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SAMUEL BUTLER

FROM

5

HUDIBRAS
When civil fury first grew high,
And men fell out, they knew not why;
When hard words, jealousies, and fears
Set folks together by the ears,
And made them fight, like mad or drunk,
For Dame Religion as for punk,
Whose honesty they all durst swear for,
Though not a man of them knew wherefore;
When gospel-trumpeter, surrounded
With long-eared rout, to battle sounded,
And pulpit, drum ecclesiastic,
Was beat with fist instead of a stick;
Then did Sir Knight abandon dwelling,
And out he rode a colonelling.

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He was in logic a great critic,
Profoundly skilled in analytic.
He could distinguish, and divide
A hair 'twixt south and south-west side,
On either which he would dispute,
Confute, change hands, and still confute.
He'd undertake to prove by force
Of argument a man's no horse.
He'd prove a buzzard is no fowl,
And that a lord may be an owl,
A calf an alderman, a goose a justice,
And rooks committee-men and trustees.
He'd run in debt by disputation,
And pay with ratiocination.
All this by syllogism, true
In mood and figure, he would do.

For rhetoric, he could not ope
His mouth but out there flew a trope;

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And when he happened to break off
['th' middle of his speech, or cough,
H' had hard words ready to show why,
And tell what rules he did it by.
Else when with greatest art he spoke,
You'd think he talked like other folk;
For all a rhetorician's rules
Teach nothing but to name his tools.

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In mathematics he was greater
Than Tycho Brahe or Erra Pater;
For he by geometric scale
Could take the size of pots of ale;
Resolve by sines and tangents, straight,
If bread or butter wanted weight;
And wisely tell what hour o'th' day
The clock does strike, by algebra.

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For his religion, it was fit
To match his learning and his wit:
'T was Presbyterian true blue;
For he was of that stubborn crew
Of errant saints whom all men grant
To be the true Church Militant;
Such as do build their faith upon
The holy text of pike and gun;
Decide all controversies by
Infallible artillery;
And prove their doctrine orthodox
By apostolic blows and knocks;
Call fire and sword and desolation
A godly, thorough reformation,
Which always must be carried on,
And still be doing, never done,
As if religion were intended
For nothing else but to be mended.
A sect whose chief devotion lies
In odd, perverse antipathies;
In falling out with that or this,
And finding somewhat still amiss;
More deevish cross. and spleenatic

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Than dog distract or monkey sick;
That with more care keep holy-day
The wrong than others the right way;
Compound for sins they are inclined to
By damning those they have no mind to;
Still so perverse and opposite,
As if they worshipped God for spite.
The selfsame thing they will abhor
One way, and long another for.
Free-will they one way disavow;
Another, nothing else allow :
All piety consists therein
In them; in other men, all sin.
Rather than fail they will defy
That which they love most tenderly,
Quarrel with minced pies, and disparage
Their best and dearest friend, plum-porridge;
Fat pig and goose itself oppose,
And blaspheme custard through the nose.

1663.

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SIR GEORGE ETHERIDGE

TO A LADY

ASKING HOW LONG HE WOULD LOVE HER

It is not, Celia, in our power

To say how long our love will last;
It may be we within this hour

May lose those joys we now do taste:
The blessed, that immortal be,
From change in love are only free.

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Then since we mortal lovers are,

Ask not how long our love may last;
But while it does, let us take care

Each minute be with pleasure passed :
Were it not madness to deny
To live because we're sure to die?

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Before 1675.

1701.

CHARLES SACKVILLE, EARL OF DORSET

SONG

To all you ladies now at land

We men at sea indite,
But first would have you understand

How hard it is to write:
The Muses now, and Neptune too,
We must implore to write to you,

With a fa, la, la, la, la !

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For though the Muses should prove kind,

And fill our empty brain,
Yet if rough Neptune rouse the wind

To wave the azure main,
Our paper, pen, and ink, and we
Roll up and down our ships at sea-

With a fa, la, la, la, la!

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Then if we write not by each post,

Think not we are unkind,
Nor yet conclude our ships are lost

By Dutchmen or by wind :
Our tears we'll send a speedier way;
The tide shall bring 'em twice a day-

With a fa, la, la, la, la !

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The King with wonder and surprise

Will swear the seas grow bold,
Because the tides will higher rise

Than e'er they did of old;
But let him know it is our tears
Bring floods of grief to Whitehall stairs-

With a fa, la, la, la, la !

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Should foggy Opdam chance to know

Our sad and dismal story,
The Dutch would scorn so weak a foe,

And quit their fort at Goree;
For what resistance can they find
From men who've left their hearts behind ?

With a fa, la, la, la, la !

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