On the Serpentine Combustion by Squibs on my Lord Mayor's Day. An HEROICK POEM. Written Octob. 29. 1686.
OF Hoods demolish'd, Towers laid full low,
Of crackling Crape, and Manto's brought to woe;
Of Scarf consum'd, and Periwig on fire,
Flaming Cravat, and ruinated Squire;
Of lighted Petticoat, and Neck-cloth blazing,
Whisk turn'd to Ashes, and fond Fops a gazing;
Cuffs chark'd to Coal, and Point turn'd all to Cinder,
And Gause soon Me•amorphos'd into Tinder:
Of shining Gorget,
And Apron deeply lac'd in dire Combustion;
Scorch'd Quoif aloft, and sindged Smock alow,
I thought to sing in ample wise, I trow,
Unto the tune of, Fortune is my Foe.
But found the task too great for my weak Quill,
For who is he that artfully can tell?
How skipp'd the Squire, how the frighted Maid;
And, like to Rocket, danc'd the Serenade.
To shun the track of Serpent, looking out
For neat-made Manto, and well-fashion'd Suit.
As if when he had cast his Paper-skin,
With those he did intend to cloath again:
Or that to humane covering in spite,
He'd have each Mortal to turn Adamite;
And fire all, although but thinly clad,
Esteeming Cloaths as Goods prohibited.
Fierce in a quick pursuit, he scouts around,
Where Linnen, or where Woollen's to be found;
And in his greedy rage, and hungry wroth,
Devours Garments faster than the Moth.
Within his blazing Circuit, as he wheels,
Still making faster at the Head than Heels.
Mounting aloft on ground, he makes small stay,
But into arched Windows leads his way;
Where Myriads following, make each Balcone,
Involv'd in Flames, look like the torrid Zone.
Swiftly they move about, with dismal quest,
Not to be charm'd by an Egyptian Priest;
But still must cruise about where good Attire is,
Spight both of Isis and her Friend Osiris;
Scorning each Talisman, or Magick Spell,
Dreadfull as Dragons, and as Python fell;
Scarce e'er to be destroy'd, for Sages write,
These Monsters still will annually affright;
And Hoods and Perukes, with hot jaws will swallow,
Untill the City Praetor turn Apollo.
Lest there shou'd some misconstruction be made of this last Verse, let the Reader know that it alludes to that Fiction of Apollo's killing the Serpent Python; And so Allegorically intimates, that those fiery Ser∣pents which usually fly about on my Lord Mayor's day, will annually continue so to do, unless destroy'd by him.