Thursday, June 13, 2013


I Care Not

Thomas Flatman (1635-1688), "The Cordial. In the Year 1657," in his Poems and Songs, 4th ed. (London: Benjamin Tooke, 1686), pp. 141-142 (line numbers added):

Did you hear of the News (O the News) how it thunders!
Do but see, how the block-headed Multitude wonders!
One fumes, and stamps, and stares to think upon
   What others wish as fast, Confusion.
   One swears w'are gone, another just agoing,      5
     While a third sits and cries,
     'Till his half blinded eyes,
   Call him pitiful Rogue for so doing.
Let the tone be what 'twill that the mighty Ones utter,
Let the cause be what 'twill why the poorer sort mutter;      10
   I care not what your State-confounders do,
   Nor what the stout repiners undergo:
   I cannot whine at any alterations.
     Let the Swede beat the Dane,
     Or be beaten again,      15
What am I in the Croud of the Nations?


What care I if the North and South Poles come together;
If the Turk, or the Pope's Antichristian, or neither;
   If fine Astraea be (as Naso said)
   From Mortals in a peevish fancy fled:      20
   Rome, when 'twas all on fire, her People mourning,
     'Twas an Emperour could stand
      With his Harp in his hand,
   Sing and play, while the City was burning.
19 as Naso said: Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.150 (ultima caelestum terras Astraea reliquit)

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