Or, a sad contemplation on the bleeding condition of IRELAND.
July 14, 1648
1.1. To the Honourable and excellently well accomplish Sir John Clotworthy Knight, and Collonel.
I Shall not here Sir, polish or repeat
The story of your worth, nor tell how great
You are in goodnesse as in fame; how immense
In your mindes faire Republique; how propense
Indulgent nature hath been of her store,
By enriching you, thus to make others poore:
These as essentiall Truths, I might infer,
From each Comma raise your Character;
But these soft layes I leave to such soft wits
Who teach their Muse the trade of Parasits,
To bombast easie greatnesse with, and please
Their pampared Patrons with Hyperboles.
My Muse weares no such masque, nor can her Rime
Lackey or hold opinion with the time.
Invited hither to performe that due
Tribute of thankes she owes, and owes to you;
To you best Sir, who have a witnesse been
Of what she writes, to you Sir, who have seene
Those Tragedies she treates of, and have knowne
The losses of great Ulsterin your owne.
Then since she's thus aspired, she humbly prayes
To let her Ivie waite upon your Bayes.
VP sad Melpomone, up and condole
The Ruines of a Realme, attire thy soule
In sorrowes dresse; O let thy fountaines rise
And over flow the floodgates of thine eyes:
Fill up thy sanguine Cisternes to the brim,
Spread forth thy expanded armes, and strive to swim
In thine owne teares, that so thou may'st make knowne
The griefe of others fully as thine owne:
Oh! heere's a Theame indeed, if Mortals could
Not now lament, the Rocks and Mountains would,
The melting Heavens whose influences steepe,
The stubborne stone would teach us how to weepe;
The Blood-imbrued Earth doth blush to see
Such horrid Massakers, and shall not we?
Sure should we not, we had lesse sense then those
Hard hearts who were first Authors of these woes.
Disastrous State! How beautifull, how faire
Thy Buildings, and how foule thy Vices were?
How were thy glorious blossomes turn'd to dust;
And blasted with the lighting of thy lust?
Brim'd with excesse, how did thy cups o'reflow
Faster then all thy trickling teares doe now?
How did thy crimes eclipse thee (and crying loud
For vegeance) masque thy forehead in a cloud?
Thy greatnesse but encreas'd thy fall, and that
Which was thy glory, usher'd on thy fate,
Thy wealth and plenty have but centuplyd
Thy greater plagues, and made the wound more wide,
And what should most revive thee, and restore
Thine health, hath serv'd t' exulcerate the sore.
Thy stately Forrests, which did once invite
The eye t'a feast of wonder and delight,
Prov'd but thy Funerall Faggots to consume
Thy glory, and t'exaggerate thy doome,
Whilst all thy blazing Territories have
But Torches been, to light thee to thy Grave.
And shall she perish, and we languish thus?
And is there none t'helpe her, or succour us?
Shall she pine thus unpiti'd? shall her griefe
Thus dayly finde a voyce, but no reliefe?
O happy England! which wilt scarce confesse,
(Lull'd within a lethargy) this happinesse:
Thy troubles were but triviall, and thy feares
But meerely Fantasies compar'd with here.
'Tis she, 'tis she hath sufferd, and drunk up
Those dreggs whereof thou'hast only kis'd the cup:
Those puny plagues which partially have met
In thee, have been so ample, so compleat,
And numerous in her, that nothing more
Could once be heap'd or added to the score.
But ah! complaints are shaddowes, and too briefe
T'expresse or show the substance of thy griefe:
And such whose fancy strives to utter it,
Shew not so much their sorrow as their wit:
Thou that wert once great Britaines chiefest glory,
Art now become a gazing stock, a story
Exil'd from humane helps, and heavenly smiles
O're whelm'd, and sepulchred in thine owne spoyles.
How doth black fate inviron the about?
That hope cannot get in; nor horrour out.
Famine thou sister of the sword, and son
Of Death, how many worlds hast thou undone?
How dost thou tyrannize, and keepe thy Leets,
And constant stations in her open streets?
Oh! how the palefac't sucklings roare for food,
And from their milk lesse mothers breast draw blood.
They cryd for bread that had scarce breath to cry,
And wanting meanes to live, found meanes to dye.
The Father gasp: his last, and to his Heire
Bequeathes his pined corps, the Nurses teare
And quarter out their Infants, whilst they feast
Upon the one halfe, and preserve the rest:
O cruel Famine! which compells the Mother
To kill one starved child to feede another.
Thus is thy glory vanisht in a trice,
And all thy pomp lies buri'd in Abysse:
Thy joys are turned to sorrows, backt with teares,
Whilst thou, poore thou, li'st pickled up in teares:
Yet be thou ner'e dismayd with boundlesse sorrow
These Nights of griefe may find a joyfull Morrow.
Cleare then thy clouded countenance, and calme
Thy discomposed looks; Heaven, Heaven, hath Balme
As well as thunder-bolts,and be thou sure
Thou canst not bleed so fast as he can cure.
'Tis he, 'tis he can heale thee, and crush those
That have insulted in thine overthrowes.
And thou proud Prelate (whose ambitiousnesse
A triple Diadem can scarch depresse;
Prostrate at whose proud footsteps, Legions lye,
And fall as low as Hell to keepe thee high)
Shalt one day be subjected too, with all
Those Complices tryumphant in thy fall
Sad Realme? A day there is when Heavens decree
Shall call them to account as well as thee;
And the time will come (if Souldiers may divine)
To worke their ruine that have thus wrought thine.