MacLean, Gerald, editor. The Return of the King : An Anthology of English Poems Commemorating the Restoration of Charles II / edited by Gerald MacLean
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The Countrey-mans Vive Le Roy
[undated: early May]

    Recalling Sir John Suckling's celebrated "Ballad upon a Wedding," this dialogue extends the trope of "vox populi." It uses rural voices describing the hopes of ordinary folk in terms of an idealized countryside at a time when word is being brought to the country from the city that the people have declared for the king. Talk of tigers devastating the English countryside during the king's absence, though fanciful, is entirely in keeping with the ballad's use of pastoral conventions to engage imaginatively with contemporary issues, switching back and forth between country hopes and city events. On the other hand, the requisitioning of horses by soldiers had been a major problem facing farmers during the years of civil war. As so often, the pastoral here is a formal literary gesture mingling fact with fiction and addressed to a learned audience. The ballad ends cryptically with Jack declaiming a quatrain in Latin and English that contrasts king-killers Judas and Cromwell in order, presumably, to advocate punishment of the regicides.

    Judging by line 26 and the tense of the final wishes in lines 97-100, this ballad claims to be dated early May, just before the king actually arrived in England.

The Countrey-mans VIVE Le ROY.
His Joyfull Exaltation for King CHARLES 379 his Restoration,
In a Dialogue between DICK a Plough-man, and JACK a Shepherd.
With Jacks Epigram upon Englands Grand TRAYTOR.


COme, Jack shake off thy old disguise,
Of clouded Brows and watry eys.
Now mourn no more, for what is past
Our griefs have found a cure at last.
5: For now the youth in ev'ry Street,
As they do one another meet,
With hearts full fraught, and Loyal joy
Eccho and sing Vive Le Roy.


My sorrows are so great and fixt
10: And with such heavy Causes mixt,
My heart with grief is so opprest
No joy must harbour in my breast;
My dearest friend was snacht away
By Tigers, wolves and beasts of prey,380
15: By whose most Savage overthrow,
My heart is made the seat of woe.

For want of whom my flockes do stray
And by the beast do still decay,
Those few which yet are left behind,
20: Rob'd of their Fleeces I do find,
My Lambs lie slain before my face,
My self 381 am scorn'd and in disgrace,
My griefes are helpless, till with joy
I shall hear sung Vive Le Roy.


25: I was at London th'other day,
And sure 'twas in the Moneth of May,
When the whole City seem'd to me
By the great flame on fire to be.
Then as I past a little higher,
30: I found the Peoples hearts on fire,
Whose zealous flames exprest with joy,
And Caps flung up, Vive Le Roy.

Still as I past along no note,
Was heard that day from any throat,
35: But what did Loyalty expresse,
And their great joy for his success,
Unto his Royal throne, the mirth
Was greater now then at his birth,
For every Age and Sex, and Boy
40: Speak nothing but Vive Le Roy.


Dick welcome home for thou doest tell,
Such news which fits my humour well,
My flocks will now with safety feed,
And when they've yean'd 382 their Lambkins breed,
45: Free from the danger of the beast,
Safe under his protection rest,
For whose Return lets sing for joy,
With heart and voyce Vive Le Roy.


Jack now the case is alter'd quit,
50: And we shall all enjoy our Right,
Now we shall have no cause to fear,
The plundring wolf, or killing Bear.
Our Labours now will sweetned be,
With wisht content and Unity,
55: For which we may rejoyce and sing,
With heart and voyce God save the King.


Arcadia now's restor'd to Rest
Which was by Tyrants sore opprest,
My little Lambs skip ore the plain,
60: Which were by Tygers well nigh slain,
Forgetful of their former woe,
Securely wander to and fro,
Which on my Oaten pipe for joy,
Makes 383 me to play Vive Le Roy.


65: Our Horses now return at night,
Acquitted of the Souldiers fright,
For neither they of late, nor we,
Are led into Captivity.
We keep our poultry and our kine,
70: Now that is thine and this is mine,
For which whilst I hold plough my Boy,
Shall whistle out Vive Le Roy.


Now while my Lambkins feed and play,
I can securely wast the day,
75: And to avoid the heat of Sol
With pretty Nancie or kind Dol.
Sport in some shade: my Flocks return
I need not fear the wolf's in's Urne,384
For which let every Arcadian Boy
80: Rejoyce and sing, Vive Le Roy,


Come Jack lets go and take a sup,
And drown old sorrows in a Cup,
Of brownest Ale that we can find,
For to restore our drooping mind.
85: Bring thou thy Dol: I'le bring my Nan
And Frollick it with Cake and Can,
Wee'le make our Girles no more be coy,
But laugh and sing, Vive Le Roy.


I like the motion of my friend,
90: I'le fold my Flock, and thee attend,
To mother Mabs old tipling-house
Where we will take a smart carouse
Of her brown nappy stuff, 385 till we
Are full of Ale and Loyalty.
95: Wee'l drown all care and swell with joy,
Laugh, quaff and sing Vive Le Roy.


Come Frank strike up a merry strain
Since the King injoys his own again,
When we see our long wisht for King,
100: Let Bonfires flame, and the Bells ring.
Fill a full Cup, I'le drink a round,
My heart doth as my Cups abound.
A health to our King, pledge all with joy.
Heav'ns bless the King, Vive Le Roy.

105:            Their wish.
Make hast (Great Sir) to our Arcadi'n Plain,
And bless this Island with your beams again,
Heav'n grant that never such another night,
As we have felt since we did lose the Light
110: May Cloud us any more, O may the Sun
Still shine upon us, and our Day ne'r done
May the Suns influence of thy fair beams,
Give store unto our 386 Plains, Life to our Streams.
So shall our Flocks yield us a good encrease
115: When Plenty's usher'd in by welcome Peace.
Long may you live King of th'Arcadean Land,
And we learn to obey what you Command.

In Cromwillum Regicidum.
Ad mortem Dominum male prodidit Iscariotes
120:      Cromwelliq dola Rex borus interdit
Convenere pares solo hoc discrimine Judas
Obtinuit meritas, non tulit ille cruces,
Englished thus.
Judas betrayd his Sovereign 387 Lord to death,
125: By Cromwells fraud a good King lost his breath,
Only in this these Traytors different be,
Judas was justly hang'd, so was not he.

London, Printed for J. Jones, 1660.


compare Couch: "When Lyons, Tygers, and those Beasts of prey," line 45.

self] sel copytext

given birth

Makes] makes copext

i.e. there is now no need to fear since the wolf is now dead and in his grave (urn).

nappy stuff; foaming ale.

.úú111. unto our] uuto out coptext

Sovereign] Soveeign