On the Prorogation

Prorogued on prorogation—damned rogues and whores!
Our pockets picked and we turned out of doors!
Have we our country plagued, our trust betrayed,
Giv'n polls, loans, subsidies, and royal aid,
Hearth money, imposts, and the lawyers' fees,
Ruined all trades, tormented all degrees,
Crush'd poor fanatics and broke through all laws
Of Magna Charta and the Good Old Cause,
to be thus fobbed at last?
Have we more millions giv'n in ten years' space
Than Norman bastard had and all his race,
Hurried up money bills 'gainst Dutch and French,
But see all spent upon a dunghill wench?
Were we content the kingdom to undo
T' enrich an overridden whore or two,
and all for this?
With plague, war, fire was the kingdom cursed,
But of all plagues were we ourselves the worst,
Who just elections nulled and took much pain
To make the Parliament a rogue in grain;
Had Coventry's nose slit, and, through our fears,
Stood to be pissed on by the House of Peers;
Unworthy gentlemen, like servants base,
Run to our master's cellar to fox our mace,
And hundred yet more humble acts than these,
That we might not His Majesty displease,
to be thus served?
Welfare! true Vaughan, Howard, Osborne, Carr,
Littleton, Seymour, and our great man of war,
Will Garraway, the Hector of the House,
Who always fetched his blow to kill a louse.
These patriots malcontent did plot
Their country's good, till they had places got,
Blustered and huffed till they were officered,
But then o'th'country more the devil a word,
Damned Buckingham, of a false sire the son,
Did we for this dismount old Clarendon
And set thee up, thou mighty man of state,
And in thy hands put the whole kingdom's fate?
Did we forget thy former treachery,
When, false, our king thou left'st in misery,
Turned kneeling renegade to what was trump,
And payed allegiance to the rotten Rump?
Did we free thee when chancellor thee mumbled
And wast by him from post to pillar tumbled?
Did we connive at spilling Shrewsbury's life,
That with more freedom thou might'st whore his wife?
And all for this return? Ungrateful wretch,
May pox and plague and devil hence thee fetch!
Or some prorogued, incensed Felton, rather,
Send this cursed son to find his guilty father!
No other way could'st find t' attain thy ends
Than by disgusting the king and his best friends,
Turn off the Parliament that ne'er king before
Had such a one, nor never will have more?
What gave thee cause to fear we should not do
Whate'er the king or thou commanded's to?
If standing army 'twas thou would'st been at,
As well as others we would have raised that.
We could have made, as well as any other,
The bastard's right legitimate as brother,
Turned Kate a-grazing, the infecund queen,
And newer issue had, had the humor been.
League Tripartite we could have broke and dance
Framed to the measure and the pipe of France,
Looked through our fingers and laughed to behold
New London flaming, as we did the old.
We could have yielded to raise citadel
More our own city than the Dutch to quell.
We could plots make, as Oliver on Hewit,
And make them guilty on't that never knew it.
And must we, after all our service done
In field for father and in House for son,
Be thus cashiered to please a pocky peer
That neither Roundhead is nor Cavalier,
But of some medley cut, some ill-shaped brat,
Would fain be something if he knew but what?
A commonwealth's man he owns himself to be,
And, by and by, for absolute monarchy,
Then neither likes, but, some new knicknacks found,
Nor fish nor flesh, nor square is nor yet round.
Venetian model pleaseth him at night;
Tomorrow, France is only in the right.
Thus, like light butterflies, much flutter makes,
Sleeps of one judgment, and of another wakes.
Zealous in morn, he doth a bishop make,
Yet before night all bishops down he'd take.
He all things is, but unto nothing true,
All old things hates, but can abide no new.
But please your pocky Grace to give me leave
To ask why thus you do our prince deceive?
Your first prorogue might sure have stood, for then
'Twas time enough for to prorogue again,
And not all in a hurry, sev'n months before
Our former was expired, to add six more.
Was fob so full?
Nell's in again, we hear, though we are out.
Methinks we might have met to give a clout
And then prorogue again: our wont hath been
Never to miss a session 'gainst lying in.
For always 'gainst the time, the French invades,
'Gainst when we money raise to keep the jades,
And twenty to one, before next spring is over,
Marched must our horse again be unto Dover
To guard the shore against the Dutch and French,
When all this means but new supply for wench.
The cursed Cabal saw 'twas in vain to move
For dissolution (we had too much love
To be dissolved), which put thee to find out
This damned side wind to bring thy ends about.
For now the sacred codpiece must keep Lent,
Unless some kind supplies from France be sent.
Our first prorogue had many an ostent plain,
Enough to show we ne'er should sit again,
Had we but hearkened and the foregame played,
We had prevented our being thus betrayed.
For had we observation made, we might
'Fore morn have known the fate we found at night.
For Caesar more presages never had
Of falling greatness than to us were made.
Though Heav'n for us no comets kindly showed,
Yet we had portents which were all as good:
A crow crossed speaker's coach, as to th' House he came;
On crutches that day went the cripple lame;
The Thames at our proroguing backward run;
Moon shone at midnight and at noon the sun;
A hollow, earthy voice in the House was heard,
Which made the speaker of Guy Fawkes afeared;
Owen's pease pottage unkindly boiled that day;
Foul handkerchief in pocket had Bab May;
That day our clock, too, was upon his tricks:
'Twould not go right, struck five when 'twas near six.
But since there's no resisting of our fate,
We hope we may have leave to invocate:
Oh sweet Revenge! let us but live to see
Such rogues to be prorogued as well as we;
Indulge our envy but to see the day,
Though we be ruined all, as well as they.
We tyrants love, if we can tyrants be;
If not, next wish is we may all be free.
Rate this poem: 


No reviews yet.