A Maypole

A poem by Jonathan Swift

Deprived of root, and branch and rind,
Yet flowers I bear of every kind:
And such is my prolific power,
They bloom in less than half an hour;
Yet standers-by may plainly see
They get no nourishment from me.
My head with giddiness goes round,
And yet I firmly stand my ground:
All over naked I am seen,
And painted like an Indian queen.
No couple-beggar in the land
E'er joined such numbers hand in hand.
I joined them fairly with a ring;
Nor can our parson blame the thing.
And though no marriage words are spoke,
They part not till the ring is broke;
Yet hypocrite fanatics cry,
I'm but an idol raised on high;
And once a weaver in our town,
A damned Cromwellian, knocked me down.
I lay a prisoner twenty years,
And then the jovial cavaliers
To their old post restored all three -
I mean the church, the king, and me.

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