Upon The General Pardon Passed By The Rump

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Melody -
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Cavalier Ballad

Rejoice, rejoice, ye Cavaliers,
For here comes that dispels your fears;
A general pardon is now past,
What was long look'd for, comes at last.

2. It pardons all that are undone;
The Pope ne'er granted such a one:
So long, so large, so full, so free,
Oh what a glorious State have we!

3. Yet do not joy too much, my friends,
First see how well this pardon ends;
For though it hath a glorious face,
I fear there's in't but little grace.

4. 'Tis said the mountains once brought forth, -
And what brought they? a mouse, in troth;
Our States have done the like, I doubt,
In this their pardon now set out.

5. We'll look it o'er, then, if you please,
And see wherein it brings us ease:
And first, it pardons words, I find,
Against our State - words are but wind.

6. Hath any pray'd for th' King of late,
And wish'd confusion to our State?
And call'd them rebels? He may come in
And plead this pardon for that sin.

7. Has any call'd King Charles that's dead
A martyr - he that lost his head?
And villains those that did the fact?
That man is pardon'd by this Act.

8. Hath any said our Parliament
I such a one as God ne'er sent?
Or hath he writ, and put in print,
That he believes the devil's in't?

9. Or hath he said there never were
Such tyrants anywhere as here?
Though this offence of his be high,
He's pardon'd for his blasphemy.

10. You see how large this pardon is,
It pardons all our Mercuries, (1)
And poets too, for you know they
Are poor, and have not aught to pay.

11. For where there's money to be got,
I find this pardon pardons not;
Malignants that were rich before,
Shall not be pardon'd till they're poor.

12. Hath any one been true to th' Crown,
And for that paid his money down,
By this new Act he shall be free,
And pardon'd for his loyalty.

13. Who have their lands confiscate quite,
For not compounding when they might;
If that they know not how to dig,
This pardon gives them leave to beg.

14. Before this Act came out in print,
We thought there had been comfort in't;
We drank some healths to the higher powers,
But now we've seen't they'd need drink ours.

15. For by this Act it is thought fit
That no man shall have benefit,
Unless he first engage to be
A rebel to eternity.

16. Thus, in this pardon it is clear
That nothing's here and nothing's there:
I think our States do mean to choke us
With this new Act of Hocus Pocus.

17. Well, since this Act's not worth a pin,
We'll pray our States to call it in,
For most men think it ought to be
Burnt by the hand of Gregory.

18. Then, to conclude, here's little joy
For those that pray Vive Le Roy!
But since they'll not forget our crimes,
We'll keep our mirth till better times.


(1) Newspapers

From a broadside in the King's Pamphlets, British Museum. After Cromwell's victory at Worcester, he prevailed on the Parliament to pass a general, or quasi-general, amnesty for all political offences committed prior to that time.

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