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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Six Hobnails

By Nathaniel Ward (1578–1652)

[From The Simple Cobbler of Aggawam. 1647.]

  • I PRAY let me drive in half a dozen plain honest Country Hobnails, such as the Martyrs were wont to wear; to make my work hold the surer; and I have done.

  • THERE lives cannot be good,

    There, faith cannot be sure,

    Where truth cannot be quiet,

    Nor ordinances pure.

    No King can king it right,

    Nor rightly sway his rod;

    Who truly loves not Christ,

    And truly fears not God.

    He can not rule a land,

    As lands should ruled been,

    That lets himself be rul’d

    By a ruling Roman Queen.

    No earthly man can be

    True subject to this State;

    Who makes the Pope his Christ,

    An heretic his mate.

    There Peace will go to War,

    And Silence make a noise:

    Where upper things will not

    With nether equipoise.

    The upper World shall rule,

    While Stars will run their race:

    The nether World obey,

    While people keep their place.

    If any of these come out

    So long ’s the World do last

    Then credit not a word

    Of what is said and past.