A Collection of English Poems, 1660-1800

By Ronald S. Crane | Go to book overview

Yen he sings, and t'other strings,

Tho sweet, yet only teize me; 15
Sawny's Flute can only do?t, 15

And Pipe a Tune to please me.


JOHN OLDHAM
( 1653-1679-1683)

Satyrs upon the Jesuits

Prologue2

FOR who can longer hold? when every Press,
The Bar and Pulpit too has broke the Peace?
When every scribling Fool at the alarms
Has drawn his Pen, and rises up in Arms?

And not a dull Pretender of the Town, 5

But vents his gall in Pamphlet up and down?

When all with licence rail, and who will not,
Must be almost suspected of the PLOT,
And bring his Zeal or else his Parts in doubt?

In vain our Preaching Tribe attack the Foes, 10

In vain their weak Artillery oppose;
Mistaken honest men, who gravely blame,
And hope that gentle Doctrine should reclaim.
Are Texts, and such exploded trifles fit
T'impose, and sham upon a Jesuit? 15

Would they the dull old Fisher-men compare
With mighty Suarez, and great Escobar?
Such thred-bare proofs, and stale Authorities
May Us poor simple Hereticks suffice:
But to a fear'd Ignatian's Conscience, 20

Harden'd, as his own Face, with Impudence,
Whose Faith in contradiction bore, whom Lies,
Nor Non-sense, nor Impossibilities,
Nor shame, nor death, nor damning can assail:
Not these mild fruitless methods will avail. 25

'Tis pointed Satyr, and the sharps of Wit
For such a prize are th' only Weapons fit:
Nor needs there Art, or Genius here to use,
Where Indignation can create a muse:

____________________
1
Published in 1679. Text of Satyrs upon the Jesuits, third ed., corr., 1685.

-197-

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