The New Litany

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Cavalier Ballad

From an extempore prayer and a godly ditty,
From the churlish government of a city,
From the power of a country committee,
Libera nos, Domine.

2. From the Turk, the Pope, and the Scottish nation,
From being govern'd by proclamation,
And from an old Protestant, quite out of fashion,
Libera nos, Domine.

3. From meddling with those that are out of our reaches,
From a fighting priest, and a soldier that preaches,
From an ignoramus that writes, and a woman that teaches,
Libera nos, Domine.

4. From the doctrine of deposing of a king,
From the Directory, (1) or any such thing,
From a fine new marriage without a ring,
Libera nos, Domine.

5. From a city that yields at the first summons,
From plundering goods, either man or woman's,
Or having to do with the House of Commons,
Libera nos, Domine.

6. From a stumbling horse that tumbles o'er and o'er,
From ushering a lady, or walking before,
From an English-Irish rebel, newly come o'er, (2)
Libera nos, Domine.

7. From compounding, or hanging in a silken altar,
From oaths and covenants, and being pounded in a mortar,
From contributions, or free-quarter,
Libera nos, Domine.

8. From mouldy bread, and musty beer,
From a holiday's fast, and a Friday's cheer,
From a brother-hood, and a she-cavalier,
Libera nos, Domine.

9. From Nick Neuter, for you, and for you,
From Thomas Turn-coat, that will never prove true,
From a reverend Rabbi that's worse than a Jew,
Libera nos, Domine.

10. From a country justice that still looks big,
From swallowing up the Italian fig,
Or learning of the Scottish jig,
Libera nos, Domine.

11. From being taken in a disguise,
From believing of the printed lies,
From the Devil and from the Excise, (3)
Libera nos, Domine.

12. From a broken pate with a pint pot,
For fighting for I know not what,
And from a friend as false as a Scot,
Libera nos, Domine.

13. From one that speaks no sense, yet talks all that he can,
From an old woman and a Parliament man,
From an Anabaptist and a Presbyter man,
Libera nos, Domine.

14. From Irish rebels and Welsh hubbub-men,
From Independents and their tub-men,
From sheriffs' bailiffs, and their club-men,
Libera nos, Domine.

15. From one that cares not what he saith,
From trusting one that never payeth,
From a private preacher and a public faith,
Libera nos, Domine.

16. From a vapouring horse and a Roundhead in buff,
From roaring Jack Cavee, with money little enough,
From beads and such idolatrous stuff,
Libera nos, Domine.

17. From holydays, and all that's holy,
From May-poles and fiddlers, and all that's jolly
From Latin or learning, since that is folly,
Libera nos, Domine.

18. And now to make an end of all,
I wish the Roundheads had a fall,
Or else were hanged in Goldsmith's Hall.
Amen. Benedicat Dominus.


From the King's pamphlets, British Museum. Satires in the form of a litany were common from 1646 to 1746, and even later.
(1) The Directory for the Public Worship of God, ordered by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster in 1644, to supersede the Book of Common Prayer.
(2) The Earl of Thomond.
(3) The Excise, first introduced by the Long Parliament, was particularly obnoxious to the Tory party. Dr Johnson more than a hundred years later shared all the antipathy of his party to it, and in his Dictionary defined it to be "a hateful tax levied upon commodities, and adjudged not by the common judges of property, but by wretches hired by those to whom excise is paid."

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