The Scourge of Villainy
By John Marston


 BEARE the scourge of just Rhamnusia,
   Lashing the lewdnesse of Britannia.
   Let others sing as their genius moves,
   Of deepe designes, or else of clipping loves:
Faire fall them all, that with wits industrie
Doe cloath good subjects in true poesie;
But as for me, my vexed thoughtfull soule,
Takes pleasure in displeasing sharpe controule.
     Thou nursing mother of faire Wisdomes lore,
Ingenuous Melancholy, I implore
Thy grave assistance: take thy gloomy seate,
Inthrone thee in my blood, let me intreate ;
Stay his quicke jocund skips, and force him runne
A sad pas't course, until my whips be done.
Daphne, unclip thine armes from my sad brow;
Blacke cypresse crowne me, whilst I up doe prow
The hidden entrailes of rank villany,
Tearing the vaile from damn'd impietie.
Quake, guzzell dogs, that live on putred slime,
Skud from the lashes of my yerking rime.

[AJ notes:
      clipping, clasping.
      unclip, unclasp.
      skud, scuttle away.
      yerking, jerking.]

The Works of John Marston, Vol. III.
J. O. Halliwell [Halliwell-Phillips], ed.
London: John Russell Smith, 1856. 247.


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