The Vicar of Bray
In good King Charles's golden days,
When loyalty no harm meant;
A furious High-Church man I was,
And so I gain'd Preferment.
Unto my flock I daily preach'd,
Kings are by God appointed,
And damn'd are those who dare resist,
Or touch the Lord's Anointed.
And this is law, I will maintain
Unto my dying day, sir.
That whatsoever King may reign,
I will be the Vicar of Bray, sir!
When Royal James possessed the crown,
And popery grew in fashion;
The Penal Law I shouted down,
And read the Declaration:
The Church of Rome I found would fit
Full well my constitution,
And I had been a Jesuit,
But for the Revolution.
When William our deliverer came,
To heal the nation's grievance,
I turn'd the cat in pan again,
And swore to him allegiance:
Old principles I did revoke,
Set conscience at a distance,
Passive obedience is a joke,
A jest is non-resistance.
When Royal Ann became our Queen,
The Church of England's glory,
Another face of things was seen,
And I became a Tory:
Occasional Conformists base
I damn'd, and Moderation,
And thought the Church in danger was,
From such prevarication.
When George in pudding time came o'er,
And moderate men looked big, sir,
My principles I chang'd once more,
And so became a Whig, Sir.
And thus preferment I procur'd,
From our faith's great defender,
And almost every day abjur'd
The Pope, and the Pretender.
The illustrious House of Hanover,
And Protestant succession,
To these I lustily will swear,
Whilst they can keep possession:
For in my faith, and loyalty,
I never once will falter,
But George, my lawful king shall be,
Except the times should alter.
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