On The Young Statesmen.

A poem by John Dryden

CLARENDON had law and sense,
Clifford was fierce and brave;
Bennet's grave look was a pretence,
And Danby's matchless impudence
Help'd to support the knave.

But Sunderland, Godolphin, Lory[1],
These will appear such chits in story,
'Twill turn all politics to jests,
To be repeated like John Dory,
When fiddlers sing at feasts.

Protect us, mighty Providence!
What would these madmen have?
First, they would bribe us without pence,
Deceive us without common sense,
And without power enslave.

Shall free-torn men, in humble awe,
Submit to servile shame;
Who from consent and custom draw
The same right to be ruled by law,
Which kings pretend to reign?

The duke shall wield his conquering sword,
The chancellor make a speech,
The king shall pass his honest word,
The pawn'd revenue sums afford,
And then, come kiss my breech.

So have I seen a king on chess
(His rooks and knights withdrawn,
His queen and bishops in distress)
Shifting about, grow less and less,
With here and there a pawn.

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