A Panegyric on the Author of " Absalom and Achitophel "

A Panegyric on the Author of " Absalom and Achitophel " (1681)

The printing of these rhymes afflicts me more
Than all the drubs I in Rose Alley bore.
This shows my nauseous mercenary pen
Would praise the vilest and the worst of men.
A rogue like Hodge [Roger L'Estrange] am I, the world will know it,
Hodge was his [Cromwell's] fiddler, and I John his poet.
This may prevent the pay for which I write;
For I for pay against my conscience fight.
I must confess so infamous a knave
Can do no service, though the humblest slave.
Villains I praise, and patriots accuse,
My railing and my fawning talents use;
Just as they pay I flatter or abuse.
But I to men in pow'r a turd am still
To rub on any honest face they will.
Then on I'll go, for libels I declare,
Best friends no more than worst of foes I'll spare,
And all this I can do because I dare.
He who writes on, and cudgels can defy,
And knowing he'll be beaten still writes on, am I.
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