A very old ballad borrowed from the private library of some aristocrat by a friend of Roy Palmer’s, who spent years trying to obtain a copy. Probably connected to the Midland Revolt.
You gentlemen that rack your rentes, and throwe downe Land for corne
The tyme will com that som will sigh, that ever they were borne.
Small care you have for to maintayne trueth or godlines.
Yee seek your gayne and still the poore oppresse.
Yee throw downe townes and houses to, and seek for honors more.
When we your tenantes arre constraynde to beg from doore to doore.
Redres we will have, or we will knowe whye no.
We will adventure lief & goods and so the matter shall goe.
The king commaundes and wisheth all thinges well
he askes if all be don nothing but lies you tell.
Therfoer we have agreed even for the comons sake
a blooddye entreprise to take.
Yet meanyng no harme to our gracious King Quene Prince or any of those
But to pull downe those hawghty myndes which against his commandmentes themselves oppose.
For usurping Jupiter we will throwe downe
and restore dispossessed Saturne to his princely Crowne.
Then will not Ambicious Phaeton seeke Phebus chariot to guide.
nor hunger sterved Midas covet gold or worldly pride.
It is that which our Tyrantes have, and we do lack
for they cary whole townes upon their back.
They are as Cruell as Titius which never did good
nay, worse than Meda for seeking after blood.
They lyve secure and think to mak a golden voiage
But what was Scipio Africanus either, when he had won great Carthage
Here they lyve in pompe & glory and may not be Controulde
they think scorn of there faultes for to be told.
Lyving the poore doth wante, and lyving they shall have
and the prowdest of all at our handes mercie shall crave
Their peacock plumes and golden coates, shall them nought avayll
When soden death shall sodenly them call.
Do not Looke to Dye in bed, as others have don before
But let som think to hand upon the dore.
This taske shall well be performed eare Martilmas be one fortenight gone.
and of your goodly howses we will not leave one stone upon a stone
we will be merry and take our full of ioye (joy)
as Priamus had to trayle Hectors body about the walles of Troye
Yee arre lyke to Esops curre in greediness
which snatched at the shadow and so lost the flesh
Your Dealinges arre so bad, the peoples harts they break
in tyranny you excell Gelon which not let his subiectes speak
what was his end, histories do shew
as yyt was with him, so shall yt be with you
you feare naught, but we will make you all to quake
with canon shot, we will your greedy myndes oure shak
when we com out, you tyrants to ynvade
we neede not feare for helpe, thowsandes have sworn to Ayde
Then let som feare when the night ye hear the Drum or goon to enquire in the woodde
that shalbe the true foreteller of his blood.
Yet that tyme you must Leave your whores & dainty dames
whose lascyvious apparell & dainty chere, the poore man still maintaynes
therfore take order som, which be very good
orelles as we have saied, yt shall cost the price of blood
but we care not, whether you order or noe
forwardes the enterprise is lyke to go
yet Pelham & Hatton take courage still
to you & Shefford we owe all good will
the howse of the Henneage let us call to mynde
men good to the poore & to the commons Kynde
And so all otheres that arre Knighte or stand in Justice stedde
Aganst them our sword the cause shall pleade
Oh yt shall do us good to see, these tyrantes wallowed in their Blood
God bless our King Quene and prince all waies
God send them happy lief & old Nestors dayes.