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Poem by Alexander Brome

A Ballad

OLd England is now a brave Barbary made,
And every one has an ambition to ride her:
K. Charles was a horseman that long us'd the trade,
But he rode in a snaffle, and that could not guide her.

Then the hungry Scot comes with spur and with switch,
And would teach her to run a Geneva career;
His Grooms were all Puritan, Traytor, and witch;
But she soon threw them down, with their ped∣lery geer.

The long Parliament next came all to the block,
And they this untamable Palfry would ride;
But she would not bear all that numerous flock;
At which they were fain themselves to divide.

Jack Presbyter first gets the Steed by the head,
While the reverend Bishops had hold of the bridle:
Jack said through the nose, they their flocks did not feed,
But sate still on the beast, and grew aged and idle:

And then comes the Rout with broomsticks inspir'd,
And pull'd down their Graces, their sleeves, and their train,
And sets up sir Jack, who the beast quickly tyr'd,
With a journey to Scotland; & thence back again.

Jack rode in a dublet, with a yoke of prick-ears,
A cursed splay-mouth, and a Covenant-spur,
Rides switching and spurring with jealousies and fears,
Till the poor famish'd beast was not able to stir.

Next came th' Independant a dev'lish designer,
And got himself call'd by a holier name;
Makes Jack to unhorse, for he was diviner,
And would make her travel as far's Amsterdam:

But Nol a rank rider gets first in the saddle,
And made her show tricks, and curvate and re∣bound;
She quickly perceiv'd that he rode widdle, waddle,
And like his Coach-horses threw his Highness to ground.

Then Dick, being ame, rode holding by the pummel,
Not having the wit to get hold of the rein;
But the Jade did so snort at the sight of a Cromwel,
That poor Dick and his kindred turn'd foot-men again▪

Next Fletwood and Vane, with their Rascally pack,
Would every one put their feet in the stirrup;
But they pull' the saddle quite off of her back,
And were all got under her before they were up.

At last the King mounts her, and then she stood still,
As his Bucephalus, proud of this Rider;
She cheerfully yields to his power and skill,
Who is careful to feed her, and skilful to guide her.

Alexander Brome

Alexander Brome's other poems:
  1. Upon a Sign-post, set up at Skoale in Norfolk
  2. Upon the Cavaliers departing out of London
  3. On Sir G. B. his Defeat
  4. To his Mistress (LAdy you'l wonder when you see)
  5. For the General's Entertainment

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • John Gay A Ballad ("'Twas when the seas were roaring")
  • Mary Montagu A Ballad ("To that dear nymph, whose pow'rful name")
  • Charles Lamb A Ballad ("In a costly palace Youth goes clad in gold")
  • Henry White A Ballad ("Be hush'd, be hush'd, ye bitter winds")
  • Menella Smedley A Ballad ("O, were you at war in the red Eastern land?")

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