The May-poles Motto.

AS concerning the first Institution of May-poles, many are very ignorant, that most greedily have taken pleasure in reviving an old popish Custome (was well nigh consumed in this Nation) as by their folly is made manifest, in erecting it again, and Idolizing and sporting them­selves in the day time, with drumming, drinking, and dancing about them, by cursing, swearing, and blaspheming Gods Name, and his Tabernacle with them that cannot run amongst the baser sort to this excess of Ryot, to the vexing of the righteous souls of such as behold their unlawful deeds, and cursed practises, which plainly doth demonstrate, that the root and ground of this Tree (so idolized) is not good, by the fruit which is brought forth to the Planters thereof: Moreover it is credibly reported, that an old whore called Flora, somtimes inhabiting at Rome, who had at her door a long Pole with a Motto on it, for a signe to invite her lovers, and that she having by the filthi­ness of her fornication gained much money in her life-time, did at her death, as a Legacy, give vast sums of money unto Maids or Vir­gins (so called) yeerly upon May day, to solemnize her Feast or Funeral by this signal testimony of a May-pole, which Priests and people adore in remembrance of the old whore, or Monument, to preserve her memorial, which hath been practised in an ignorant zeal and lewd­ness, by them who are the off-spring of that Mother of Harlots, mentioned Rev. 17. and that be under the Prince of the Ayr's dominion. Now if any of the abettors or promoters of this memorial of this Strumpet and old whore, or any others, that ignorantly have run to this excess of ryot, desire to be sa­tisfied farther herein, concerning this old abominable branch and whore, which this yeer (as in a night) hath suddenly sprung up to a very tall stature, in many Cities, Towns, and Villages in this Nation, where they do it in remembrance of her their old Love: Let them search the Histories, or enquire of such as have recourse there­unto, that they might understand, and be able to give a reason of such their practises in this particular; for it concerns them chiefly to know the ground, and make proof thereof to such as are unsatisfied, and not us: Nevertheless we cannot but bear our testimony against it, and we have also here transcribed somthing formerly compo­sed concerning its Birth, Pedigree, State, Power, and Authority; whether by a friend unto, or a witness against, we leave the Reader to judge here as followeth.

The May-poles Speech to a Traveller.

O Passenger knowst thou not me?
Where's thy Cap? and where's thy Knee?
Thy betters do me honour give,
And swear they'l do it whilst they live;
Both High and low they me respect,
I can command them at my beck:
I think thou art some Puritan,
Or censuring Precisian,
That lov'st not May-poles, Mirth, and Playes;
But cries, Alas! these wretched dayes;
That stop your ears, and shut your eyes,
Lest ye behold our vanities.
But goodman Gooscap, do thou know
I do disdain your holy show,
Your peevish humour I do scorn,
And hold you wretches all forlorn;
Your censurings all I do shake off,
And at your zeal I freely scoff:
I will stand here in spight of such,
And glad to hear that they do grutch.
But prithee fellow learn of me
My Birth, my Worth, my Pedigree,
My Name, my Fame, my Power, my Praise,
My State, my Acts, my honoured Dayes.
I am Sir May-pole, that's my name,
Mer, May, and Mirth gave me the same:
Dame Flora, once Romes famous Whore,
Did give to Rome in dayes of yore
(By her last Will) great Legacies
My yearly Feast to solemnize
With jovial sports and pleasantness,
In lust-procuring wantonness;
And surely I am neer of kin
Unto that Romish Man of sin;
And scarce under the heavens scope
There's none (as I) so like the Pope.
Hath holy Father much ado
When he is chose? So have I too;
There is such joy at my plantation
As is at his Coronation:
Men, women, children on a heap
Do sing, and dance, yea skip, and leap;
Yea Drum, and Drunkards on a Rout,
Before me make a hideous shout;
Whose loud Alarms, and bellowing cries
Do fright the earth, and pierce the skies.
Doth he upon mens shoulders ride?
That honour doth to me betide.
Hath holy Pope his noble Guard?
So have I too, that watch and ward:
For where 'tis noised I am come,
My followers summon'd are by Drum;
I have a mighty retinue,
The scum of all the Rascal crew
Of Fidlers, Pedlers, Jayl-scape slaves,
Of Tinkers, Turncoats, Tosspot knaves,
With Thieves, and Scapethrifts many a one,
With bouncing Bess, and jolly Joan;
The Hobby-horse doth hither prance,
Maid Mariam, and the Morris dance.
The Pope doth keep his Jubilee,
A time of mirth and jollity;
And on such as to Rome will go,
Great benefits he will bestow.
I also keep my Jubilee,
A time of yeerly jollity;
And unto such as it frequent,
I mirth procure, and much content:
First Musick doth their passions charm,
Then Liquor strong their lust doth warm;
Their dancing gesture, looks, and words,
More fewel to the fire affords:
The old, that have scarce tooth, or eye,
But crooked back, and lamed thigh,
Must have a frisk, and shake the heel,
As if not stitch, nor ache they feel;
And sith their works do hate the Light,
They take the vantage of the night.
But lest you think my stately port
Maintained is by baser sort,
I have some else of better note,
That jet it in a silken coat:
I cannot boast much of their grace,
But this I say, they're men of place;
Whose Country Worships have great praise
In Maypolizing now adays:
Though cold they are in better things,
In this they Reigne as Parish kings:
They are as light as feather in cap,
They nothing fear the fatal hap;
Besides, there are some learned men,
Perhaps Divines, how say you then,
Disputed have of me in Schools,
I hope these are no simple fools;
They stifly do maintain my cause
To be according to God's Laws;
They make it good, were't not for me
All love would perish speedily.
The Pope doth challenge power divine,
I (next to him) do say its mine;
I can enlarge mens Conscience,
And qualifie each vile offence:
I take away all fear of evil,
Of sin, of death, of hell and divel;
I tell them its a time to laugh,
To give themselves free leave to quaffe,
To drink their health upon their knee,
And mix therewith much Ribaldry,
To reel, to spew, to brawl, to fight,
To scoff and rail with all their might;
I teach the servant disobey,
The childe to say his Parent nay;
The poorer sort that have no coyn,
I can command them to purloyn;
All this, and more, I warrant good,
For this maintaineth Neighbourhood:
Yea, when my Rogues do Vict'als want,
When money, cloth, and all grows scant,
Then forth a forraging they go,
And fall upon their common foe;
No pillage seemeth half so good,
As what's stolen from the Brotherhood.
O Trav'ler, learn more grace to show,
And see that thou thy Betters know;
And sith thou must part me fro,
Then let my lesson with thee go:
There's ne're a Drunkard in all the Town,
Nor swearing Courtier, nor base Clown,
Nor swaggering Lobcock, mincing Quean,
Nor Popish Clerk, nor Priest, nor Dean,
Nor Knight deboist, nor Gentleman
That follows Drabs, or Cup, or Kan,
That will give thee a friendly look,
If thou canst not a May-pole brook.

The Priests and their hearers may say, that they set it up in honour of their old Love, if we gather money to do the same, for the old Whore had one at her door, who gave a great Legacy that they might set it up again in honour of the old Strumpet.

Now these things are written chiefly to the May-pole Planters, and the rest of their rude ranting foolish followers, for them to read and consider; and if the Verses were at first composed by one of their own Poets, or Prophets, his testimony may be very true; though he spake lightly in many things, as if he did but make a mock at sin, yet his rude speech renders him not altogether so much a fool, as their practises do bespeak them, who are of this sinful society, and who take pleasure in such folly and vanity; for these practises are an ill savour amongst all sober minded men, and this old sin new revived, and so frequently committed in our Cities and Towns, is a very great reproach to a Christian Nation, and by the Lord's Prophets and Saints it is verily believed, that the Lord will visit for these things, and that he will avenge himself of such great abominations as are committed in the Land, both in this, and in several other things of the like nature, which is a vexation to the spirits of just men, and hereby testified against by such as truly fear the Lord, and tremble at the word of his Holiness, although in those dayes by that generation, are reproached by the name of Phanatiques.

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