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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

Upon a Purple Cap

By George Alsop (b. 1638)

[From A Character of the Province of Mary-Land, 1666.]

HAIL from the dead, or from Eternity,

Thou Velvet Relique of Antiquity;

Thou which appear’st here in thy purple hue,

Tell ’s how the dead within their tombs do do;

How those Ghosts fare within each marble cell,

Where amongst them for ages thou didst dwell.

What brain didst cover there? tell us that we

Upon our knees vail hats to honor thee:

And if no honor ’s due, tell us whose pate

Thou basely coveredst, and we ’ll jointly hate:

Let ’s know his name, that we may show neglect;

If otherwise, we ’ll kiss thee with respect.

Say, didst thou cover Noll’s old brazen head,

Which on the top of Westminster high lead

Stands on a pole, erected to the sky,

As a grand trophy to his memory.

From his perfidious skull didst thou fall down,

In a disdain to honor such a crown

With three-pile velvet? Tell me, hadst thou thy fall

From the high top of that Cathedral?