Prologue To Amboyna.

A poem by John Dryden

As needy gallants in the scrivener's hands,
Court the rich knave that gripes their mortgaged lands,
The first fat buck of all the season's sent,
And keeper takes no fee in compliment:
The dotage of some Englishmen is such,
To fawn on those who ruin them--the Dutch.
They shall have all, rather than make a war
With those who of the same religion are.
The Straits, the Guinea trade, the herrings too,
Nay, to keep friendship, they shall pickle you.
Some are resolved not to find out the cheat,
But, cuckold-like, love him who does the feat:
What injuries soe'er upon us fall,
Yet, still the same religion answers all:
Religion wheedled you to civil war,
Drew English blood, and Dutchmen's now would spare:
Be gull'd no longer, for you'll find it true,
They have no more religion, faith--than you;
Interest's the god they worship in their state;
And you, I take it, have not much of that.
Well, monarchies may own religion's name,
But states are atheists in their very frame.
They share a sin, and such proportions fall,
That, like a stink, 'tis nothing to them all.
How they love England, you shall see this day;
No map shows Holland truer than our play:
Their pictures and inscriptions well we know;
We may be bold one medal sure to show.
View then their falsehoods, rapine, cruelty;
And think what once they were, they still would he:
But hope not either language, plot, or art;
'Twas writ in haste, but with an English heart:
And least hope wit; in Dutchmen that would be
As much improper, as would honesty.

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