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Jonathan Swift

(30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745 / Dublin)

Ballad


A WONDERFUL age
Is now on the stage:
I'll sing you a song, if I can,
How modern Whigs,
Dance forty-one jigs,
But God bless our gracious Queen Anne.

The kirk with applause
Is established by laws
As the orthodox church of the nation.
The bishops do own
It's as good as their own.
And this, Sir, is call'd moderation.

It's no riddle now
To let you see how
A church by oppression may speed;
Nor is't banter or jest,
That the kirk faith is best
On the other side of the Tweed.

For no soil can suit
With every fruit,
Even so, Sir, it is with religion;
The best church by far
Is what grows where you are,
Were it Mahomet's ass or his pigeon.

Another strange story
That vexes the Tory,
But sure there's no mystery in it,
That a pension and place
Give communicants grace,
Who design to turn tail the next minute.

For if it be not strange,
That religion should change,
As often as climates and fashions;
Then sure there's no harm,
That one should conform.
To serve their own private occasions.

Another new dance,
Which of late they advance,
Is to cry up the birth of Pretender,
And those that dare own
The queen heir to the crown,
Are traitors, not fit to defend her.

The subject's most loyal
That hates the blood royal,
And they for employments have merit,
Who swear queen and steeple
Were made by the people,
And neither have right to inherit.

The monarchy's fixt,
By making on't mixt,
And by non-resistance o'erthrown;
And preaching obedience
Destroys our allegiance,
And thus the Whigs prop up the throne.

That viceroy is best,
That would take off the test,
And made a sham speech to attempt it;
But being true blue,
When he found 'twould not do,
Swore, damn him, if ever he meant it.

'Tis no news that Tom Double
The nation should bubble,
Nor is't any wonder or riddle,
That a parliament rump
Should play hop, step, and jump,
And dance any jig to his fiddle.

But now, sir, they tell,
How Sacheverell,
By bringing old doctrines in fashion,
Hath, like a damn'd rogue,
Brought religion in vogue,
And so open'd the eyes of the nation.

Then let's pray without spleen,
May God bless the queen,
And her fellow-monarchs the people;
May they prosper and thrive,
Whilst I am alive,
And so may the church with the steeple.

Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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