An Old Song On Oliver's Court

Melody -

Cavalier Ballad; Samuel Butler, 1654

He that would a new courtier be
And of the late coyn'd gentry;
A brother of the prick-eared crew,
Half a presbyter, half a Jew,
When he is dipp'd in Jordan's flood,
And wash'd his hands in royal blood,
Let him to our court repair,
Where all trades and religions are.

2. If he can devoutly pray,
Feast upon a fasting day,
Be longer blessing a warm bit
Than the cook was dressing it;
With covenants and oaths dispense,
Betray his lord for forty pence,

3. If he be one of the eating tribe,
Both a Pharisee and a Scribe,
And hath learn'd the snivelling tone
Of a flux'd devotion;
Cursing from his sweating tub
The Cavaliers to Beelzebub,

4. Who sickler than the city ruff,
Can change his brewer's coat to buff,
His dray-cart to a coach, the beast
Into Flanders mares at least;
Nay, hath the art to murder kings,
Like David, only with his slings,

5. If he can invert the word,
Turning his ploughshare to a sword,
His cassock to a coat of mail;
'Gainst bishops and the clergy rail;
Convert Paul's church into the mews;
Make a new colonel of old shoes,

6. Who hath commission to convey
Both sexes to Jamaica,
There to beget new babes of grace
On wenches hotter than the place,
Who carry in their tails a fire
Will rather scorch than quench desire,


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