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Alexander Brome (Александр Бром)


The Leveller


1.

NAy prethee don't fly me,
But sit thee down by me,
I cannot endure
A man that's demure
Go hang up your Worships and Sirs;
Your congies and trips,
With your legs, and your lips;
Your Madams and Lords,
And such finikin words,
With the complements you bring,
That do spell NO-THING;
You may keep for the chains and the furs:
For at the beginning, was no Peasant or Prince,
And 'twas policy made the distinction since.

2.

Those Titles of honours
Do remain in the Donours.
And not in that things,
To which they do cling.
If his soul be too narrow to wear 'um,
No delight can I see
In that word call'd degree,
Honest Dick sounds as well
As a name of an ell,
That with titles doth swell,
And sounds like a spell,
To affright mortail ears that hear 'um.
He that wears a brave soul, and dares gallantly do,
May be his own Herald and Godfather too.

3.

Why then should we doat on,
One with a fools coat on?
Whose Coffers are cram'd,
But yet he'l be damn'd.
Ere he'l do a good act, or a wise one;
What Reason has he
To be ruler o'r me?
That's a Lord in his chest,
But in's head and his breast
Is empty and bare,
Or but puff'd up with air,
And can neither assist nor advise one,
Honour's but air, and proud flesh but dust is;
'Tis we Commons make Lords, and the Clerk makes the Justice.

4.

But since men must be
Of a different degree,
Because most do aspire,
To be greater and higher,
Then the rest of their fellows and brothers,
He that has such a spirit,
Let him gain it by's merit;
Spend his brain, wealth, or blood
For his Countreys good,
And make himself fit
By his valour or wit,
For things 'bove the reach of all others;
For honour's a prize, and who wins it may wear it,
If not, 'tis a badge and a burthen to bear it.

5.

For my part let me
Be but quiet and free,
I'll drink Sack and obey,
And let great ones sway,
Who spend their whole time in thinking;
I'll ne'r busie my pate
With secrets of State,
The News-books I'll burn all,
And with the Diurnal
Light Tobacco, and admit
That they're so far fit,
As they serve good company and drinking.
All the name I desire, is an honest Good-fellow;
And that man has no worth, that won't sometimes be mellow.



Alexander Brome's other poems:
  1. The Cavalier
  2. The Hard Heart
  3. The Reformation
  4. The Libertine
  5. The Prodigal


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