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THE PROPHECY.

When times are at the worst they will certainly mend.
I.
1 THIS truth of old was sorrow's friend,
2 "Times at the worst will surely mend."
3 The difficulty's then to know,
4 How long oppression's clock can go;
5 When Britain's sons may cease to sigh,
6 And hope that their redemption's nigh.
II.
7 When Vice exalted takes the lead,
8 And Vengeance hangs but by a thread;
9 Gay peeresses turn'd out o'doors;
10 Whoremasters peers, and sons of whores;
11 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh,
12 For your redemption draweth nigh.
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III.
13 When vile Corruption's brazen face,
14 At council-board shall take her place;
15 And lords-commissioners resort,
16 To welcome her at Britain's court;
17 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh,
18 For your redemption draweth nigh.
IV.
19 See Pension's harbour large and clear,
20 Defended by St. Stephen's pier!
21 The entrance safe, by Current led,
22 Tiding round G—'s jetty head;
23 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh,
24 For your redemption draweth nigh.
V.
25 When Civil-Power shall snore at ease,
26 While soldiers fire to keep the peace;
27 When murders sanctuary find,
28 And petticoats can Justice blind;
29 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh,
30 For your redemption draweth nigh.
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VI.
31 Commerce o'er Bondage will prevail,
32 Free as the wind, that fills her sail.
33 When she complains of vile restraint,
34 And Power is deaf to her complaint;
35 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh,
36 For your redemption draweth nigh.
VII.
37 When raw projectors shall begin,
38 Oppression's hedge to keep her in;
39 She in disdain will take her flight,
40 And bid the Gotham fools good night;
41 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh,
42 For your redemption draweth nigh.
VIII.
43 When tax is laid, to save debate,
44 By prudent ministers of state;
45 And, what the people did not give,
46 Is levied by prerogative;
47 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh
48 For your redemption draweth nigh.
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IX.
49 When Popish bishops dare to claim
50 Authority, in George's name;
51 By Treason's hand set up, in spite
52 Of George's title, William's right;
53 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh,
54 For your redemption draweth nigh.
X.
55 When Popish priest a pensions draws
56 From stary'd exchequer, for the cause
57 Commission'd, proselytes to make
58 In British realms, for Britain's sake;
59 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh,
60 For your redemption draweth nigh.
XI.
61 When snug in power, sly recusants
62 Make laws for British Protestants;
63 And d—g William's Revolution,
64 As justices claim execution;
65 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh,
66 For your redemption draweth nigh.
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XII.
67 When soldiers, paid for our defence,
68 In wanton pride slay innocence;
69 Blood from the ground for vengeance reeks,
70 Till Heaven the inquisition makes;
71 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh,
72 For your redemption draweth nigh.
XIII.
73 When at Bute's feet poor Freedom lies,
74 Mark'd by the priest for sacrifice,
75 And doom'd a victim, for the sins
76 Of half the outs, and all the ins;
77 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh,
78 For your redemption draweth nigh.
XIV.
79 When Stewards pass a boot account,
80 And credit for the gross amount;
81 Then to replace exhausted store,
82 Mortgage the land to borrow more;
83 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh,
84 For your redemption draweth nigh.
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XV.
85 When scrutineers for private ends,
86 Against the vote declare their friends;
87 Or judge as you stand there alive,
88 That five is more than forty-five;
89 Look up, ye Britons! cease to sigh,
90 For your redemption draweth nigh.
XVI.
91 When George shall condescend to hear
92 The modest suit, the humble prayer;
93 A prince, to purp'led pride unknown!
94 No favourites disgrace the throne!
95 Look up, ye Britons! sigh no more,
96 For your redemption's at the door.
XVII.
97 When time shall bring your wish about,
98 Or, seven-years lease, you sold, is out;
99 No future contract to fulfil;
100 Your tenants holding at your will;
101 Raise up your heads! your right demand
102 For your redemption's in your hand.
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XVIII.
103 Then is your time to strike the blow,
104 And let the slaves of Mammon know,
105 Britain's true sons A BRIBE can scorn,
106 And die as free as they were born.
107 VIRTUE again shall take her seat,
108 And your redemption stand compleat.

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Title (in Source Edition): THE PROPHECY.
Themes:
Genres: ode

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Source edition

Miscellanies in Prose and Verse; by Thomas Chatterton, the supposed author of the poems published under the names of Rowley, Canning, &c. London: printed for Fielding and Walker, Pater-Noster Row, MDCCLXXVIII., 1778, pp. 105-111. xxxii,245,[3]p.,plates; 8⁰. (ESTC T39457; OTA K039720.000)

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The text has been typographically modernized, but without any silent modernization of spelling, capitalization, or punctuation. The source of the text is given and all editorial interventions have been recorded in textual notes. Based on the electronic text originally produced by the ECCO-TCP project, this ECPA text has been edited to conform to the recommendations found in Level 5 of the Best Practices for TEI in Libraries version 3.0.

Other works by Thomas Chatterton