mute,
Now calls aloud, and cryes to Persecute.
No rigour of the Laws to be releas'd,
And much the less, because it was their Lords request:
They thought it great their Sov'rain to controul,
And nam'd their Pride, Nobility of Soul.
'Tis true, the Pigeons and their Prince Elect
Were short of Pow'r their purpose to effect:
But with their quills, did all the hurt they cou'd,
And cuff'd the tender Chickens from their food;
And much the Buzzard in their Cause did stir,
Tho' naming not the Patron, to infer,
With all respect, He was a gross Idolater.
But when th' Imperial owner did espy
That thus they turn'd his Grace to villany,
Not suff'ring wrath to discompose his mind,
He strove a temper for th' extreams to find,
So to be just, as he might still be kind.
Then, all maturely weigh'd, pronounc'd a Doom
Of Sacred Strength for ev'ry Age to come.
By this the Doves their Wealth and State possess,
No Rights infring'd, but Licence to oppress:
Such Pow'r have they as Factious Lawyers long
To Crowns ascrib'd, that Kings can do no wrong.
But, since his own Domestick Birds have try'd
The dire Effects of their destructive Pride,
He deems that Proof a Measure to the rest,
Concluding well within his Kingly Breast
His Fowl of Nature too unjustly were opprest.
He therefore makes all Birds of ev'ry Sect
Free of his Farm, with promise to respect
Their sev'ral Kinds alike, and equally protect.
His Gracious Edict the same Franchise yields
To all the wild Encrease of Woods and Fields,
And who in Rocks aloof, and who in Steeples builds.
To Crows the like Impartial Grace affords,
And Choughs and Daws, and such Republick Birds:
Secur'd with ample Priviledge to feed,
Each has his District, and his Bounds decreed:
Combin'd in common Int'rest with his own,
But not to pass the Pigeons Rubicon.
Here ends the Reign of this pretended Dove;
All Prophecies accomplish'd from above,
For Shiloh comes the Scepter to remove.
Reduc'd from Her Imperial High Abode,
Like Dyonysius to a private Rod,
The Passive Church, that with pretended Grace
Did Her distinctive Mark in duty place,
Now Touch'd, Reviles her Maker to his Face.
What after happen'd is not hard to guess;
The small Beginnings had a large Encrease,
And Arts and Wealth succeed (the secret spoils of Peace.)
'Tis said the Doves repented, tho' too late
Become the Smiths of their own Foolish Fate:
Nor did their Owner hasten their ill hour:
But, sunk in Credit, they decreas'd in Pow'r:
Like Snows in warmth that mildly pass away,
Dissolving in the Silence of Decay.
The Buzzard, not content with equal place,
Invites the feather'd Nimrods of his Race,
To hide the thinness of their Flock from Sight,
And all together make a seeming, goodly Flight:
But each have sep'rate Interests of their own;
Two Czars, are one too many for a throne.
Nor can th' usurper long abstain from Food,
Already he has tasted Pigeons Blood:
And may be tempted to his former fare,
When this Indulgent Lord shall late to Heav'n repair.
Bare benting times, and moulting Months may come,
When lagging late, they cannot reach their home:
Or Rent in schism, (for so their Fate decrees,)
Like the Tumultuous Colledge of the Bees;
They fight their Quarrel, by themselves opprest;
The Tyrant smiles below, and waits the falling feast.
Thus did the gentle Hind her fable end,
Nor would the Panther blame it, nor commend;
But, with affected Yawnings at the close,
Seem'd to require her natural repose.
For now the streaky light began to peep;
And setting stars admonish'd both to sleep.
The Dame withdrew, and wishing to her Guest
The peace of Heav'n, betook her self to rest.
Ten thousand Angels on her slumbers waite
With glorious Visions of her future state.

Other Poems of Interest...

Home: PoetryExplorer.net