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Woodstock; or, the Cavalier

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THE WOODSTOCK SCUFFLE; or, Most dreadfull apparitions that were lately seene in the Mannor-house of Woodstock, neere Oxford, to the great terror and the wonderful amazement of all there that did behold them.

It were a wonder if one unites,And not of wonders and strange sights;For ev'ry where such things affrightsPoore people,

That men are ev'n at their wits' end;God judgments ev'ry where doth send,And yet we don't our lives amend,But tipple,

And sweare, and lie, and cheat, and—,Because the world shall drown no more,As if no judgments were in storeBut water;

But by the stories which I tell,You'll heare of terrors come from hell,And fires, and shapes most terribleFor matter.

It is not long since that a childSpake from the ground in a large field,And made the people almost wildThat heard it,

Of which there is a printed book,Wherein each man the truth may look,If children speak, the matter's tookFor verdict.

But this is stranger than that voice,The wonder's greater, and the noyse;And things appeare to men, not boyes,At Woodstock;

Where Rosamond had once a bower,To keep her from Queen Elinour,And had escap'd her poys'nous powerBy good-luck,

But fate had otherwise decreed,And Woodstock Manner saw a deed,Which is in Hollinshed or SpeedChro-nicled;

But neither Hollinshed nor Stow,Nor no historians such things show,Though in them wonders we well knowAre pickled;

For nothing else is historyBut pickle of antiquity,Where things are kept in memoryFrom stinking;

Which otherwise would have lain dead,As in oblivion buried,Which now you may call into headWith thinking.

The dreadfull story, which is true,And now committed unto view,By better pen, had it its due,Should see light.

But I, contented, do indite,Not things of wit, but things of right;You can't expect that things that frightShould delight.

O hearken, therefore, hark and shake!My very pen and hand doth quake!While I the true relation makeO' th' wonder,

Which hath long time, and still appearesUnto the State's Commissioners,And puts them in their beds to fearesFrom under.

They come, good men, imploi'd by th' StateTo sell the lands of Charles the late.And there they lay, and long did waiteFor chapmen.

You may have easy pen'worths, woods,Lands, ven'son, householdstuf, and goods,They little thought of dogs that wou'dThere snap-men.

But when they'd sup'd, and fully fed,They set up remnants and to bed.Where scarce they had laid down a headTo slumber,

But that their beds were heav'd on high;They thought some dog under did lie,And meant i' th' chamber (fie, fie, fie)To scumber.

Some thought the cunning cur did meanTo eat their mutton (which was lean)Reserv'd for breakfast, for the menWere thrifty.

And up one rises in his shirt,Intending the slie cur to hurt,And forty thrusts made at him for't,Or fifty.

But empty came his sword again.He found he thrust but all in vain;An the mutton safe, hee went amainTo's fellow.

And now (assured all was well)The bed again began to swell,The men were frighted, and did smellO' th' yellow....