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As having power over realmes and townes,
Whom thou oughtest to serve all houres:
Thou thinkest by thy jugglyng colours
Thou maist lykewise Gods word oppresse;
As do the deceatful foulers,

When they theyr nettes craftelye dresse.


Thou flatterest every prince, and lord,

Thretening poore men with swearde and fyre;
All those, that do followe Gods, worde,
To make them cleve to thy desire,


Theyr bokes thou burnest in flaming fire; Cursing with boke, bell, and candell,

Such as to reade them have desyre, Or with them are wyllynge to meddell.

Thy false power wyl I bryng down,

Thou shalt not raygne many a yere,
I shall dryve the from citye and towne,
Even with this PEN that thou seyste here:
Thou fyghtest with swerd, shylde, and
But I wyll fyght with Gods worde;

Which is now so open and cleare,
That it shall brynge the under the borde3.


Though I brought never so many to hel,
And to utter dampnacion,

Throughe myne ensample, and consel,
Or thorow any abhominacion,
Yet doth our lawe excuse my fashion.
And thou, Luther, arte accursed;

For blamynge me, and my condicion,
The holy decres have the condempned.

Thou stryvest against my purgatory,
Because thou findest it not in scripture;

3 i. e. make thee knock under the table.






As though I by myne auctorite

Myght not make one for myne honoure.
Knowest thou not, that I have power
To make, and mar, in heaven and hell,
In erth, and every creature?
Whatsoever I do it must be well.

As for scripture, I am above it;
Am not I Gods hye vicare?
Shulde I be bounde to folowe it,
As the carpenter his ruler4?
Nay, nay, hereticks ye are,
That will not obey my auctoritie.
With this SWORDE I wyll declare,
That ye shal al accursed be.


I am a Cardinall of Rome,

Sent from Christes hye vicary,

To graunt pardon to more, and sume,
That wil Luther resist strongly:
He is a greate hereticke treuly,
And regardeth to much the scripture;
For he thinketh onely thereby
To subdue the popes high honoure.

Receive ye this PARDON devoutely,

And loke that ye agaynst him fight; Plucke up youre herts, and be manlye, For the pope sayth ye do but ryght: And this be sure, that at one flyghte,

Allthough ye be overcome by chaunce,

Ye shall to heaven go with greate myghte; God can make you no resistaunce.

But these heretikes for their medlynge

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down to hel every one;

4. e. his rule.

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For they have not the popes blessynge,
Nor regarde his holy pardon:

They thinke from all destruction
By Christes bloud to be saved,

Fearynge not our excommunicacion,
Therefore shall they al be dampned.



John Anderson my Jo.


WHILE in England verse was made the vehicle of controversy, and Popery was attacked in it by logical argument, or stinging satire, we may be sure the zeal of the Scottish Reformers would not suffer their pens to be idle, but many a pasquil was discharged at the Romish priests, and their enormous encroachments on property. Of this kind perhaps is the following, (preserved in Maitland's MS. Collection of Scottish poems in the Pepysian library):

"Tak a Wobster, that is leill,

And a Miller, that will not steill,
With ane Priest, that is not gredy,
And lay ane deid corpse thame by,
And throw virtue of thame three,

That doid corpse sall qwyknit be."

Thus far all was fair: but the furious hatred of Popery led them to employ their rhymes in a still more licentious manner. It is a received tradition in Scotland, that at the time of the Reformation, ridiculous and obscene songs were composed to be sung by the rabble to the tunes of the most favourite hymns in the Latin Service. Green Sleeves and Pudding Pies, (designed to ridicule the Popish Clergy,) is said to have been one of these metamorphosed hymns: Maggy Lauder was another: John Anderson my Jo was a third. The original music of all these burlesque sonnets was very fine. To give a specimen of their manner, we have

inserted one of the least offensive. The reader will pardon the meanness of the composition for the sake of the anecdote, which strongly marks the spirit of the times.

In the present edition this song is much improved by some new readings communicated by a friend, who thinks by the "seven bairns," in stanza 2d, are meant the Seven Sacraments; five of which were the spurious offspring of mother Church, as the first stanza contains a satirical allusion to the luxury of the Popish Clergy.

The adaptation of solemn church music to these ludicrous pieces, and the jumble of ideas thereby occasioned, will account for the following fact. - From the Records of the General Assembly in Scotland, called The Book of the Universal Kirk, p. 90, 7th July, 1568, it appears, that Thomas Bassendyne, printer in Edinburgh, printed "a psalme buik, in the end whereof was found printit ane baudy song, called Welcome Fortunes1."


JOHN Anderson my jo, cum in as ze gae bye,
And ze sall get a sheips heid weel baken in a pye;
Weel baken in a pye, and the haggis in a pat;
John Anderson my jo, cum in, and ze's get that.


And how doe ze, Cummer? and how hae ze threven?
And how mony bairns hae ze? Woм. Cummer, I hae seven.
MAN. Are they to zour awin gude man? Woм. Na, Cum-

mer, na;

For five of tham were gotten, quhan he was awa'.

1 See also Biograph. Britan. 1st. edit. vol. i. p. 177.


Little John Nobody.

We have here a witty libel on the Reformation under King Edward VI., written about the year 1550, and preserved in the Pepys collection, British Museum, and Strype's Memoirs of Cranmer. The author artfully declines entering into the merits of the cause, and wholly reflects on the lives and actions of many of the reformed. It is so easy to find flaws and imperfections in the conduct of men, even the best of them, and still easier to make general exclamations about the profligacy of the present times, that no great point is gained by arguments of that sort, unless the author could have proved that the principles of the reformed Religion had a natural tendency to produce a corruption of manners; whereas he indirectly owns, that their Reverend Father [Archbishop Cranmer] had used the most proper means to stem the torrent, by giving the people access to the Scriptures, by teaching them to pray with understanding, and by publishing homilies, and other religious tracts. It must, however, be acknowledged, that our libeller had at that time sufficient room for just satire. For under the banners of the reformed had enlisted themselves many concealed papists who had private ends to gratify; many that were of no religion; many greedy courtiers, who thirsted after the possessions of the church; and many dissolute persons, who wanted to be exempt from all ecclesiastical censures: and as these men were loudest of all others in their cries for Reformation, so in effect none obstructed the regular progress of it so much, or by their vicious lives brought vexation and shame more on the truly venerable and pious Reformers.

The reader will remark the fondness of our satirist for alliteration: in this he was guilty of no affectation or singularity; his versification is that of Pierce Plowman's Visions, in which a recurrence of similar letters is essential: to this he has only superadded rhyme, which in his time began to

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