Address to an Old Halfpenny


Knaves for every purpose seize on
Thy copper face tho once twas treason
Thee to disfigure but thy season
Of grace is past
& now theres neither ryhme nor reason
Can make it last.


Tho Lords would once as comrades rank thee
& in their velvet pockets clank ye
So low have times new fashions sank ye
Thou fortunes ghost
Thourt now not worth a beggars thank ye
To say the most.


The loyal knaves thy worth deserting
Tis all my eye & peggy Martin
Thourt an old halfpenny that[s] certain
& nothing more
I couldnt pass thee for a farthing
Thy reign is oer.


When thou wert new each canting thing
Pretended like a wedding ring
To prize this head where la[u]rels hing
Knaves would caress him
& cheats toss up & cry the king
God bless him.


But now my poor old copper croney
Thou shadow of a shade tho money
& native of wealths hive of honey
Tho dead nor rotten
Thourt stranded where the meanest shun ye
A wreck forgotten.


The gipsey tinker man with lawless fettle
May bruise thee into brods o metal
Theres none his lawless tricks to settle
P[eel] G[urne]ys jiant
Though thou wert clouting C[ob]b[e]ts kettle
Would not say fye ont.


God knows the hollow sounding praises
That clamour round the country raises
The milk & water canting phrases
Like mizers prayers
Are all for pensions pence & places
Self kin & heirs.


For where self inter[e]st seems to lag
Tho kings themselves rides flatterys nag
What once was blessings all & brag
The king god bless him
Did he but wear a beggars bag
Thered few carress him.


Praises isnt worth een apple pareings
Where praise is looking out for fairings
Such as the G[ur]n[ey]s P[ee]ls & B[arin]gs
As wasps for honey
Like conjurors tricks — & such comparings
They work for money.


Truth as cooks dish it — boil or bake it
Is but an oath — how ere they make it
& wether it be clothed or naked
A lies a lie
Self interest she can loose or brake it
Untie or tie.


The Gordian knot was like a fiddle
Where wonder gapes at diddle diddle
Till what seemed music in the middle
To farces grow up
Self interest soon finds out the riddle
& breaks the show up.
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