John Dryden

(1631 - 1700 / England)

Satire On The Dutch - Poem by John Dryden

As needy gallants, in the scrivener's hands,
Court the rich knaves that gripe their mortgaged lands;
The first fat buck of all the season's sent,
And keeper takes no fee in compliment;
The dotage of some Englishmen is such,
To fawn on those who ruin them,—the Dutch.
They shall have all, rather than make a war
With those who of the same religion are.
The Straits, the Guinea trade, the herrings too;
Nay, to keep friendship, they shall pickle you.
Some are resolved not to find out the cheat,
But, cuckold-like, love them that do the feat.
What injuries soe'er upon us fall,
Yet still the same religion answers all:—
Religion wheedled us to civil war,
Drew English blood, and Dutchmen's now would spare.
Be gulled no longer, for you'll find it true,
They have no more religion, faith! than you.
Interest's the god they worship in their state;
And we, I take it, have not much of that.
Well monarchies may own religion's name;
But states are atheists in their very frame.
They share a sin; and such proportions fall,
That, like a stink, 'tis nothing to them all.
Think on their rapine, falsehood, cruelty,
And that, what once they were they still would be.
To one well-born the affront is worse and more,
When he's abused and baffled by a boor,
With an ill grace the Dutch their mischiefs do;
They've both ill nature and ill manners too.
Well may they boast themselves an ancient nation;
For they were bred ere manners were in fashion:
And their new commonwealth hath set them free
Only from honour and civility.
Venetians do not more uncouthly ride,
Than did their lubber state mankind bestride;
Their sway became them with as ill a mein,
As their own paunches swell above their chin.
Yet is their empire no true growth, but humour,
And only two kings' touch can cure the tumour.
As Cato fruits of Afric did display,
Let us before our eyes their Indies lay:
All loyal English will like him conclude,—
Let Cæsar live, and Carthage be subdued.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010



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