An essay upon satyr, or, A poem on the times under the names of the golden age, the silver age, the brazen age, and the iron age : to which is added, A satyr against Separatists.
Buckingham, John Sheffield, Duke of, 1648-1720 or 21., Dryden, John, 1631-1700.


I'Ve been, Sir, where so many Puritans dwell,
That there are only more of them in Hell:
Where silenc'd Ministers enough were met
To make a Synod; and may make one yet.
Their blessed liberty they've found at last,
And talk'd for all those years of silence past.
Like some half-pin'd, and hunger-starved men,
Who when they next get Victuals surfeit then.
Each Country of the World sent us back some,
Like several Windes, which from all Quarters come,
To make a storm. As't haps, 'tis Sunday too,
And their chief Rabbies preach. To Church I go,
Page  80He whines now, whispers straight, and next does roar;
Now draws his long words, and now leaps them o're.
Such various voices I admir'd, and said,
Sure all the Congregation in him praid.
'Twas the most tedious Soul, the dullest he,
That ever came to Doctrines twenty three,
And nineteen Uses. How he draws his Hum,
And quarters Haw, talks Poppy and Opium!
No Fever a mans eyes could open keep;
All Argus body he'd have preach'd asleep
In half an hour. The Wauld, O Lawd, he cries
Lukewarmness: And this melts the womens eyes.
They sob aloud, and straight aloud I snore,
Till a kinde Psalm tells me the danger's o're.
Flesh'd here with this escape, boldly to th'Hall
I venture, where I meet the Brethren all.
First there to the grave Clergy I am led,
By whatsoever title distinguished,
Whether most reverend Batchellors they be
Of Art, or reverend Sophs, or no Degree.
Next stand the Wall-eyed Sisters all arow,
Nay, their Scal'd-headed Children they come too:
And mingled among these stood gaping there
Those few Lay-men that not o'th' Clergy were.
Now they discourse; some stories here relate
Of bloudy Popish Plots against the State:
Page  81Which by the Spirit, and Providence, no doubt,
The men that made have found most strangely out.
Some blame the King, others more moderate, say,
He's a good man himself, but led away:
The women rip old Wounds, and with small tears
Recount the loss of the three Worthies Ears.
Away you fools, 'twas for the good o'th'men;
They ne're were perfect Round-heads until then.
But against Bishops they all rail; and I
Said boldly, I'd defend the Hierarchy:
To th'Hierarchy they meant no harm at all,
But root and branch for Bishops; to't we fall;
I like a fool, with reason, and those men
With wrested Scripture: a slie Deacon then
Thrust in his Ears, So speaks th'Apostle too:
How speaks he, friend? not in the nose, like you▪
Straight a She-zealot raging to me came,
And said, o'th'what d'you call't party I am;
Bishops are limbs of Antichrist, she cries.
Repent, repent good woman, and be wise,
The Devil will have you else, that I can tell,
Believe't, and poach th' eggs o'those eyes in Hell.
An hideous storm was ready to begin,
When by most blessed Fate the meat came in;
But then so long, so long a Grace is sed,
That a Good Christian when he goes to bed,
Page  82Would be contented with a shorter prayer:
Oh how the Saints injoy'd the creatures there!
Three Pasties in the minute of an hour,
Large, and well wrought, they Root and Branch devour,
As glibly as they'd swallow down Church-land;
In vain the lesser Pies hope to withstand.
On Geese and Capons, with what zeal they feed?
And wond'ring cry, A goodly Bird indeed!
Their spirits thus warm'd, all the jests from them came
Upon the Names of Laud, Duck, Wren, and Lamb,
Canons and Bishops Sees; and one most wise,
I like this innocent Mirth at Dinner, cries,
Which now by one is done; and Grace by two;
The Bells ring, and again to Church we go.
Four Psalms are sung, (wise times no doubt they be,
When Hopkins justles out the Liturgie)
Psalms, which if David from from his seat of Bliss
Doth hear, he little thinks they're meant for his.
And now the Christian Bajazet begins;
The suffering Pulpit groans for Israels sins:
Sins, which in number many though they be,
And crying ones, are yet less loud than he:
His stretch'd-out voice Sedition spreads afar,
Nor does he onely teach, but act a War:
He sweats against the State, Church, Learning, Sense,
And resolves to gain Hell by violence.
Page  83Down, down ev'n to the ground must all things go,
There was some hope the Pulpit would down too.
Work on, work on good Zeal, but still I say,
Law forbids threshing thus o'th' Sabbath-day.
An hour lasts this two-handed Prayer, and yet
Not a kinde syllable from him can Heaven get,
Till to the Parliament he comes at last;
Just at that blessed Word his fury's past:
And here he thanks God in a loving Tone,
But Laud; and then he mounts: All's not yet done:
No, would it were, think I, but much I fear
That all will not be done this two hours here:
For now comes to, As you shall finde it writ,
Repeats his Text, and takes his leave of it;
And straight to his Sermon, in such furious wise,
As made it what they call't, an Exercise.
The Pulpit's his hot Bath: the Brethrens Cheer,
Rost-beef, Minc't-py, and Capon reek out here.
Oh how he whips about six year ago,
When superstitious Decencie did grow
So much in fashion! How he whets his fist
Against the name of Altar, and of Priest!
The very name, in his outragious heat.
Poor innocent Vox ad palcitum how he beat!
Next he cuffs out Set-prayer, even the Lords,
It bindes the Spirit, he says, as'twere with cords;
Page  84Even with Whip-cords. Next must Authority go,
Authority's a kinde of binder too.
First then he intends to breathe himself upon
Church-government; have at the King anon.
The thing's done straight, in poor six minutes space
Titus and Timothy have lost their place;
Nay with th'Apostles too it e'en went hard,
All their Authority two thumps more had mar'd;
Paul and S. Peter might be sure o'th' Doom,
Knew but this Lion Dunce they'd been at Rome.
Now to the State he comes, talks an Alarm,
And at th'malignant party flings his arm;
Defies the King, and thinks his Pulpit full
As safe a place for't, as the Knight does Hull;
What though no Magazine laid in there be?
Scarce all their Guns can make more noise than he.
Plots, Plots he talks of, Jealousies and Fears.
The politick Saints shake their notorious Ears;
Till time, long time (which doth consume and waste
All things) to an end this Sermon brought at last.
What would you have, good Souls? a Reformation?
Oh by all means; but how? o'th' newest fashion;
A pretty slight Religion, cheap, and free,
I know not how, but you may furnish'd be
At Ipswich, Amsterdam, or a Kingdom neer,
Though to say truth, you paid for't there too dear:
Page  85No matter what it costs, we'll reform though;
The Prentices themselves will have it so.
They'll root out Popery whats'ever come,
It is decreed; nor shall thy fate, O Rome,
Resist their Vow: They'll do't to a hair; for they,
Who if upon Shrove-tuesday, or May-day,
Beat an old Bawd, or fright poor Whores they cou'd,
Thought themselves greater than their Founder Lud,
Have now vast thoughts, and scorn to set upon
Any Whore less than her of Babylon.
They're mounted high, contemn the humble play
Of Cat, or Foot-ball on a Holyday
In Finsbury-fields: No, 'tis their brave intent
Wisely t' advise the King and Parliament:
The work in hand they'll disapprove or back,
And cry i'th' Reformation, What d'you lack?
Can they whole Shop-books write, and yet not know
If Bishops have a Right Divine or no?
Or can they sweep their doors, and shops so well,
And for to clense a State as yet not tell?
No; study and experience makes them wise,
Why should they else watch late, and early rise?
Their wit so flows, that when they think to take
But Sermon-notes, they oft new Sermons make:
In Cheapside-cross they Baal and Dagon see;
They know 'tis gilt all o're as well as we.
Page  86Besides, since men did that gay Idol rear,
God has not blest the Herbwives Trading there.
Go on brave Heroes, and perform the rest,
Encrease your fame each day a yard at least,
Till your high Names are gro wn as gloriousfull
As the four London-Prentices at the Bull:
So may your Goodly Ears still prickant grow,
And no bold Hair encrease, to mar the show;
So may your Morefields-pastimes never fail,
And all the Towns about keep mighty Ale;
Ale your own Spirits to raise, and Cakes t'appease
The hungry coyness of your Mistresses:
So may rare Pageants grace the Lord-Mayor's show,
And none finde out that those are Idols too.
So may you come to sleep in Fur at last,
And some Smectymnuan when your days are past,
Your Funeral-sermon of six hours rehearse,
And Heywood sing your Acts in losty Verse.
But stay; who have we next? mark and give room,
The Women with a long Petition come:
Man's understanding is not half so great,
Th'Apple of Knowledge 'twas they first did eat.
First then Plural'ties must be ta'ne away;
Men may learn thence to keep two Wives, they say.
Next, Scholarship and Learning must go down;
Oh fie! your Sex so cruel to the Gown?
Page  69You do'nt the kindeness of some Scholars know;
The Cambridge-women will not have it so.
Learning's the Lamp o'th'Land, that shines so bright,
Are you s'immodest to put out the light?
This is a Conventicle-trick. What's next?
Oh! with the Churches solemn Forms they're vext!
The signe o'th'Cross the Forehead must not bear,
'Twas only you were born to plant signes there.
No Font to wash Native Concupiscence in,
You like that itch still of Original sin.
No solemn Rites of Burial must be shown;
Pox take you, hang your selves, you shall ha'none.
No Organs; Idols to the Ear they be:
No Anthemes; why? nay ask not them, nor me.
There's new Church-musick found instead of those,
The Womens Sighs tun'd to the Teachers Nose.
No Surplice; no? why none, I crave?
They're Rags of Rome, I think: what would you have?
Lastly, they'd Preach too; let them, for no doubt,
A finer Preaching-Age they'll nere finde out.
They've got the Spirit, firy Tongues they've, that's true;
And by their talk those should be double too.
OH Times! oh Manners! when the Church is made
A Prey, nay worse, a scorn to ev'ry Cade,
And ev'ry Tyler; when the popular rage
(The Ages greatest curse) reforms the Age.
Page  88When Reason is for Popery suppress'd,
And Learning counted Jesuitism at least;
When without books Divines must studious be,
And without meat keep Hospitality;
When men 'gainst antient Fathers rev'rend daies
That many-headed Beast Smectymnuus raise,
That Hydra which would grow still, and encrease,
But that at first it met an Hercules;
When the base rout, the Kingdoms dirt, and sink,
To cleanse the Church, and purge the Fountains think,
They who whilst living waters they might take,
Drink Belgian ditches, and the Lemnian lake;
When th'Liturgy, which now so long hath stood
Seal'd by five reverend Bishops sacred Bloud,
Is left for Non-sense, and but pottage thought;
Pottage from Heav'n, like that to Daniel brought:
Their Broaths have such weeds mixt, and are so hot,
The Prophets Sons cry out, Death's in the pot.
Oh times! Oh manners! but me thinks I stay
Too long with them; and so much for to day:
Hereafter more; for since we now begin,
You'll finde we've Muses too as well as Pryn
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