Richard Corbet

(1582 - 1635 / England)

The Distracted Puritan - Poem by Richard Corbet

Am I mad, O noble Festus,
When zeal and godly knowledge
Have put me in hope
To deal with the Pope
As well as the best in the college?
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.

In the house of pure Emanuel
I had my education,
Where my friends surmise
I dazel'd my eyes
With the sight of revelation.
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.

They hound me like a bedlam,
They lash'd my four poor quarters.
Whilst this I endure,
Faith makes me sure
To be one of Foxes martyrs.
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.

These injuries I suffer
Through antichrist's perswasion.
Take off this chain!
Neither Rome nor Spain
Can resist my strong invasion.
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.

Of the beast's ten horns (God bless us!)
I have knock'd off three already;
If they let me alone
I'll leave him none;
But they say I am too heady.
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.

When I sack'd the seven-hill'd city
I met the great red dragon;
I kept him aloof
With the armour of proof,
Though here I have never a rag on.
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.

With a fiery sword and target,
There fought I with this monster;
But the sons of pride
My zeal deride,
And all my deeds misconster.
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.

I un-hors'd the Whore of Babel
With the lance of Inspiration;
I made her stink,
And spill the drink,
In her cup of abomination.
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.

I have seen two in a vision
With a flying book between them.
I have been in despair
Five times in a year,
And been cur'd by reading Greenham.
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.

I observ'd in Perkins' tables
The black line of damnation;
Those crooked veins
So stuck in my brains,
That I fear'd my reprobation.
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.

In the holy tongue of Canaan
I plac'd my chiefest pleasure,
Till I prick'd my foot
With an Hebrew root
That I bled beyond all measure.
Boldly I preach, I hate a cross, hate a surplice,
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.

I appear'd before the Archbishop
And all the high Commission;
I gave him no grace,
But told him to his face
That he favour'd superstition.
Boldly I preach, hate a cross, hate a surplice
Mitres, copes, and rochets!
Come hear me pray nine times a day,
And fill your heads with crotchets.


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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010



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