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Emblem 17

When God (who is to Mercie most inclin'd)
To punish or to trie hath once design'd
A People, each Reptell or insect
Or basest animal will not neglect
But will their Habitation soe Annoy 5
Without a Countermand they'l all destroy
Thus Spain by Rabbits, Moles made Thesaly
Locusts made Affrica a Desert lye
France Frogs, Amycle serpents, did destroy
Flyes, Lice, and Frogs, all Egypt did annoy 10
Gyaros Rats, and too too many more
Their sufferings (though not sins) did then deplore
This made the Town of Hamell stand in Doubt
Cause of those vermine they had such a Rowt
They tri’de all waies, as poysons, Traps and Catts. 15
Yet still their Houses pesterd were with Rats
At last a Piper chance'd to come that way
With whom they bargaind for a Certain pay
Their Town of this base Loathsom Beasts to free
The Fruits of Cursed Avarice now see 20
This Fellow pipeing went to Weasers brim
And all the Rats ran danceing after him
Then instantly they skipt into the stream
Though some may thinkt a Fiction or a dream
Yet true it is for drowning was their Fate 25
But how t'was don noe story doth relate
For whether a Telesma hee did take
Five such of Gold The Philistin's did make
Or what hee did I think noe man can say
But when hee came and asked for his pay 30
The Burgers in their Gravitie refus'd
To pay the summe, the Piper thus abus'd
did vow Reveng, they bid him doe his worst
Now see how Breach of Promise is Accurst
The Fellow Pipeing went away againe 35
A Hundred and Thirty Children in his Train
Into a hill hee led these pretty Boys
And thus their Parents lost their hopes, and Joys.
Which with sad hearts they now too late deplore
For they nor hee were ever heard of more 40
By these their grievous suff’rings you may see
that breach of Promise punish'd sure will bee
Then keep your word for better or for wors
Lest with these saxons you pertake like Curs.



Richard Verstegan, Restitution of Decayed Intelligence: frontispiece