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Alexander Brome (Александр Бром)

The Reformation


TEll not me of Lords or Lawes,
Rules or Reformation;
All that's done's not worth two strawes,
To the welfare of the Nation.
Men in power do rant it still,
And give no reason but their will,
For all their domination.
Or if they do an act that's just,
'Tis not because they would, but must,
To Gratifie some parties lust,
Or meerly for a fashion.


Our expence of bloud and purse.
Has produc'd no profit.
Men are still as bad or worse,
And will be what e'r comes of it.
We've shuffled out, and shuffled in,
The persons, but retain the sin,
To make our game the surer:
Yet spite of all our pains and skill,
The knaves all in the pack are still,
And ever were, and ever will,
Though something now demurer:


And it cannot but be so,
Since those toyes in fashion;
And of souls so base and low,
And meer Bigots of the Nation,
Whose designs are power and wealth,
At which by rapines, fraud, and stealth,
Audaciously they vent'r ye;
They lay their consciences aside,
And turn with every wind and tide,
Puff'd on by Ignorance and pride,
And all to look like Gentry.


Crimes are not punish'd cause they'r crimes,
But 'cause they're low and little;
Mean men for mean faults, in these times,
Make satisfaction to a tittle;
While those in office and in power,
Boldly the underlings devour.
Our Cobweb-laws can't hold 'um.
They sell for many a Thousand crown,
Things which were never yet their own,
And this is law and custome grown,
Cause those do judge that sold 'um.


Brothers still with Brothers brawl,
And for trifles sue 'um;
For two pronouns that spoil all,
Those contentious Meum, Tuum:
The wary lawyer buyes and builds,
While the Client sells his fields,
To sacrifice to's fury;
And when he thinks to obtain his right,
He's baffled off, or beaten quite,
By th' Judges will, or Lawyers slight,
Or ignorance of the Jury.


See the trades-man how he thrives
With perpetual trouble,
How he cheats, and how he strives
His Estate t'enlarge and double;
Extort, oppress, grind, and encroach,
To be a Squire and keep a coach,
And to be one o'th Quorum,
Who may with's brother worships sit,
And judge without law, fear, or wit,
Poor petty thieves that nothing get,
And yet are brought before 'um.


And his way to get all this
Is meer dissimulation;
No factious lecture does he miss,
And scapes no schism that's in fashion;
But with short hair and shining shooes,
He with two pens, and's note-book goes,
And winks and writes at randome;
Thence with short meal, and tedious Grace,
In a loud tone and publick place,
Sings Wisdoms hymns, that trot and pace,
As if Goliah scand 'um.


But when death begins his threats,
And his Conscience struggles,
To call to mind his former cheats;
Then at heav'n he turns his juggles,
And out of all's ill-gotten store,
He gives a dribling to the poor,
In a Hospital, or a School-house;
And the suborned Priest for's hire,
Quite frees him from th' infernal fire,
And places him i'th Angels quire;
Thus these Jack-puddings fool us,


All he gets by's pains i'th close,
Is that he died worth so much,
Which he on's doubtful seed bestows,
That neither care nor know much;
Then fortunes favourite, his heir,
Bred base, and ignorant, and bare,
Is blown up like a bubble;
Who wondring at's own sudden rise,
By pride simplicity and vice,
Falls to three sports, drink, drab, and dice▪
And makes all fly like stubble.


And the Church the other twin,
Whose mad zeal enrag'd us,
Is not purifi'd a pin,
By all those broyls in which she engag'd us,
We our wives turn'd out of doors,
And took in Concubines and Whores,
To make an alteration:
Our Pulpiteers are proud and bold,
They their own Wills and factions hold,
And sell salvation still for Gold,
And here's our Reformation.


'Tis a madness then to make
Thriving our employment,
And lucre love, for Lucres sake,
Since we've possession, not enjoyment▪
Let the times run on their course,
For opposition makes them worse,
We ne'r shall better find 'um;
Let Grandees wealth and power engross,
And honour too, while we sit close,
And laugh and take our plenteous dose
Of Sack, and never mind 'um.

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

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