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And by some learned Clerkes it bath been said
That if a Snake (whereof I am afraid)

Should me devoure, a Scorpion's form shee'l take

Which to prevent, I keepo my selfe awake.
Tereus was made a Lapwing, he doth cry
For his sonne Itis, as aloft he flyes,
Which words being reverst, doe signifie
'Tis I: who by one horrid enterprise
Did cause such floods of mischiefe to arise :

My wife, her sister, and my owne deare childe

I haue quite ouertbrone, oh monster vild !
Upon his head a tuft of feathers grow,
A signe of Regall state, which he did wrong :
And if you marke his nature, it doth show
His sordid deeds, for he delights in dung:
He hath a bill exceeding sharp and long,

A figure of that knife (it seemes to be)

Wherewith he did cut out the tongue of me.
Thus all of us were reft of humane shape
A just reward for our inhumane deeds :
All this was first occasion'd by the rape
Of Philomel: Rape further mischiefe breeds
The nature of these birds who ever reads

Shall finde so correspondent to my words,
That no vaine syllable my song affords.

The reason why the Poet sayos, wee three
I and my sister, with her husband, were
Transformed into Birds, was cause that we
Were all unworthy humane shape to beare :
As by our deedes prodigious doth appeare :

The morall of the story is the chiefe,

As for the changing formes, 'tis past beliefe.
Yet there's no doubt but I


Have nothing sung but what you may believe :
Birds seldome use any uutruthes to tell :
If you'l not take my warrant I shall grieve
Whether you doe or no, let me perceive

That you all shun the vices mention'd in't,

Then I'le rejoyce because my song's in print. It will be seen by the reader from these extracts, that the work is not remarkable for any display of imagination or poetical fancy, nor possessed


of any extraordinary or striking merit, but exhibits merely the common run of mediocrity. Of Martin Parker the author, who contributed much to the songs and merriments of former times, and who is more remembered for his ballad-making propensities than for his poetical powers, what little is known of him, has been carefully gleaned by Mr. Park, and inserted in the Cens. Liter., vol. iii, p. 26, to which the reader is referred. See also Ritson's Ancient English Songs, 1790 edition, p. 239, and the Bibl. Ang. Poet., p. 536, where this unique volume is priced at 15l. 158. It was reprinted in 1832, when a limited number of copies were taken off from it for private circulation at the expense of the late Amos Strettell, Esq., in whose possession it then was.

Half bound in Russia.

PARKER, (MARTINE).- The Poets Blind mans bough, or Have

among you my blind Harpers; Being a pretty medicine to cure the Dimme, Double, Envious, Partiall, and Diabolicall eyesight and judgement of those Dogmaticall, Schismaticall, Aenigmaticall and non Gramaticall Authors who Lycentiously, without eyther Name, Lycence, Wit, or Charity, have raylinly, falsely, and foolishly written a numerous rable of pesteferous Pamphletes in this present (and the precedent) yeare, justly observed and charitably censured, By Martine Parker.

Printed at London by F. Leach, for Henry Marsh, and are to bee sold at his shop over against the Golden Lyon Taverne in Princes street. 1641. 4to, pp. 16.

This small poetical tract by Parker in vindication of himself from the anonymous attacks of various “paper-persecutors," is preceded by a metrical dedication of three stanzas, addressed “To the truly ivdicious, impartiall, charitable, and impreivdicated Christian Reader of what quality, age or sex soever, the Authour dedicates his poore endevors and refers himselfe with the same," hoping that

good men will contented be, With what is Publish'd by (abus’d) M. P. Who neuer wrot but in the Iust defence Of 's King and Countrey; now's owne innocence.

The poem occupies six leaves, and is intended to vindicate himself from numerous libellous scribblers, of which he says:

Should I but give them their deserved due
Whom though I know not that most shamelesse crew
Of namelesse Authors, Authors of all lies,
Of slanderous Pasquills rayling falicies,
I might my pen dip in that learnean Sinke,
Which the infernall furies use for inke,
Or with Lambean rimes Ironicall
Make lines should serve for ropes to hang them all
But noe such cruelty is in my breast,
All my abuses I can take in Iest,
And giue such Ideots leaue to write or speak.

Eagles sleight notice take when crowes doe creake.
And after remarking with truth, that

More danger comes with quill then by the sword, he declares against the anonymous system, and says, that where an attack is made upon another, the author's “ name should justifie what he hath done.”

For what is either more or less set forth 'Gainst

persons in particular ; what worth Or fame among the vulgar it may win Without the Author's name, 't hath ever bin Held as a Lybell both in Law and sence : Then he who writes (what e're be bis pretence) His name should iustifie what he hath done : This maxim I have alwaies thought upon What ever yet was published by mee, Was knowne by Martine Parker, or M. P. All Poets (as adition to their fames) Have by their Works eternized their names, As Chaucer, Spencer, and that noble carle Of Surrie, thought it the most precious pearle That dick'd his honour, to subscribe to what His high engenue euer amed at: Sydney, and Shakspere, Drayton, Withers, and Renowned Jonson glory of our Land : Deker, Learn'd Chapman, Haywood al thought good To haue their names in publike understood, And that sweet Seraph of our Nation Quarles (In spight of each phanatick cur that snarles) Subscribes to bis Celestiall harmony While Angels chant his dulcid melodie.

And honest Iohn from the water to the land
Makes us all know and honour him by 's hand
And many more whose names I should haue told
In their due place, in famous record inrould,
Haue thought it honest honour to set downe
Their names or letters to whot is their owne.

Much of the remainder of the poem relates to the libels upon Archbishop Laud, and the scurrilous and infamous anonymous attacks upon that learned prelate, then a prisoner in the tower, and mention is made of a strange plot, which Parker ridicules as a lie, for giving him his release therefrom.

But (as friends) I friendly them advise
That if here after they write any lyes,
Let them more likely be, then that which was
Composed by some short hayr'd, long ear'd Ass,
Of a strange plot (beyond immagination)
To giue the Arch Bishop his free relaxation
Out of the Tower by Necromantick spells
Themselves did only know it, but none els.

Among other libels on the same prelate allusion is also made to one called “Mercuries Message":

Nor whiles I'm speaking of th’ Archbishop's case
Let me examine that malicious, base,
And sencelesse Libell Mercuries Message nam'd,
Whom the Authour to recognize was asham’d.
And well he might, for amongst his lyes unholy
One thing ath' first doth most bewray his folly,
And that's the Cronagram which he to make
Upon th’ Archbishop's name doth undertake :
And by the numerall letters there espresse
He would denote the number of the beast
Mention’d in the Apocalips, which is
Six hundred sixtie sis, &c.

The poetical tract here alluded to is entitled “ Mercuries Message, or the Coppy of a Letter sent to William Laud late Archbishop of Canterbury, now prisoner in the Tower." It has a woodcut portrait of Archbishop Laud on the title, and was “Printed in the yeare of our Prelates feare, 1641," 4to. Of its extreme rarity there cannot be a stronger proof than that at Dr. Farmer's sale, No. 7195, it produced the sum of four guineas. It consists of four leaves only; and on the reverse of the title has the “ Cronagram” alluded to above. The author passes

.... from this
To other things, wherein are more amis ;
More malice, more absurdity, and more
Nonsence then any mentioned before,
A plot discover'd of an army good
Secretly lurking in a private wood.
If any such be in Northamptonshire
Where Souldiers, all unknowne to th' neighbours neere
Could lie in ambush such a multitude,
And be maintain'd with quotidian food,
With other necessaries fit for men.
Let any of indifferent judgement scan
Each circumstance of this pretended plot,

And they will finde the Authour out a Scot. One man is said to have been “ the author of both plots," whose name is given in the margin as John Thomas. Mention is afterwards made of another satirical tract, called “Vox Borealis, or The Northern Discoverie: by way of Dialogue between Jamie and Willie,” 1641, 4to :

Nor Borealist by some brother pen
Yet father'd on a sect to this end,
To bring me in disgrace; as though I had
Bin punisht heretofore for writing bad,
Calling me th' Prelat's Poet and such tearmes,
Which nothing but his spight at all confirmes,
For I ne’re wrot i'th' Bishop's cause so much

As now I have on this occasion touch. The words “father'd on a sect” may perhaps allude to this tract being printed by Margery Mar-Prelate, and classed with those slanderous publications. In the Vox Borealis, Parker “ the Prelat’s Poet,” is thus vituperatively mentioned : “One Parker, the Prelat's Poet, who made many base ballads against the Scots, sped but little better, for he, and his antipodes were like to have tasted of Justice Long’s liberalitie : and hardly he escaped his powdering-tubb, which the vulgar people calls a prison. But now he sweares he will never put pen to paper for the Prelats again, but betake himselfe to his pitcht Kanne, and Tobacco and Pipe ; and learne to sell his frothie Pots againe, and give over Poetrie."

Another foolish idle defamation
That is intitl'd the Popish Proclamation

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