Early Writing in Canada
12th Aug 2015Posted in: Early Writing in Canada 0
An Address, to the Liege Men of Every British Colony and Province in the World

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[inscribed] Séminaire de Québec. 1864.

Printed at the Herald Office

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To the Liege Men of every British Colony and Province in the world, the following Poem is humbly addressed by the Author;


   Kingston, U.C. August 1, 1822.

How beautiful doth writ appear, 
That’s Holy! It inspireth me. 
“He that hath ears why let him hear; 
He that hath eyes why let him see.” 

Should one take every thing for true
Because ’twas said by BOYLE or COKE?
As well might one give Guinea new, 
For little Pig that’s hid in Poke! 

No rampart ’gainst the cannon ball, 
Was ever form’d by bank or wall, 
So steel’d, to turn its keen impression, 
As juries are against oppression.

Liege Men and true, 
Permit a friend speak thus to you. 

Of justice you do hold the scales, 
Its’ sword is wielded by our King, 
Great George, who once was Prince of Wales, 
To whom all nations tribute bring. 

In fearful attitude and dread, 
He brandishes the two edg’d sword, 
To strike the unhappy culprit dead, 
When twelve Liege men do give the word. 

Aforetime this bright flaming blade, 
Was held in hands of TYRANTS FELL, [unnumbered page]
Who of the world a desart made, 
Of every Paradise a HELL. 
The ruthless wretch, the teeth who drew, 
Of harmless Jew, for thirst of gold, 
Stirr’d up a mighty, mailed crew, 
Of dauntless English Barons bold. 

The sneaking coward, Lackland John, 
Soon found himself in corner penn’d, 
And for enlargement, swore upon 
The HOLY CROSS, his life to mend. 

This was not all; no, no, forsooth; 
The barons draw made him swear like fury, 
He’d never draw another tooth, 
Save by the verdict of a JURY. 

Thus from a fellow, lacking Land, 
And lacking every many virtue, 
Was wrested the destroying brand; 
Now, neither King nor Judge can hurt you. 

Think not, howe’er, the barons meant, 
To mead the peoples’ sad condition: 
On rule despotic they were bent; 
This fact we learn from old tradition. 

As from the filthiest excrements, 
The choicest flowers and fruits do spring, 
So oft the savagest intents, 
The kindliest fruits of mercy bring. 

Thus from rebellion ’gainst a tyrant, 
Who, ’stead of King, should ’been a Carter, 
Sprung up, good Heaven! the world admirant, 
That noble flower, OLD ENGLAND’S CHARTER. 
The youngling, nurs’d like an exotic, [page 3]
Matur’d, imparts a wonderous charm, 
That’s fence ’gainst any thing despotic, 
Of tyrants frees us from alarm. 

It droop’d howe’er for many ages, 
For want of gardeners expert:
We learn indeed from hist’ry’s pages, 
The mind of man was then inert. 

What is the diamond, let me ask, 
When first ’tis taken from the mine: 
Before the lapidary’s task, 
Hath the effulgence made it shine?

A shapeless mass of harden’d water, 
Rough, unslightly, without price; 
But wrought by skilful artist, after, 
’Twill buy a Peerage in a trice-

So is man in state of nature, 
Wild, savage, brutish, like a hog, 
No better than another creature, 
Nor half as good, as faithful dog. 

But take him from his savage state, 
Give him culture, EDUCATION, 
He then becomes, Good God! how great!
Fit to fill Arch Angel’s station. 

So great a blessing could not then, 
The heart of man appreciate, 
’Cause few men dared to wield the pen, 
’Fore sixteen hundred eighty eight. 

Through crude, untutor’d ages dark, 
Though sickly, still it vegetated, 
But glimmer’d like a dying spark, 
And pin’d like heart that’s lacerated. [page 4]
In sixteen hundred eighty eight, 
Occurr’d a glorious revolution
Oh! let’s for ever mark the date, 
When fixt became our constitution. 

The flower, ’fore snatch’d from John the carter, 
By men of mettle and of might, 
Was languishing for want of water, 
In gloomy cavern, dark as night. 

The people star’d and look’d aghast, 
Quite horror-struck, as well they might, 
To see such beauty fading fast, 
For want of aliment and light. 

The cavern door was open thrown, 
The roof uplifted, as by sprites, 
Quick on’t the light of Heaven shone, 
And guarded t’was by BILL OF RIGHTS. 

It grew, good Heaven! how it grew!
Leaves which before were sick and curl’d,
Spread out luxuriant to the view, 
And shed their fragrance o’er the world. 

Their balmy smell so vivifying, 
Poor dwindling man resuscitated; 
And liberty when she was dying, 
By their keen scent was renovated. 

Their scent however comforting 
To Christian, Turk, and eke to Jew, 
To tyrants is a deadly sting, 
And puts them always in a stew. 

The gales that from old England blow, 
Have wafted it ’cross every ocean, 
Each distant clime, I think, I KNOW, 
Of liberty hath gained a notion. [page 5]
For now we find each tyrant dinn’d 
Who’s fill’d his country with pollution, 
By subjects against whom he’s sinn’d, 
With shouts of “OH! a CONSTITUTION”

A constitution grand have we, 
That’s guarded by a chosen king, 
Of gallant stock, as e’er could be, 
Or ever did from Adam spring. 

But it hath still another guard, 
Of mighty import to it’s safety, 
Whose business is to watch and ward, 
’Gainst machinations of the crafty, 

’Tis jurymen, of whom I speak,
That phalanx strung round liberty; 
As long as they do keep awake, 
Our constitution safe shall be. 

Then watch oh! watch, the crafty knaves, 
Like rats the structure undermining, 
Who with intent to make us slaves, 
Some new device are ever coining. 

Whene’er the steeled fangs of power, 
Are stretch’d to grasp the innocent, 
The charter comes, in happy hour, 
To save them from vile punishment. 

That great bulwark of innocence, 
That shield of truth, the Petit-Jury, 
Doth save mankind from gross offence, 
And baffle petty tyrants’ fury. 

Chief is the arm of power directed, 
’Gainst men of public virtue rigid, 
Because from them is seen reflected, 
The monster vice, GRIM, PALE, AND FRIGID. [page 6]
Then, jurors, be on your guard, 
’Gainst sycophantish, toad like croak; 
’Tis yours, the levell’d blow to ward, 
From those who rend the VILLAIN’S CLOAK!

Be ever firm, let no man sway 
You from the path of justice fair, 
For advantage of the fleeting day, 
And you shall prove God’s chiefest care. 

Of christians this best motto, grave, 
Hold fast, and keep it e’er in view, 
“Do to your neighbour as you’d have 
Your neighbour ever do to you.”

To Heaven above ’tis the sure way, 
By ’thority of Christ all wise, 
When he did to the lawyer say, 
“Go thou, go thou and do likewise.” 

’Tis for the UNIVERSAL GOOD, 
That treachery should be exposed, 
That knaves should be well understood,
And from their offices deposed. 

What farmer hath a field of wheat, 
Who will not with the utmost care, 
Preserve the needful grain from cheat, 
And root out every single tare?

So, if a rogue be magistrate, 
’Tis then a duty paramount, 
To chase and hunt him from the state, 
Like tiger cat, or cat o’mount. 

And whoe’er doth so right a thing, 
Shall he be branded, an offender, 
Against his country’s laws and king?
He’d better live ’mongst Turks at Bender. [page 7]
To such oh! e’er extended protection,
’Tis they who fight your battles for ye; 
Beware what’s told you, as direction, 
When upright men are dragg’d before ye. 

To answer charge of pointing out, 
Some grievous wickedness of sinner; 
Or putting junto vile to rout, 
who plotted mischief after dinner. 

Remember what a sage hath written, 
For your learning, and instruction; 
Then will you ne’er by wolfe be bitten, 
Nor e’er be lur’d to your destruction. 

In former times the wolves and sheep, 
Who had for ever been at strife, 
At length made covenant, to keep
A peace profound while lasted life. 

But what are treaties ’mong the brutes?
Nay, what are they even among men?
Like strings of fiddles or of lutes, 
They’re made to break, and mend again. 

The wolves with appetites so keen, 
For blood of harmless bleating lambs; 
Pounced on all that e’er were seen, 
To stray far from the sloping green, 
Where graz’d secure their loving dams. 

The treaty broke gave instant ’casion 
To each side now ’gain belligerent, 
To set on foot negociation; 
To place mark’d out, each, envoy sent. 

The wolves picked out a wolfe select; 
The sheep sent forth a foolish Ram!
Could any one therefore expect, [page 8]
But that the sheepish cause he’d damn?
So it befel, for he agreed
To give the wolves their faithful dogs, 
And to receive from them instead, 
Their cubs, he thought harmless as frogs. 

Th’ exchange being made, the self same night, 
The wolves, like devils on them pour’d, 
And ere again ’twas morning light, 
The silly sheep were all devour’d. 

To all Liege-men who are awake, 
The moral cannot be a puzzle; 
Reflect how much you have at stake; 
Permit no wolves your dog to muzzle. 

When ever you shall punish man, 
For acts that are both good and meet, 
Look on each other (if you can,) 
Sans horror as you walk the street. 

Should any man be press’d to death, 
For publishing remonstrance keen, 
I’d do it with my latest breath, 
E’en should my face most sure be seen, 
“ In hieroglyphick state machine” 
“ Contrived to punish fancy in.” 

Forbid it Heaven, forbid it earth, 
That any one should be so serv’d, 
Permit such horrors, and from death, 
How can this land be long preserv’d?

I tell you now, sans hesitation, 
Some blasting flame or rattling thunder, 
Some curse, some dreadful visitation, 
Will cleave your teeming earth assunder! [page 9]
Think ye the Power which reigns above, 
Too judge of mortals here below, 
Will calm look on, and never move, 
To strike for innocence a blow?

We’re often told a deal of nonsense, 
As how that truth’s a monstrous libel, 
But where’s the man that hath but one sense, 
Wont swear against it on the bible?

This doctrine grave, was held long since, 
By Mansfield, and great lords: me thinks
If now they liv’d, ’twould make them wince, 
To find how much their doctrine STINKS!

Thank God howe’er it is not LAW!
’Tis the mere dictum of a few, 
Who ready stood with greedy maw, 
To gobble such as I and you. 

Unqualified, unhallow’d trash, 
From star chamber, RANK EMANATION; 
Oh! how many teeth must gnash!
Of those who did defile the nation, 
With such a gross abomination. 

’Twas hatch’d by fiends, the guts to squeeze, 
Of whoe’er dared to express, 
Belief, that moon is not green cheese; 
Or whoe’er meddled with the Press. 

To blast, and scorch them to a cinder, 
Or into icicles to freeze ’em; 
Of Devils’ match, it is the tinder, 
And injustice’s mighty besom!

It stinks aloud REBELS ’GAINST SENSE, 
The commonest that God e’er gave, 
Oh! may we see it driven hence, [page 10]
And buried in its authors grave!
One wily scheme of petty Rogues, 
To whom is sometimes delegated
Small power; fellows without brogues, 
Who get puff’d up and then are hated; 

Is to lay out some broad foundation, 
On which they may securely raise, 
Themselves a wonderous reputation, 
And thereby gain both pelf and praise. 

For Loyalty to gain renown, 
And signal marks of royal favor, 
Their loyal neighbours they knock down, 
With grudge most deadly, rank of savor. 

The king (they seem to have a notion)
Delights in outcry horrid, great; 
So up they kick a wild commotion, 
And swear, in danger is the state, 

Of “Radical” they raise the cry, 
’Gainst the best subjects in the nation; 
Forthwith to drag from powers high,
Substantial marks of approbation. 

If any man be doing well, 
They think it hurtful to themselves, 
And quick they wish him sent to Hell, 
The hateful scrubs! the wicked elves!

That walks erect if one there be, 
It instantly doth give them pain; 
Oh! who with half an eye can’t see, 
Stamp’d on their brows, the mark of Cain! 

’Gainst all such men I warn ye now, 
For if they get the upper hand, [page 11]
No man dare show a many brow, 
In troth the Province cannot stand!!! 
Foster such knaves within your land, 
And you shall smart, aye in a trice; 
In furnace better thrust one’s hand, 
Than let a serpent sting one twice. 

I’ll give you one great sign, by which, 
These miscreants vile, these blisters on the world
More shocking plagues, than Bugs, or Lice or Itch, 
May sure be known, and to perdition hurl’d. 

Fix on their face, the penetrating look, 
In marks DEEP TRAC’D are painted there, 
So plain they cannot be mistook, 
The canting smile so soft, the HOLY LEER

Eye ’neath their cuffs or pocket lid, 
And if you miss ’twill be a wonder, 
There to perceive a dagger hid, 
With which they’d rend your heartstrings ’sunder 

Like Judas, with sure aim they’d strike, 
For thirty pieces, aye or under, 
And kiss you at the time, (belike,) 
Great God! such villains crush with thy dread thunder!

These blights so mark’d you’ve no excuse, 
Whether the same be in or out of power, 
To let them roam at large, quite loose, 
Like Tigers seeking whom they may devour. 

From such dread pests, such horrid villainy, 
Guard, oh! guard with zeal our teeming land, 
If like old Haman they not hanged be, 
I say again, the Province cannot stand. [page 12]
Yet hold! however much we hope, 
To see the Province rid of such dire elves, 
We need but give them plenty of stout rope, 
And, just like ’Scariot, they may hang themselves. 

The land thus purged, will bloom delights amain, 
And man live happy with his fellow man; 
Contentment, Peace and Love, here reign; 
A better country let those find who can. 

Our Monarch Great, how proud he’ll be! 
When Heralds to him tidings bring, 
How joyously and happy, we
Live under his paternal wing. 

Now let us wish him a long day, 
Of day and of prosperity, 
And pray that all his subjects may
Wish him for aye, THE SAME AS WE. 

No sycophant that e’er did croak, 
Could wish him better, I’ll be bound, 
What e’er he whisper’d ’neath his cloak, 
I’d on it lay a thousand pound. 

Of Liege men all, and honest folk, 
I take my leave, (and of John the Carter,) 
With my last breath I you invoke, 





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