Poems on Affairs of State

Mention of John Wilmot, second Earl of Rochester, sent me to look up the oldest book in my library. That’s a book, published in 1697, entitled POEMS on Affairs of State. No ISBN, for obvious reasons!
It contains a number of poems by the Earl of Rochester, including the one that got him banished from the court of King Charles II. In my book, the poem is introduced as follows:
On King CHARLES, by the Earl of Rochester, For which he was banish’d the Court and turn’d Mountebank.
Reading the poem itself, it’s hardly surprising that Charles was not amused. This is it, as it appears in the book, censored words and all (I’ve replaced the old "f" with "s", e.g. "beft" is "best") – look away now if you’re easily offended:
In the Isle of Great Britain long since famous known,
For breeding the best C—- in Christendom;
There reigns, and long may he reign and thrive,
The easiest Prince and best bred Man alive:
Him no ambition moves to seek renown,
Like the French Fool, to wander up and down,
Starving his Subjects, hazarding his Crown.
Nor are his high desires above his strength,
His Scepter and his P—- are of a length,
And she that plays with one may sway the other,
And make him little wiser than his Brother,
I hate all Monarchs and the Thrones that they sit on,
From the Hector of France to the Cully of Britain.
Poor Prince, thy P—- like the buffoons at Court,
It governs thee, because it makes thee sport;
Tho’ Safety, Law, Religion, Life lay on’t,
‘Twill break through all to make it’s way to C—.
Restless he rolls about from Whore to Whore,
A merry Monarch, scandalous and poor.
To Carewell the Most Dear of all thy Dears,
The sure relief of thy declining Years;
Oft he bewails his fortune and her fate,
To love so well, and to be lov’d so late;
For when in her he settles well his T—-,
Yet his dull graceless Buttocks hang an Arse.
This you’d believe, had I but time to tell you,
The pain it costs to poor laborious Nelly,
While she employs Hands, Fingers, Lips and thighs,
E’er she can raise the Member she enjoys.
Apparently, it’s difficult to establish the definitive version of this poem. Here’s another, slightly different, version – uncensored this time. More on John Wilmot at the same web site.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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