William Bradford

A word to new plymouth

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Oh, poor Plymouth, how dost thou moan!
Thy children, all, are from thee gone;
And left thou art, in widow's state--
Poor, helpless, sad, and desolate.
Some thou hast had, it is well known,
Who sought thy good before their own.
But times are changed, those days are gone,
And therefore thou art left alone.
To make others rich, thyself art poor;
They are increased out of thy store.
But, growing rich, they thee forsake,
And leave thee poor and desolate.
Thy plants in England were first bred,
And kindly there were nourished
By faithful guides, who did them feed,
And them assist, in all their need;
Till enemies did them envy,
And made them and their guides to fly
Over the seas, to Belgic land,
Where for twelve years they made their stand.
So there they lived, in love and peace,
And greatly grew and did increase.
But when as those twelve years were done,
The truce expired, and wars begun.
But them a place God did provide,
In wilderness, and them did guide
Unto the American shore,
Where they made way for many more.
They broke the ice themselves alone,
And so became a stepping-stone
For all others who, in like case,
Were glad to find a resting place.
From hence, as in a place secure,
They saw what others did endure,
By cruel wars, flowing in blood,
Whilst they in peace and safety stood.
Fair Germany was over-run
With wars, and almost quite undone,
Her lands all besprinkled with blood,
From RĂ¼gen shore unto Rhine flood.
Which made the eagle fume and fret,
Till that bright northern star was set,
Yea long, ere that he could obtain,
With much suing, a peace again.
And tho Holland did greatly quake,
When Spaniard Amersford did take.
And had not Wesel then been took,
Thy haughty heart it would have shook.
And France with Spain they had such jars,
Which have produced bloody wars
Which many years could not compose.
But England thereby did not lose.
Here they beheld, with weeping eyes,
The civil wars, which did arise
In their own land, after long peace,
Praying to God that they might cease.
But, like flames of fire with wind blown,
Over the three lands war soon was flown.
The bloody Irish caused to die
Three hundred thousand, cruelly,
In a few months. No wolves more keen
Than these Scythian beasts have been.
But now God's hand hath them repaid,
And all their blood upon them laid.
And thou, poor England, hast thy part,
Even wounded to the very heart.
How many armies didst thou see,
Consuming and destroying thee!
At Kineton how wast thou beset!
And Brentford may we not forget!
At Newbury the fight was sore,
But greatest was at Marston Moor.
But Naseby did thy glory crown;
Thine enemies they then went down.
New Model they could not withstand.
It was not they, but God's own hand.
For in short space, all was subdued,
And former peace again renewed;
Till some with false Scots, made a jar,
And did contrive a second war.
The Scots to England now were led;
Duke Hamilton, he was their head.
But near to Preston they were met,
And were, by Cromwell, soundly beat.
Yet once again they would make war,
But were overthrown at Dunbar.
To Worcester they needs would post,
But there themselves and lands they lost.
Thus England peace again regained,
And such great victories obtained,
As all three lands in one were knit,
And to one rule made to submit.
But when we thought all had been done,
A foreign war was now begun,
By those whom gratitude did bind
To England to have been more kind.
For when they were in low estate,
England did them compassionate.
When Spain was like them to devour,
Then were they helped by English power;
Who spared neither wealth nor blood,
In their distress, to do them good;
But did assist them, in their need,
Till from their bondage they were freed;
And made the Spaniard sue for peace,
That those sore, bloody wars might cease.
And they became rich and wealthy,
And called the states High and Mighty.
But now they do them ill repay,
Begin a war in treach'rous way.
Whilst the state was in treaty held,
Their sea forces they would have quelled;
So that they might, as they should please,
Command in the English Narrow Seas,
And unto them to give the law,
And keep their neighbors all in awe.
But now such wars at sea was grown,
As seldom hath been ever known.
The seas with ships were overspread,
The azure waves with blood made red.
The guns, like thunder, rent the skies,
And fire, as lightning, swiftly flies.
The ships were torn, the masts were broke,
And all was filled with cries and smoke.
And some into the air were blown;
Others into the deep sunk down;
The Belgic lion made to roar,
Being pursued to their own shore.
The fights were great; the wars were sore,
Such as Holland ne'er had before.
When they had tried their utmost strength,
Were glad to seek for peace, at length.
A peace, at last, was obtained,
Which caused much joy when proclaimed.
And I believe these wars now past;
They will not break with England in haste.

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William Bradford