Sunday, November 10, 2019
A Barbarous Noise
I did but prompt the age to quit their cloggs1 cloggs = foot shackles
By the known rules of antient libertie,
When strait a barbarous noise environs me
Of Owles and Cuckoes, Asses, Apes and Doggs.
As when those Hinds that were transform'd to Froggs 5
Raild at Latona's twin-born progenie
Which after held the Sun and Moon in fee.
But this is got by casting Pearl to Hoggs;
That bawle for freedom in their senceless mood,
And still revolt when truth would set them free. 10
Licence they mean when they cry libertie;
For who loves that, must first be wise and good;
But from that mark how far they roave we see
For all this wast of wealth, and loss of blood.
5-7 Ovid, Metamorphoses 6.317-381, tells how Latona transformed peasants into frogs when they refused to give a drink of water to her children Apollo and Diana.
8 Matthew 7.6: Neither cast ye your pearls before swine.
10 John 8.32: And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
12 wast = waste
See Nathaniel H. Henry, "Who Meant Licence when They Cried Liberty?" Modern Language Notes 66.8 (December, 1951) 509-513.