The Argument of the First Canto
Sir Hudibras his passing worth,
The manner how he sally'd forth:
His Arms and Equipage are shown;
His Horse's Vertues, and his own.
Th' Adventure of the Bear and Fiddle,
Is sung, but breaks off in the middle.
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, 5 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-ear'd rout to Battel sounded, 10 And Pulpit, Drum Ecclesiastick,
Was beat with fist, instead of a stick:
Then did Sir Knight abandon dwelling,
And out he rode a Colonelling.
A Wight he was, whose very sight wou'd 15 Entitle him Mirror of Knighthood;
That never bent his stubborn knee
To any thing but Chivalry,
Nor put up blow, but that which laid
Right worshipful on Shoulder-blade: 20 Chief of Domestick Knights and Errant,
Either for Chartel or for Warrant:
Great on the Bench, Great in the Saddle,
That could as well bind o'er, as swaddle.
Mighty he was at both of these, 25 And styl'd of War as well as Peace.
(So some Rats of amphibious nature,