The Sentiments


Ye mitered fathers of the land,
Is your obedience at a stand?
Now does your conscience boggle?
That nicety was laid aside,
Canon and common law denied,
When you i'th'House did juggle?


What prince could doubt you'd not go on,
Whom you had placed upon the throne,
Whose principles you knew;
The consequence of which each man
That has but common sense might scan;
There's no excuse for you!


Who puts a sword in's enemy's hand
And weaponless denies command,
May strive, but 'tis in vain;
Had you the first great evil waived,
You by the last had ne'er been braved,
Nor in the Tower lain.


In Holy Writ you're conversant,
In Romish maxims ignorant;
Good men I mourn your case:
They'll plight their faith and give their oath,
Keep either, neither, rarely both,
If interest does give place.


To heretics no faith is due,
Would you expect it then to you,
When you are in the role?
Promises are only words,
'Tis binding when the heart accords —
They're licensed to cajole.


Passive Obedience you did preach,
A virtue which we all must reach,
And now you're to it brought;
For when the nail you'd no more drive,
Straight to remove you they contrive,
Though they lost the point they sought.


You see the judges of the land
Are listed in the Roman band,
And what they're bid they do;
Hope of preferment does o'erawe
Both conscience, justice, and the law —
Faith and religion, too.


Sacred engagements are but vain
Your rights and properties to maintain;
They are but words, of course,
And not obliging any more
To heretics than to a whore,
Nor valid, nor of force.


'Tis obvious now to every one,
Since Romish measures are begun,
What we must all expect;
Those sheep are in a woeful stead,
Where wolf and shepherd are agreed
To kill without respect.


Stick to your principles, howe'er,
And neither ax nor faggot fear:
That is the worst can come;
But ere to those they shall you bring,
Though justly we will serve our king,
We'll try a tug with Rome.
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