Powte’s Complaint: A call to arms for the Fen Tigers!

peasants

Come, Brethren of the water, and let us all assemble,

To treat upon this matter, which makes us quake and tremble;
For we shall rue it, if”t be true, that Fens be undertaken
And where we feed in Fen and Reed, they’ll feed both Beef and Bacon.

They’ll sow both beans and oats, where never man yet thought it,
Where men did row in boats, ere undertakers brought it:
But, Ceres, thou, behold us now, let wild oats be their venture,
Oh let the frogs and miry bogs destroy where they do enter.

Behold the great design, which they do now determine,
Will make our bodies pine, a prey to crows and vermine:
For they do mean all Fens to drain, and waters overmaster,
All will be dry, and we must die, ’cause Essex calves want pasture.

Away with boats and rudder, farewell both boots and skatches,
No need of one nor th’other, men now make better matches;
Stilt-makers all and tanners, shall complain of this disaster,
For they will make each muddy lake for Essex calves a pasture.

The feather’d fowls have wings, to fly to to other nations;
But we have no such things, to help our transportations;
We must give place (oh grievous case) to horned beasts and cattle,
Except that we can all agree to drive them out by battle.

 ANON.

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