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Did I for this my country bring
To help their knight against their king,
And raise the firft fedition?

Though I the business did decline,
Yet I contriv'd the whole design,
And fent them their petition.

So many nights spent in the city
In that Invisible Committee,

The wheel that governs all.

From thence the change in church and state, And all the mischief bears the date

From Haberdafhers' Hall.

Did we force Ireland to despair,
Upon the king to cast the war,

To make the world abhor him,

Because the rebels us'd his name?
Though we ourselves can do the fame,
While both alike were for him.

Then the fame fire we kindled here
With what was given to quench it there,
And wifely loft that nation :

To do as crafty beggars use,

To maim themselves, thereby t' abuse

The fimple man's compaffion.

Have I fo often paft between
Windfor and Westminster, unfeen,
And did myself divide :
To keep his excellence in awe,
And give the parliament the law?
For they knew none befide.

Did I for this take pains to teach
Our zealous ignorants to preach,
And did their lungs inspire;

Gave them their texts, fhew'd them their parts,
And taught them all their little arts,

To fling abroad the fire ?

Sometimes to beg, fometimes to threaten,
And fay 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 ufe

The pulpit and the steeple.

And fhall 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 neceffity to fight,

That breaks both law and oath ?
They'll fay they fight not for the cause,
Nor to defend the king and laws,
But us against them both.

Either the caufe at firft was ill,
Or being good, it is fo ftill;

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 afunder:

But while the wicked ftarve, indeed
The faints 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 leaft of praise,
Since a new state we could not raise,

To have deftroy'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 gaul'd 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 Honourable




The humble Petition of the POETS.

FTER fo many concurring petitions

From all ages and fexes, and all conditions, We come in the rear to present our follies To Pym, Stroude, Haflerig, Hampden, and Holles. Though fet form of prayer be an abomination, Set forms of petitions find great approbation : Therefore, as others from th' bottom of their fouls, 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 power legislative.


And firft, 'tis to speak whatever we please,
Without fear of a prison or pursuivants fees.
Next, that we only may lye by authority;
But in that alfo you have got the priority.
Next, an old cuftom, our fathers did name it
Poetical license, and always did claim it.

By this we have power to change age into youth,
Turn nonfenfe to fenfe, and falfhood to truth;
In brief, to make good whatsoever is faulty;
This art fome 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 repofed,
That kings by them only are made and depofed,
This though you cannot do, yet you are willing:
But when we undertake depofing or killing,
They 're tyrants and monsters; and yet then the poet
Takes full revenge on the villains that do it:
And when we refume a fceptre or crown,

We are modeft, and feek not to make it our own.
But is 't not prefumption to write verses to you,
Who make better poems by far of the two?
For all thofe pretty knacks you compose,
Alas, what are they but poems in profe?

And between thofe and ours there's no difference,
But that yours want the rhyme, the wit, and the sense :
But for lying (the most noble part of a poet)
You have it abundantly, and yourselves know it;
And though you are modest and seem to abhor it,
T has done you good fervice, and thank Hell for it:


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