The Hind and the Panther, Part 3

The Hind and the Panther, Part Three

by John Dryden

A book of the poetry of John Dryden, famous for his allegory "The Hind and the Panther."

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“The Hind and the Panther” by John Dryden was published in 1687. It is an allegory told in heroic couplets, and it has also been described as a beast fable. Here, the animals represent different religious denominations, viewed through the lens of Dryden’s Catholic faith. But you don’t have to be Catholic to appreciate Dryden’s poetic genius: his work stands alone. Note that a hind is a female red deer.

(Still mystified by part three? Check out more notes available here.)

Much malice mingl’d with a little wit,
Perhaps may censure this mysterious writ,
Because the muse has peopl’d Caledon
With panthers, bears, and wolves, and beasts unknown,
As if we were not stock’d with monsters of our own.
Let Aesop answer, who has set to view
Such kinds as Greece and Phrygia never knew;
And mother Hubbard in her homely dress,
Has sharply blam’d a British Lioness,
That Queen, whose feast the factious rabble keep,
Expos’d obscenely naked and asleep.
Led by those great examples, may not I
The wonted organs of their words supply?
If men transact like brutes, ’tis equal then
For brutes to claim the privilege of men.

Others our Hind of folly will endite,
To entertain a dang’rous guest by night.
Let those remember, that she cannot dye
Till rolling time is lost in round eternity;
Nor need she fear the Panther, though untam’d,
Because the Lyon’s peace was now proclaim’d;
The wary salvage would not give offence,
To forfeit the protection of her Prince;
But watch’d the time her vengeance to compleat,
When all her furry sons in frequent Senate met.
Mean while she quench’d her fury at the floud,
And with a Lenten sallad cool’d her bloud.
Their commons, though but coarse, were nothing scant,
Nor did their minds an equal banquet want.

For now the Hind, whose noble nature strove
T’ express her plain simplicity of love,
Did all the honours of her house so well,
No sharp debates disturb’d the friendly meal.
She turn’d the talk, avoiding that extreme,
To common dangers past, a sadly-pleasing theam;
Remembring ev’ry storm which toss’d the state,
When both were objects of the publick hate,
And drop’d a tear betwixt for her own children’s fate.

Nor fail’d she then a full review to make
Of what the Panther suffer’d for her sake.
Her lost esteem, her truth, her loyal care,
Her faith unshaken to an exil’d Heir,
Her strength t’ endure, her courage to defy;
Her choice of honourable infamy.
On these, prolixly thankfull, she enlarg’d,
Then with acknowledgments herself she charg’d:
For friendship of it self, an holy tye,
Is made more sacred by adversity.
Now should they part, malicious tongues wou’d say,
They met like chance companions on the way,
Whom mutual fear of robbers had possess’d;
While danger lasted, kindness was profess’d;
But, that once o’er, the short-liv’d union ends:
The road divides, and there divide the friends.

The Panther nodded when her speech was done,
And thank’d her coldly in a hollow tone.
But said her gratitude had gone too far
For common offices of Christian care.
If to the lawfull Heir she had been true,
She paid but Caesar what was Caesar’s due.
I might, she added, with like praise describe
Your suff’ring sons, and so return your bribe;
But incense from my hands is poorly priz’d,
For gifts are scorn’d where givers are despis’d.
I serv’d a turn, and then was cast away;
You, like the gaudy fly, your wings display,
And sip the sweets, and bask in your Great Patron’s day.

This heard, the Matron was not slow to find
What sort of malady had seiz’d her mind;
Disdain, with gnawing envy, fell despite,
And canker’d malice stood in open sight;
Ambition, int’rest, pride without controul,
And jealousie, the jaundice of the soul;
Revenge, the bloudy minister of ill,
With all the lean tormentors of the will.
‘Twas easie now to guess from whence arose
Her new-made union with her ancient foes;
Her forc’d civilities, her faint embrace,
Affected kindness, with an alter’d face:
Yet durst she not too deeply probe the wound,
As hoping still the nobler parts were sound;
But strove with anodynes t’ assuage the smart,
And mildly thus her med’cine did impart.

Complaints of Lovers help to ease their pain,
It shows a Rest of kindness to complain,
A friendship loth to quit its former hold,
And conscious merit, may be justly bold.
But much more just your jealousie would show,
If others good were injury to you:
Witness, ye heav’ns how I rejoice to see
Rewarded worth, and rising loyalty.
Your Warrior Offspring, that upheld the crown,
The scarlet honours of your peacefull gown,
Are the most pleasing objects I can find,
Charms to my sight, and cordials to my mind:
When vertue spoomes before a prosp’rous gale
My heaving wishes help to fill the sail,
And if my pray’rs for all the brave were heard,
Caesar should still have such, and such should still reward.

The labour’d earth your pains have sow’d and till’d:
‘Tis just you reap the product of the field.
Yours be the harvest; ’tis the beggar’s gain
To glean the fallings of the loaded wain.
Such scatter’d ears as are not worth your care,
Your charity, for alms, may safely spare,
For alms are but the vehicles of pray’r.
My daily bread is lit’rally implor’d,
I have no barns nor granaries to hoard;
If Caesar to his own his hand extends,
Say which of yours his charity offends:
You know he largely gives to more than are his friends.
Are you defrauded, when he feeds the poor,
Our mite decreases nothing of your store;
I am but few, and by your fare you see
My crying sins are not of luxury.
Some juster motive sure your mind withdraws,
And makes you break our friendships holy laws;
For barefac’d envy is too base a cause.

Show more occasion for your discontent,
Your love, the Wolf, wou’d help you to invent,
Some German quarrel, or, as times go now,
Some French, where force is uppermost, will do.
When at the fountains head, as merit ought
To claim the place, you take a swilling draught,
How easy ’tis an envious eye to throw,
And tax the sheep for troubling streams below,
Or call her, (when no further cause you find,)
An enemy profess’d of all your kind.
But then, perhaps, the wicked World wou’d think,
The Wolf design’d to eat as well as drink.

This last allusion gaul’d the Panther more,
Because indeed it rubb’d upon the sore.
Yet seem’d she not to winch, though shrewdly pain’d,
But thus her Passive character maintain’d.

I never grudg’d, whate’er my foes report,
Your flaunting fortune in the Lyon’s court.
You have your day, or you are much bely’d,
But I am always on the suff’ring side:
You know my doctrine, and I need not say,
I will not, but I cannot disobey.
On this firm principle I ever stood:
He of my sons who fails to make it good,
By one rebellious act renounces to my bloud.

Ah, said the Hind, how many sons have you
Who call you mother, whom you never knew!
But most of them who that relation plead
Are such ungracious youths as wish you dead.
They gape at rich revenues which you hold,
And fain wou’d nibble at your grandame gold;
Enquire into your years, and laugh to find
Your crazy temper shews you much declin’d.
Were you not dim, and doted, you might see
A pack of cheats that claim a pedigree,
No more of kin to you, than you to me.
Do you not know, that, for a little coin,
Heralds can foist a name into the line;
They ask you blessing but for what you have,
But once possessed of what with care you save,
The wanton boyes wou’d piss upon your grave.

Your sons of Latitude, that court your grace,
Though most resembling you in form and face,
Are far the worst of your pretended race.
And, but I blush your honesty to blot,
Pray God you prove ’em lawfully begot:
For, in some Popish libells I have read,
The Wolf has been too busie in your bed.
At least their hinder parts, the belly piece,
The paunch, and all that Scorpio claims, are his.
Their malice too a sore suspicion brings;
For though they dare not bark, they snarl at kings:
Nor blame ’em for intruding in your line,
Fat bishopricks are still of right divine.

Think you your new French Proselytes are come
To starve abroad, because they starv’d at home?
Your benefices twinkl’d from afar,
They found the new Messiah by the star:
Those Swisses fight on any side for pay,
And ’tis the living that conforms, not they.
Mark with what management their tribes divide,
Some stick to you, and some to t’ other side,
That many churches may for many mouths provide.
More vacant pulpits wou’d more converts make,
All wou’d have latitude enough to take;
The rest unbenefic’d, your sects maintain;
For ordinations without cures are vain,
And chamber practice is a silent gain.
Your sons of breadth at home, are much like these;
Their soft and easie metals run with ease,
They melt, and take the figure of the mould:
But harden, and preserve it best in gold.

Your Delphick Sword, the Panther then replied,
Is double edg’d, and cuts on either side.
Some sons of mine, who bear upon their shield,
Three steeples Argent in a sable field,
Have sharply tax’d your converts, who unfed,
Have follow’d you for miracles of bread;
Such, who themselves of no religion are,
Allur’d with gain, for any will declare.
Bare lyes with bold assertions, they can face,
But dint of argument is out of place.
The grim Logician puts ’em in a fright,
‘Tis easier far to flourish than to fight.
Thus our eighth Henry’s marriage they defame;
They say the schism of beds began the game,
Devorcing from the Church to wed the Dame.
Though largely prov’d, and by himself profess’d,
That conscience, conscience wou’d not let him rest,
I mean not till possess’d of her he lov’d,
And old, uncharming Catherine was remov’d.
For sundry years before he did complain,
And told his ghostly Confessour his pain.
With the same impudence, without a ground,
They say, that, look the reformation round,
No Treatise of Humility is found.
But if none were, the Gospel does not want,
Our Saviour preach’d it, and I hope you grant,
The sermon on the mount was Protestant:

No doubt, reply’d the Hind, as sure as all
The writings of Saint Peter and Saint Paul.
On that decision let it stand or fall.
Now for my converts, who you say unfed,
Have followed me for miracles of bread.
Judge not by hear-say, but observe at least,
If since their change, their loaves have been increast.
The Lyon buys no Converts, if he did,
Beasts wou’d be sold as fast as he cou’d bid.
Tax those of int’rest, who conform for gain,
Or stay the market of another reign.
Your broad-way sons wou’d never be too nice
To close with Calvin, if he paid their price;
But raised three steeples higher, wou’d change their note,
And quit the Cassock for the Canting-coat.
Now, if you damn this censure, as too bold,
Judge by your selves, and think not others sold.

Meantime my sons accus’d, by fames report,
Pay small attendance at the Lyon’s court,
Nor rise with early crowds, nor flatter late,
(For silently they beg who daily wait.)
Preferment is bestow’d that comes unsought,
Attendance is a bribe, and then ’tis bought.
How they shou’d speed, their fortune is untry’d,
For not to ask, is not to be deny’d.
For what they have, their God and King they bless,
And hope they shou’d not murmur, had they less.
But if reduc’d subsistence to implore,
In common prudence they wou’d pass your door;
Unpitty’d Hudibras, your Champion friend,
Has shown how far your charities extend.
This lasting verse shall on his tomb be read,
He shamed you living, and upbraids you dead.

With odious Atheist names you load your foes,
Your lib’ral Clergy why did I expose?
It never fails in charities like those.
In climes where true religion is profess’d,
That imputation were no laughing jest.
But Imprimatur, with a Chaplain’s name,
Is here sufficient licence to defame.
What wonder is ‘t that black detraction thrives,
The Homicide of names is less than lives;
And yet the perjured murtherer survives.

This said, she paus’d a little, and suppressed
The boiling indignation of her breast;
She knew the virtue of her blade, nor wou’d
Pollute her satire with ignoble bloud:
Her panting foe she saw before her lye,
And back she drew the shining weapon dry:
So when the gen’rous Lyon has in sight
His equal match, he rouses for the fight;
But when his foe lyes prostrate on the plain,
He sheaths his paws, uncurls his angry mane;
And, pleas’d with bloudless honours of the day,
Walks over, and disdains th’ inglorious Prey.
So JAMES, if great with less we may compare,
Arrests his rowling thunder-bolts in air;
And grants ungratefull friends a lengthen’d space,
T’ implore the remnants of long suff’ring grace.

This breathing-time the matron took; and then
Resum’d the thrid of her discourse agen.
Be vengeance wholly left to pow’rs divine,
And let heav’n judge betwixt your sons and mine:
If joyes hereafter must be purchas’d here
With loss of all that mortals hold so dear,
Then welcome infamy and publick shame,
And, last, a long farewell to worldly fame.
‘Tis said with ease, but oh, how hardly try’d
By haughty souls to humane honour tied!
O sharp convulsive pangs of agonizing pride!
Down then thou rebell, never more to rise!
And what thou didst, and do’st, so dearly prize,
That fame, that darling fame, make that thy sacrifice.
‘Tis nothing thou hast giv’n; then add thy tears
For a long race of unrepenting years:
‘Tis nothing yet; yet all thou hast to give,
Then add those may-be years thou hast to live.
Yet nothing still: then poor, and naked come,
Thy Father will receive his unthrift home,
And thy blest Saviour’s bloud discharge the mighty sum.

Thus (she pursu’d) I discipline a son
Whose uncheck’d fury to revenge wou’d run:
He champs the bit, impatient of his loss,
And starts a-side, and flounders at the cross.
Instruct him better, gracious God, to know,
As thine is vengeance, so forgiveness too;
That suff’ring from ill tongues, he bears no more
Than what his Sovereign bears, and what his Saviour bore.

It now remains for you to school your child,
And ask why God’s anointed he revil’d;
A King and Princess dead! did Shimei worse?
The curser’s punishment should fright the curse:
Your son was warn’d, and wisely gave it o’re,
But he who councell’d him, has paid the score:
The heavy malice cou’d no higher tend,
But woe to him on whom the weights descend:
So to permitted ills the Daemon flies:
His rage is aim’d at him who rules the skyes;
Constrain’d to quit his cause, no succour found,
The foe discharges ev’ry Tyre around,
In clouds of smoke abandoning the fight,
But his own thundring peals proclaim his flight.

In Henry’s change his charge as ill succeeds,
To that long story little answer needs,
Confront but Henry’s words with Henry’s deeds.
Were space allow’d, with ease it might be prov’d,
What springs his blessed reformation mov’d.
The dire effects appear’d in open sight,
Which from the cause, he calls a distant flight,
And yet no larger leap than from the sun to light.

Now last your sons a double Paean sound,
A Treatise of Humility is found.
‘Tis found, but better it had ne’er been sought
Than thus in Protestant procession brought.
The fam’d original through Spain is known,
Rodriguez work, my celebrated son,
Which yours, by ill-translating, made his own,
Conceal’d its author, and usurp’d the name,
The basest and ignoblest theft of fame.
My Altars kindl’d first that living coal;
Restore, or practise better what you stole:
That vertue could this humble verse inspire,
‘Tis all the restitution I require.

Glad was the Panther that the charge was clos’d,
And none of all her fav’rite sons expos’d.
For laws of arms permit each injur’d man,
To make himself a saver where he can.
Perhaps the plunder’d merchant cannot tell
The names of Pirates in whose hands he fell:
But at the den of thieves he justly flies,
And ev’ry Algerine is lawfull prize.
No private person in the foe’s estate
Can plead exemption from the publick fate.
Yet Christian laws allow not such redress;
Then let the greater supersede the less.
But let th’ Abettors of the Panther’s crime
Learn to make fairer wars another time.
Some characters may sure be found to write
Among her sons; for ’tis no common sight
A spotted Dam, and all her offspring white.

The Salvage, though she saw her plea controll’d,
Yet wou’d not wholly seem to quit her hold,
But offer’d fairly to compound the strife,
And judge conversion by the convert’s life.
‘Tis true, she said, I think it somewhat strange,
So few shou’d follow profitable change:
For present joys are more to flesh and bloud,
Than a dull prospect of a distant good.
‘Twas well alluded by a son of mine,
(I hope to quote him is not to purloin.)
Two magnets, heav’n and earth, allure to bliss,
The larger loadstone that, the nearer this:
The weak attraction of the greater fails,
We nodd a-while, but neighbourhood prevails:
But when the greater proves the nearer too,
I wonder more your converts come so slow.
Methinks in those who firm with me remain,
It shows a nobler principle than gain.

Your inf’rence wou’d be strong, the Hind replied,
If yours were in effect the suff’ring side:
Your clergy sons their own in peace possess,
Nor are their prospects in reversion less.
My Proselytes are struck with awfull dread,
Your bloudy Comet-laws hang blazing o’re their head.
The respite they enjoy but onely lent,
The best they have to hope, protracted punishment.
Be judge your self, if int’rest may prevail,
Which motives, yours or mine, will turn the scale.
While pride and pomp allure, and plenteous ease,
That is, till man’s predominant passions cease,
Admire no longer at my slow encrease.

By education most have been misled,
So they believe, because they so were bred.
The Priest continues what the nurse began,
And thus the child imposes on the man.
The rest I nam’d before, nor need repeat:
But int’rest is the most prevailing cheat,
The sly seducer both of age and youth;
They study that, and think they study truth:
When int’rest fortifies an argument
Weak reason serves to gain the wills assent;
For souls, already warp’d receive an easie bent.

Add long prescription of establish’d laws,
And picque of honour to maintain a cause,
And shame of change, and fear of future ill,
And Zeal, the blind conductor of the will,
And chief among the still mistaking crowd,
The fame of teachers obstinate and proud,
And, more than all, the private Judge allowed.
Disdain of Fathers which the daunce began,
And last, uncertain who’s the narrower span,
The clown unread, and half-read gentleman.

To this the Panther, with a scornfull smile:
Yet still you travail with unwearied toil,
And range around the realm without controll
Among my sons for Proselytes to prole,
And here and there you snap some silly soul.
You hinted fears of future change in state,
Pray heav’n you did not prophesie your fate;
Perhaps you think your time of triumph near,
But may mistake the season of the year;
The Swallows fortune gives you cause to fear.

For charity (replied the Matron) tell
What sad mischance those pretty birds befell.

Nay, no mischance, (the savage Dame reply’d)
But want of wit in their unerring guide,
And eager haste, and gaudy hopes, and giddy pride.
Yet, wishing timely warning may prevail,
Make you the moral, and I’ll tell the tale.

The Swallow, privileg’d above the rest
Of all the birds, as man’s familiar Guest,
Pursues the Sun in summer brisk and bold,
But wisely shuns the persecuting cold:
Is well to chancels and to chimneys known,
Though ’tis not thought she feeds on smoak alone.
From hence she has been held of heav’nly line,
Endu’d with particles of soul divine.
This merry Chorister had long possess’d
Her summer seat, and feather’d well her nest:
Till frowning skys began to change their chear
And time turn’d up the wrong side of the year;
The shading trees began the ground to strow
With yellow leaves, and bitter blasts to blow.
Sad auguries of winter thence she drew,
Which by instinct, or Prophecy, she knew:
When prudence warn’d her to remove betimes,
And seek a better heav’n, and warmer clymes.

Her sons were summon’d on a steeples height,
And, call’d in common council, vote a flight;
The day was nam’d, the next that shou’d be fair,
All to the gen’ral rendezvous repair,
They try their flutt’ring wings, and trust themselves in air.
But whether upward to the moon they go,
Or dream the winter out in caves below,
Or hawk at flies elsewhere, concerns us not to know.

Southwards, you may be sure, they bent their flight,
And harbour’d in a hollow rock at night:
Next morn they rose, and set up ev’ry sail,
The wind was fair, but blew a mackrel gale:
The sickly young sat shivering on the shoar,
Abhorr’d salt-water never seen before,
And pray’d their tender mothers to delay
The passage, and expect a fairer day.

With these the Martyn readily concurr’d,
A church-begot and church-believing bird;
Of little body, but of lofty mind,
Round belly’d, for a dignity design’d,
And much a dunce, as Martyns are by kind.
Yet often quoted Cannon-laws, and Code,
And Fathers which he never understood,
But little learning needs in noble bloud.
For, sooth to say, the Swallow brought him in,
Her houshold Chaplain, and her next of kin.
In Superstition silly to excess,
And casting Schemes by planetary guess:
In fine, shortwing’d, unfit himself to fly,
His fear foretold foul weather in the sky.

Besides, a Raven from a wither’d Oak,
Left of their lodging, was observ’d to croke.
That omen lik’d him not, so his advice
Was present safety, bought at any price.
(A seeming pious care, that covered cowardice.)
To strengthen this, he told a boding dream,
Of rising waters, and a troubl’d stream,
Sure signs of anguish, dangers, and distress,
With something more, not lawfull to express:
By which he slyly seemed to intimate
Some secret revelation of their fate.
For he concluded, once upon a time,
He found a leaf inscrib’d with sacred rhime,
Whose antique characters did well denote
The Sibyl’s hand of the Cumaean Grott:
The mad Divineress had plainly writ,
A time shou’d come (but many ages yet,)
In which, sinister destinies ordain,
A Dame shou’d drown with all her feather’d train,
And seas from thence be call’d the Chelidonian main.
At this, some shook for fear; the more devout
Arose, and bless’d themselves from head to foot.

‘Tis true, some stagers of the wiser sort
Made all these idle wonderments their sport:
They said, their onely danger was delay,
And he, who heard what ev’ry fool cou’d say,
Wou’d never fix his thoughts, but trim his time away.
The passage yet was good, the wind, ’tis true,
Was somewhat high, but that was nothing new,
No more than usual Equinoxes blew.
The Sun (already from the scales declin’d)
Gave little hopes of better days behind,
But change from bad to worse of weather and of wind.
Nor need they fear the dampness of the Sky
Should flag their wings, and hinder them to fly,
‘Twas onely water thrown on sails too dry.
But, least of all Philosophy presumes
Of truth in dreams, from melancholy fumes:
Perhaps the Martyn, hous’d in holy ground,
Might think of Ghosts that walk their midnight round,
Till grosser atoms tumbling in the stream
Of fancy, madly met and clubb’d into a dream.
As little weight his vain presages bear,
Of ill effect to such alone who fear;
Most prophecies are of a piece with these,
Each Nostradamus can foretell with ease:
Not naming persons, and confounding times,
One casual truth supports a thousand lying rhymes.

Th’ advice was true, but fear had seized the most,
And all good counsel is on cowards lost.
The question crudely put, to shun delay,
‘Twas carry’d by the major part to stay.

His point thus gain’d, Sir Martyn dated thence
His pow’r, and from a Priest became a Prince.
He order’d all things with a busie care,
And cells, and refectories did prepare,
And large provisions lay’d of winter fare.
But now and then let fall a word or two,
Of hope, that heav’n some miracle might show,
And, for their sakes, the sun shou’d backward go;
Against the laws of nature upward climb,
And, mounted on the Ram, renew the prime;
For which two proofs in Sacred story lay,
Of Ahaz dial, and of Joshua’s day.
In expectation of such times as these,
A chapell housed ’em, truly call’d of ease:
For Martyn much devotion did not ask,
They pray’d sometimes, and that was all their task.

It happen’d (as beyond the reach of wit
Blind prophecies may have a lucky hit)
That, this accomplish’d, or at least in part,
Gave great repute to their new Merlin’s art.
Some Swifts, the Gyants of the Swallow kind,
Large limb’d, stout-hearted, but of stupid mind,
(For Swisses, or for Gibeonites design’d,)
These Lubbers, peeping through a broken pane,
To suck fresh air, survey’d the neighbouring plain,
And saw (but scarcely cou’d believe their eyes)
New blossoms flourish, and new flow’rs arise;
As God had been abroad, and, walking there,
Had left his foot-steps, and reform’d the year:
The sunny hills from far were seen to glow
With glittering beams, and in the meads below
The burnish’d brooks appear’d with liquid gold to flow.
At last they heard the foolish Cuckow sing,
Whose note proclaim’d the holiday of spring.

No longer doubting, all prepare to fly,
And repossess their patrimonial sky.
The Priest before them did his wings display;
And, that good omens might attend their way,
As luck wou’d have it, ’twas St. Martyn’s day.

Who but the Swallow now triumphs alone,
The Canopy of heaven is all her own,
Her youthfull offspring to their haunts repair;
And glide along in glades, and skim in air,
And dip for insects in the purling springs,
And stoop on rivers to refresh their wings.
Their mother thinks a fair provision made,
That ev’ry son can live upon his trade,
And now the carefull charge is off their hands,
Look out for husbands, and new nuptial bands:
The youthfull widow longs to be supply’d;
But first the lover is by Lawyers ty’d
To settle jointure-chimneys on the bride.
So thick they couple, in so short a space,
That Martyns marr’age offerings rise apace;
Their ancient houses, running to decay,
Are furbish’d up, and cemented with clay;
They teem already; store of eggs are laid,
And brooding mothers call Lucina’s aid.
Fame spreads the news, and foreign fowls appear,
In flocks, to greet the new returning year,
To bless the founder, and partake the cheer.

And now ’twas time (so fast their numbers rise)
To plant abroad and people colonies;
The youth drawn forth, as Martyn had desir’d,
(For so their cruel destiny requir’d)
Were sent far off on an ill fated day;
The rest wou’d needs conduct ’em on their way,
And Martyn went, because he feared alone to stay.

So long they flew with inconsiderate haste
That now their afternoon began to waste;
And, what was ominous, that very morn
The Sun was entr’d into Capricorn;
Which, by their bad Astronomer’s account,
That week the virgin balance shou’d remount;
An infant moon eclips’d him in his way,
And hid the small remainders of his day:
The crow’d amaz’d, pursued no certain mark;
But birds met birds, and justled in the dark;
Few mind the publick in a Panic fright;
And fear increas’d the horrour of the night.
Night came, but unattended with repose,
Alone she came, no sleep their eyes to close,
Alone, and black she came; no friendly stars arose.

What shou’d they doe, beset with dangers round,
No neighb’ring Dorp, no lodging to be found,
But bleaky plains, and bare, unhospitable ground.
The latter brood, who just began to fly
Sick-feather’d, and unpractised in the sky,
For succour to their helpless mother call,
She spread her wings; some few beneath them craul,
She spread ’em wider yet, but cou’d not cover all.
T’ augment their woes, the winds began to move
Debate in air for empty fields above,
Till Boreas got the skyes, and powr’d amain
His ratling hail-stones mix’d with snow and rain.

The joyless morning late arose, and found
A dreadfull desolation reign a-round,
Some buried in the Snow, some frozen to the ground:
The rest were struggling still with death, and lay
The Crows and Ravens rights, an undefended prey;
Excepting Martyn’s race; for they and he
Had gain’d the shelter of a hollow tree;
But soon discover’d by a sturdy clown,
He headed all the rabble of a town,
And finish’d ’em with bats, or poll’d ’em down.
Martyn himself was caught a-live, and try’d
For treas’nous crimes, because the laws provide
No Martyn there in winter shall abide.
High on an Oak which never leaf shall bear,
He breath’d his last, expos’d to open air,
And there his corpse, unbless’d, is hanging still,
To show the change of winds with his prophetick bill.

The patience of the Hind did almost fail,
For well she mark’d the malice of the tale:
Which Ribbald art their church to Luther owes,
In malice it began, by malice grows,
He sow’d the Serpent’s teeth, an iron-harvest rose.
But most in Martyn’s character and fate,
She saw her slander’d sons, the Panther’s hate,
The people’s rage, the persecuting state:
Then said, I take th’ advice in friendly part,
You clear your conscience, or at least your heart:
Perhaps you fail’d in your fore-seeing skill,
For Swallows are unlucky birds to kill:
As for my sons, the family is bless’d,
Whose ev’ry child is equal to the rest:
No church reform’d can boast a blameless line;
Such Martyns build in yours, and more than mine:
Or else an old fanatick Author lyes,
Who summ’d their Scandals up by Centuries.
But, through your parable I plainly see
The bloudy laws, the crowds barbarity:
The sun-shine, that offends the purblind sight,
Had some their wishes, it wou’d soon be night.
Mistake me not; the charge concerns not you,
Your sons are male-contents, but yet are true,
As far as non-resistance makes ’em so,
But that’s a word of neutral sense you know,
A passive term, which no relief will bring,
But trims betwixt a rebell and a king.

Rest well assur’d the Pardalis replied,
My sons wou’d all support the regal side,
Though heav’n forbid the cause by battel shou’d be try’d.

The Matron answer’d with a loud Amen,
And thus pursu’d her argument agen.
If as you say, and as I hope no less,
Your sons will practise what your self profess,
What angry pow’r prevents our present peace?
The Lyon, studious of our common good,
Desires, (and Kings desires are ill withstood,)
To join our Nations in a lasting love;
The barrs betwixt are easie to remove,
For sanguinary laws were never made above.
If you condemn that Prince of Tyranny
Whose mandate forc’d your Gallick friends to fly,
Make not a worse example of your own,
Or cease to rail at causeless rigour shown,
And let the guiltless person throw the stone.
His blunted sword your suff’ring brotherhood
Have seldom felt, he stops it short of bloud:
But you have ground the persecuting knife,
And set it to a razor edge on life.
Curs’d be the wit which cruelty refines,
Or to his father’s rod the Scorpion joins;
Your finger is more gross than the great Monarch’s loins.
But you perhaps remove that bloudy note,
And stick it on the first Reformers coat.
Oh let their crime in long oblivion sleep,
‘Twas theirs indeed to make, ’tis yours to keep.
Unjust, or just, is all the question now;
‘Tis plain, that not repealing you allow.

To name the Test wou’d put you in a rage,
You charge not that on any former age,
But smile to think how innocent you stand
Arm’d by a weapon put into your hand.
Yet still remember that you weild a sword
Forg’d by your foes against your Sovereign Lord.
Design’d to hew th’ imperial Cedar down,
Defraud Succession, and dis-heir the Crown.
T’ abhor the makers, and their laws approve,
Is to hate Traytors, and the treason love.
What means it else, which now your children say,
We made it not, nor will we take away.

Suppose some great Oppressor had by slight
Of law, disseis’d your brother of his right,
Your common sire surrendering in a fright;
Would you to that unrighteous title stand,
Left by the villain’s will to heir the land?
More just was Judas, who his Saviour sold;
The sacrilegious bribe he cou’d not hold,
Nor hang in peace, before he render’d back the gold.
What more cou’d you have done, than now you doe,
Had Oates and Bedlow and their Plot been true?
Some specious reasons for those wrongs were found;
The dire Magicians threw their mists around,
And wise men walk’d as on inchanted ground.
But now when time has made th’ imposture plain,
(Late though he follow’d truth, and limping held her train,)
What new delusion charms your cheated eyes again?
The painted Harlot might a while bewitch,
But why the Hag uncas’d, and all obscene with itch?

The first Reformers were a modest race;
Our Peers possess’d in peace their native place:
And when rebellious arms o’erturn’d the state,
They suffer’d onely in the common fate;
But now the Sov’reign mounts the regal chair
And mitr’d seats are full, yet David’s bench is bare:
Your answer is, they were not disposses’d,
They need but rub their metal on the Test
To prove their ore: ’twere well if gold alone
Were touched and try’d on your discerning stone;
But that unfaithfull Test unfound will pass
The dross of Atheists, and sectarian brass:
As if th’ experiment were made to hold
For base production, and reject the gold:
Thus men ungodded may to places rise,
And sects may be preferr’d without disguise:
No danger to the church or State from these,
The Papist onely has his Writ of ease.
No gainfull office gives him the pretence
To grind the Subject, or defraud the Prince.
Wrong conscience, or no conscience may deserve
To thrive, but ours alone is privileg’d to sterve.

Still thank your selves, you cry; your noble race
We banish not, but they forsake the place.
Our doors are open: true, but e’er they come,
You toss your censing Test, and fume the room;
As if ’twere Toby’s rival to expell,
And fright the fiend who cou’d not bear the smell.

To this the Panther sharply had reply’d,
But having gain’d a Verdict on her side,
She wisely gave the loser leave to chide;
Well satisfy’d to have the But and peace,
And for the Plaintiff’s cause she car’d the less,
Because she su’d in forma Pauperis;
Yet thought it decent something shou’d be said,
For secret guilt by silence is betray’d:
So neither granted all, nor much deny’d,
But answer’d with a yawning kind of pride.

Methinks such terms of proffer’d peace you bring,
As once Aeneas to th’ Italian King:
By long possession all the land is mine,
You strangers come with your intruding line,
To share my sceptre, which you call to join.
You plead like him an ancient Pedigree,
And claim a peacefull seat by fates decree.
In ready pomp your Sacrificer stands,
T’ unite the Trojan and the Latin bands;
And that the League more firmly may be ty’d,
Demand the fair Lavinia for your bride.
Thus plausibly you veil th’ intended wrong,
But still you bring your exil’d gods along;
And will endeavour in succeeding space,
Those household Poppits on our hearths to place.
Perhaps some barb’rous laws have been preferr’d,
I spake against the Test, but was not heard;
These to rescind, and Peerage to restore,
My gracious Sov’reign wou’d my vote implore:
I owe him much, but owe my conscience more.

Conscience is then your Plea, reply’d the Dame,
Which well-inform’d, will ever be the same.
But yours is much of the Cameleon hew,
To change the dye with ev’ry diff’rent view.
When first the Lyon sat with awfull sway
Your conscience taught your duty to obey:
He might have had your Statutes and your Test;
No conscience but of subjects was profess’d.
He found your temper, and no farther try’d,
But on that broken reed your church rely’d.
In vain the sects assay’d their utmost art
With offer’d treasure to espouse their part,
Their treasures were a bribe too mean to move his heart.
But when by long experience you had proov’d,
How far he cou’d forgive, how well he lov’d;
A goodness that excell’d his godlike race,
And onely short of heav’ns unbounded grace:
A floud of mercy that o’erflow’d our Isle,
Calm in the rise, and fruitfull as the Nile,
Forgetting whence your Aegypt was supply’d,
You thought your Sov’reign bound to send the tide:
Nor upward look’d on that immortal spring,
But vainly deem’d, he durst not be a king:
Then conscience, unrestrain’d by fear, began
To stretch her limits, and extend the span,
Did his indulgence as her gift dispose,
And made a wise Alliance with her foes.
Can conscience own th’ associating name,
And raise no blushes to conceal her shame?
For sure she has been thought a bashfull Dame.
But if the cause by battel should be try’d,
You grant she must espouse the regal side:
O Proteus Conscience, never to be ty’d!
What Phoebus from the Tripod shall disclose,
Which are, in last resort, your friends or foes?
Homer, who learn’d the language of the sky,
The seeming Gordian knot wou’d soon untie;
Immortal pow’rs the term of conscience know,
But int’rest is her name with men below.

Conscience or int’rest be’t, or both in one;
(The Panther answer’d in a surly tone,)
The first commands me to maintain the Crown,
The last forbids to throw my barriers down.
Our penal laws no sons of yours admit,
Our Test excludes your Tribe from benefit.
These are my banks your ocean to withstand,
Which proudly rising overlooks the land:
And once let in, with unresisted sway
Wou’d sweep the Pastors and their flocks away.
Think not my judgment leads me to comply
With laws unjust, but hard necessity:
Imperious need, which cannot be withstood
Makes ill authentick, for a greater good.
Possess your soul with patience, and attend:
A more auspicious Planet may ascend;
Good fortune may present some happier time,
With means to cancell my unwilling crime;
(Unwilling, witness all ye Pow’rs above)
To mend my errours, and redeem your love:
That little space you safely may allow,
Your all-dispensing pow’r protects you now.

Hold, said the Hind, ’tis needless to explain;
You wou’d postpone me to another reign:
Till when you are content to be unjust,
Your part is to possess, and mine to trust.
A fair exchange propos’d of future chance,
For present profit and inheritance:
Few words will serve to finish our dispute,
Who will not now repeal wou’d persecute;
To ripen green revenge your hopes attend,
Wishing that happier Planet wou’d ascend:
For shame let Conscience be your Plea no more,
To will hereafter, proves she might before;
But she’s a Bawd to gain, and holds the Door.

Your care about your Banks, infers a fear
Of threatning Floods and inundations near;
If so, a just Reprise would only be
Of what the Land usurp’d upon the Sea;
And all your Jealousies but serve to show
Your Ground is, like your Neighbour-Nation, low.
T’ intrench in what you grant unrighteous Laws,
Is to distrust the justice of your Cause;
And argues that the true Religion lyes
In those weak Adversaries you despise.

Tyrannick force is that which least you fear,
The sound is frightfull in a Christian’s ear;
Avert it, Heav’n; nor let that Plague be sent
To us from the dispeopled Continent.

But Piety commands me to refrain;
Those Pray’rs are needless in this Monarch’s Reign.
Behold! how he protects your Friends opprest,
Receives the Banish’d, succours the Distress’d:
Behold, for you may read an honest open Breast.
He stands in Day-light, and disdains to hide
An Act to which, by Honour he is ty’d
A generous, laudable, and Kingly Pride.
Your Test he would repeal, his Peers restore,
This when he says he means, he means no more.

Well, said the Panther, I believe him just,
And yet—

And yet, ‘Tis but because you must,
You would be trusted, but you would not trust.
The Hind thus briefly, and disdain’d t’ inlarge
On Pow’r of Kings, and their Superiour charge,
As Heav’ns Trustees before the Peoples choice:
Tho’ sure the Panther did not much rejoyce
To hear those Echo’s giv’n of her once Loyal voice.

The Matron woo’d her Kindness to the last,
But cou’d not win; her hour of Grace was past.
Whom thus persisting when she could not bring
To leave the Woolf, and to believe her King,
She gave Her up, and fairly wish’d her Joy
Of her late Treaty with her new Ally:
Which well she hop’d wou’d more successful prove,
Than was the Pigeons and the Buzzards love.
The Panther ask’d, what concord there cou’d be
Betwixt two kinds whose Natures disagree?
The Dame reply’d, ‘Tis sung in ev’ry Street,
The common chat of Gossips when they meet:
But since unheard by you, ’tis worth your while
To take a wholesome Tale, tho’ told in homely style.

A Plain good Man, whose Name is understood,
(So few deserve the name of Plain and Good)
Of three fair lineal Lordships stood possess’d,
And liv’d, as reason was, upon the best;
Inur’d to hardships from his early Youth,
Much had he done and suffer’d for his truth:
At Land and Sea, in many a doubtfull Fight,
Was never known a more advent’rous Knight,
Who oftener drew his Sword, and always for the right.

As Fortune wou’d, (his fortune came, tho’ late)
He took Possession of his just Estate:
Nor rack’d his Tenants with increase of Rent,
Nor liv’d too sparing, nor too largely spent;
But overlook’d his Hinds, their Pay was just,
And ready, for he scorn’d to go on trust:
Slow to resolve, but in performance quick;
So true, that he was awkward at a trick.
For little Souls on little shifts rely,
And coward Arts of mean Expedients try:
The noble Mind will dare do anything but lye.
False Friends, (his deadliest foes,) could find no way
But shows of honest bluntness, to betray;
That unsuspected plainness he believ’d,
He look’d into Himself, and was deceiv’d.
Some lucky Planet sure attends his Birth,
Or Heav’n wou’d make a Miracle on Earth;
For prosp’rous Honesty is seldom seen:
To bear so dead a weight, and yet to win.
It looks as Fate with Nature’s Law would strive,
To show Plain dealing once an age may thrive:
And, when so tough a frame she cou’d not bend,
Exceeded her Commission to befriend.

This gratefull man, as Heav’n encreas’d his Store,
Gave God again, and daily fed his Poor;
His House with all convenience was purvey’d,
The rest he found, but rais’d the Fabrick where he pray’d;
And in that Sacred Place his beauteous Wife
Employ’d Her happiest hours of Holy Life.

Nor did their Alms extend to those alone
Whom common Faith more strictly made their own;
A sort of Doves were hous’d too near the Hall,
Who cross the Proverb, and abound with Gall.
Tho’ some ’tis true, are passively inclin’d,
The greater Part degenerate from their kind;
Voracious Birds, that hotly Bill and breed,
And largely drink, because on Salt they feed.
Small Gain from them their Bounteous Owner draws,
Yet, bound by Promise, he supports their Cause,
As Corporations privileg’d by Laws.

That House which harbour to their kind affords
Was built, long since, God knows, for better Birds;
But flutt’ring there they nestle near the Throne,
And lodge in Habitations not their own,
By their high Crops, and Corny Gizzards known.
Like Harpy’s they could scent a plenteous board,
Then to be sure they never fail’d their Lord.
The rest was form, and bare Attendance paid,
They drunk, and eat, and grudgingly obey’d.
The more they fed, they raven’d still for more,
They drain’d from Dan, and left Beersheba poor;
All this they had by Law, and none repin’d,
The pref’rence was but due to Levi’s Kind:
But when some Lay-preferment fell by chance,
The Gourmands made it their Inheritance.
When once possess’d, they never quit their Claim,
For then ’tis sanctify’d to Heav’ns high Name;
And Hallow’d thus they cannot give Consent,
The Gift should be profan’d by Worldly management.

Their Flesh was never to the Table serv’d,
Tho’ ’tis not thence inferr’d the Birds were starv’d;
But that their Master did not like the Food,
As rank, and breeding Melancholy Blood.
Nor did it with His Gracious Nature suite,
E’en tho’ they were not Doves, to persecute:
Yet He refus’d, (nor could they take Offence)
Their Glutton Kind should teach him abstinence.
Nor Consecrated Grain their Wheat he thought,
Which new from treading in their Bills they brought:
But left his Hinds each in his Private Pow’r,
That those who like the Bran might leave the Flow’r.
He for himself, and not for others chose,
Nor would He be impos’d on, nor impose;
But in their Faces His Devotion paid,
And Sacrifice with Solemn Rites was made,
And Sacred Incense on His Altars laid.

Besides these jolly Birds, whose Crops impure
Repay’d their Commons with their Salt Manure,
Another Farm he had behind his House,
Not overstock’t, but barely for his use;
Wherein his poor Domestick Poultry fed,
And from His Pious Hands receiv’d their Bread.
Our pamper’d Pigeons with malignant Eyes,
Beheld these Inmates, and their Nurseries:
Tho’ hard their fare, at Ev’ning, and at Morn
A Cruise of Water and an Ear of Corn;
Yet still they grudg’d that Modi’um, and thought
A Sheaf in ev’ry single Grain was brought;
Fain would they filch that little Food away,
While unrestrain’d those happy Gluttons prey;
And much they griev’d to see so nigh their Hall,
The bird that warn’d St. Peter of his Fall;
That he should raise his mitr’d Crest on high,
And clap his Wings, and call his Family
To Sacred Rites; and vex th’ Ethereal Pow’rs
With midnight Mattins, at uncivil Hours:
Nay more, his quiet Neighbours should molest,
Just in the sweetness of their Morning rest.

Beast of a Bird, supinely when he might
Lie snugg and sleep, to rise before the light:
What if his dull Forefathers us’d that cry,
Cou’d he not let a Bad Example dye?
The World was fall’n into an easier way,
This Age knew better, than to Fast and Pray.
Good Sense in Sacred Worship would appear
So to begin, as they might end the year.
Such feats in former times had wrought the falls
Of crowing Chanticleers in Cloyster’d Walls.
Expell’d for this, and for their Lands they fled,
And Sister Partlet with her hooded head
Was hooted hence, because she wou’d not pray a Bed.
The way to win the resless World to God,
Was to lay by the Disciplining Rod,
Unnatural Fasts, and Foreign Forms of Pray’r;
Religion frights us with a meen severe.
‘Tis Prudence to reform her into Ease,
And put Her in undrest to make her pleas:
A lively Faith will bear aloft the Mind,
And leave the Luggage of Good Works behind.

Such Doctrines in the Pigeon-house were taught;
You need not ask how wondrously they wrought;
But sure the common Cry was all for these
Whose Life, and Precept both encourag’d Ease.
Yet fearing those alluring Baits might fail,
And Holy Deeds o’re all their Arts prevail:
(For Vice, thou’ frontless, and of harden’d Face
Is daunted at the sight of awfull Grace)
An hideous Figure of their Foes they drew,
Nor Lines, nor Looks, nor Shades, nor Colours true;
And this Grotesque design expos’d to Publick view.
One would have thought it an Aegyptian Piece,
With Garden-Gods, and barking Deities,
More thick than Ptolemy has stuck the Skies.
All so perverse a Draught, so far unlike,
It was no Libell where it meant to strike:
Yet still the daubing pleas’d, and Great and Small,
To view the Monster crowded Pigeon-hall.
There Chanticleer was drawn upon his knees,
Adorning Shrines, and Stocks of Sainted Trees,
And by him, a mishapen, ugly Race;
The Curse of God was seen on ev’ry Face:
No Holland Emblem could that Malice mend,
But still the worse the look, the fitter for a Fiend.

The Master of the Farm displeased to find
So much of Rancour in so mild a kind,
Enquir’d into the Cause, and came to know,
The Passive Church had struck the foremost blow:
With groundless Fears, and Jealousies possest,
As if this troublesome intruding Guest
Would drive the Birds of Venus, from their Nest.
A Deed his inborn Equity abhorr’d,
But Int’rest will not trust, tho’ God should plight his Word.

A Law, the Source of many Future harms,
Had banish’d all the Poultry from the Farms;
With loss of Life, if any should be found
To crow or peck on this forbidden Ground:
That Bloody Statute chiefly was design’d
For Chanticleer the white, of Clergy kind;
But after-malice did not long forget
The Lay that wore the Robe, and Coronet;
For them, for their Inferiors and Allyes,
Their Foes a deadly Shibboleth devise:
By which unrighteously it was decreed,
That none to Trust, or Profit should succeed;
Who would not swallow first a poysonous wicked Weed;
Or that, to which old Socrates was curs’d,
Or Henbane-Juice to swell ’em till they burst.
The patron (as in reason) thought it hard
To see this Inquisition in his Yard,
By which the Soveraign was of Subjects use debarr’d.

All gentle means he try’d, which might withdraw
Th’ Effects of so unnatural a Law:
But still the Dove-house obstinately stood
Deaf to their own, and to their Neighbours good:
And which was worse, (if any worse could be)
Repented of their boasted Loyalty:
Now made the Champions of a cruel Cause,
And drunk with Fumes of Popular Applause;
For those whom God to ruine has design’d,
He fits for Fate, and first destroys their Mind.

New Doubts indeed they daily strove to raise,
Suggested Dangers, interpos’d Delays,
And Emissary Pigeons had in store,
Such as the Meccan Prophet us’d of yore,
To whisper Counsels in their Patrons Ear,
And veil’d their false Advice with Zealous Fear.
The Master smil’d to see ’em work in vain,
To wear him out, and make an idle reign:
He saw, but suffer’d their Protractive Arts,
And strove by mildness to reduce their Hearts;
But they abus’d that Grace to make Allyes,
And fondly clos’d with former Enemies;
For Fools are double Fools endeav’ring to be wise.

After a grave Consult what course were best,
One more mature in Folly than the rest,
Stood up, and told ’em, with his head aside,
That desp’rate Cures must be to desp’rate ills apply’d:
And therefore, since their main impending fear
Was from th’ increasing race of Chanticleer:
Some Potent Bird of Prey they ought to find,
A Foe profess’d to him, and all his kind:
Some haggar’d Hawk, who had her eyry nigh,
Well pounc’d to fasten, and well wing’d to fly;
One they might trust, their common wrongs to wreak:
The Musquet, and the Coystrel were too weak,
Too fierce the Falcon; but, above the rest,
The noble Buzzard ever pleas’d me best;
Of small Renown, ’tis true, for not to lye,
We call him but a Hawk by courtesie.
I know he haunts the Pigeon-house and Farm,
And more, in time of War, has done us harm;
But all his hate on trivial Points depends,
Give up our Forms, and we shall soon be friends.
For Pigeons’ flesh he seems not much to care;
Cram’d Chickens are a more delicious fare;
On this high Potentate, without delay,
I wish you would confer the Sovereign sway:
Petition him t’ accept the Government,
And let a splendid Embassy be sent.

This pithy Speech prevail’d, and all agreed,
Old Enmities forgot, the Buzzard should succeed.

Their welcom Suit was granted soon as heard,
His Lodgings furnish’d, and a Train prepar’d,
With B’s upon their Breast, appointed for his Guard.
He came, and Crown’d with great Solemnity,
God save King Buzzard, was the gen’rall cry.

A Portly Prince, and goodly to the sight,
He seem’d a Son of Anak for his height:
Like those whom stature did to Crowns prefer;
Black-brow’d, and bluff, like Homer’s Jupiter;
Broad-back’d, and Brawny built for Love’s delight,
A Prophet form’d, to make a female Proselyte.
A Theologue more by need, than nat’ral bent,
By Breeding sharp, by Nature confident.
Int’rest in all his Actions was discern’d;
More learn’d than Honest, more a Wit than learn’d.
Or forc’d by Fear, or by his Profit led,
Or both, his own unhappy clyme he fled;
But brought the Vertues of his Heav’n along,
A fair Behaviour, and a flatt’ring Tongue:
And yet with all his Arts he could not thrive,
The most unlucky Parasite alive.
Loud Praises to prepare his Paths he sent,
And then himself pursu’d his Compliment:
But, by reverse of Fortune chas’d away,
His Gifts no longer than their Author stay:
He shakes the Dust against th’ ungrateful race,
And leaves the stench of Ordures in the place.
Oft has he flatter’d, and blasphem’d the same,
For in his Rage he spares no Sov’rains name:
The Hero, and the Tyrant change their style,
By the same measure that they frown or smile;
When well receiv’d by hospitable Foes,
The kindness he returns, is to expose:
For Courtesies, tho’ undeserv’d and great,
No gratitude in Fellon-minds beget,
As tribute to his Wit, the churl receives the treat.
His praise of Foes is venomously Nice;
So touch’d, it turns a Vertue to a Vice:
A Greek, and bountiful, forewarns us twice.
Sev’n Sacraments he wisely do’s disown,
Because he knows Confession stands for one;
Where Sins to sacred silence are convey’d,
And not for Fear, or Love, to be betray’d:
But he, uncall’d, his Patron to controul,
Divulg’d the secret whispers of his Soul:
Stood forth th’ accusing Satan of his Crimes,
And offer’d to the Moloch of the Times.
Prompt to assayle, and careless of defence,
Invulnerable in his Impudence,
He dares the World; and, eager of a name,
He thrusts about, and justles into fame.
Frontless, and Satyr-proof, he scow’rs the streets,
And runs an Indian muck at all he meets.
So fond of loud Report, that, not to miss
Of being known, (his last and utmost bliss,)
He rather wou’d be known, for what he is.

Such was, and is, the Captain of the test,
Tho’ half his Vertues are not here express’t;
The modesty of Fame conceals the rest.
The spleenful Pigeons never could create
A Prince more proper to revenge their hate:
Indeed, more proper to revenge, than save;
A King, whom in his wrath th’ Almighty gave:
For all the Grace the Landlord had allow’d,
But made the Buzzard and the Pigeons proud;
Gave time to fix their Friends, and to seduce the crowd.
They long their Fellow-Subjects to enthrall,
Their Patron’s promise into question call,
And vainly think he meant to make ’em Lords of all.

False Fears their Leaders fail’d not to suggest,
As if the Doves were to be disposses’t;
Nor Sighs, nor Groans, nor gogling Eyes did want;
For now the Pigeons too had learn’d to Cant.
The House of Pray’r is stock’d with large encrease;
Nor doors, nor windows, can contain the press,
For Birds of ev’ry feather fill th’ abode;
E’en Atheists out of envy own a God:
And, reeking from the Stews, Adulterers come,
Like Goths and Vandals to demolish Rome.
That Conscience, which to all their Crimes was mute,
Now calls aloud, and cryes to Persecute.
No rigour of the Laws to be releas’d,
And much the less, because it was their Lords request:
They thought it great their Sov’rain to controul,
And nam’d their Pride, Nobility of Soul.

‘Tis true, the Pigeons, and their Prince Elect
Were short of Pow’r, their purpose to effect:
But with their Quills did all the hurt they cou’d,
And cuffed the tender Chickens from their food:
And much the Buzzard in their Cause did stir,
Tho’ naming not the Patron, to infer
With all respect, He was a gross Idolater.

But when th’ Imperial owner did espy,
That thus they turn’d his Grace to villainy,
Not suff’ring wrath to discompose his mind,
He strove a temper for th’ extremes to find,
So to be just, as he might still be kind.
Then, all Maturely weigh’d, pronounced a Doom
Of Sacred Strength for ev’ry Age to come.
By this the Doves their Wealth and State possess,
No Rights infring’d, but licens’d to oppress:
Such Pow’r have they as Factious Lawyers long
To Crowns ascrib’d, that Kings can do no wrong.
But, since His own Domestick Birds have try’d
The dire Effects of their destructive Pride,
He deems that Proof a Measure to the rest,
Concluding well within his Kingly Breast,
His Fowls of Nature too unjustly were opprest.
He therefore makes all Birds of ev’ry Sect
Free of his Farm, with promise to respect
Their sev’ral kinds alike, and equally protect.
His Gracious Edict the same Franchise yields
To all the wild Encrease of Woods and Fields,
And who in Rocks aloof, and who in Steeples builds.
To Crows the like impartial grace affords,
And Choughs and Daws, and such Republick Birds:
Secur’d with ample Privilege to feed,
Each has his District, and his Bounds decreed:
Combin’d in common Int’rest with his own,
But not to pass the Pigeons’ Rubicon.

Here ends the Reign of this pretended Dove;
All Prophecies accomplish’d from above,
For Shiloh comes the Sceptre to Remove.
Reduc’d from Her Imperial High Abode,
Like Dionysius to a private Rod:
The Passive Church, that with pretended Grace
Did Her distinctive Mark in Duty place,
Now Touch’d, Reviles Her Maker to his Face.

What after happen’d is not hard to guess;
The small Beginnings had a large Encrease,
And Arts and Wealth succeed (the secret spoils of Peace.)
‘Tis said the Doves repented, tho’ too late,
Become the Smiths of their own foolish Fate:
Nor did their Owner hasten their ill hour:
But, sunk in Credit, they decreas’d in Pow’r:
Like Snows in warmth that mildly pass away,
Dissolving in the Silence of Decay.

The Buzzard, not content with equal place,
Invites the feather’d Nimrods of his Race,
To hide the thinness of their Flock from Sight,
And all together make a seeming, goodly Flight:
But each have sep’rate Int’rests of their own,
Two Czars, are one too many for a Throne.
Nor can th’ Usurper long abstain from Food,
Already he has tasted Pigeon’s Blood:
And may be tempted to his former fare,
When this indulgent Lord shall late to Heav’n repair.
Bare benting times, and moulting Months may come,
When, lagging late, they cannot reach their home:
Or rent in Schism, (for so their Fate decrees,)
Like the Tumultuous Colledge of the Bees;
They fight their Quarrel, by themselves opprest,
The Tyrant smiles below, and waits the falling feast.

Thus did the gentle Hind her fable end,
Nor would the Panther blame it, nor commend;
But, with affected Yawnings at the close,
Seem’d to require her natural repose;
For now the streaky light began to peep,
And setting stars admonish’d both to sleep.
The Dame withdrew, and, wishing to her Guest
The peace of Heav’n, betook her self to rest.
Ten thousand Angels on her slumbers wait
With glorious Visions of her future state.


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