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 King enjoys his own again26

   Martin Parker


In its often imitated opening line, Parker's ballad refers to one of the more celebrated fortune tellers of the time, John Booker, engaging the theme of prophecy in order to describe a wish. Booker (23 March 1603-8 April 1667), was born in Manchester but apprenticed to a London haberdasher; disliking the business, he taught writing at Hadley School in Middlesex. According to Mr. William Lilly's History of His Life and Times, From the Year 1602, to 1681 (1715), "he wrote singularly well both Secretary and Roman" and served as clerk to various London Aldermen "and by that Means became not only well known, but as well respected of the most eminent Citizens of London, even to his dying day" (p. 28). His first almanack was Telescopium Uranium (1631). After successfully predicting the deaths of Gustavus Adolphus and the Elector Palatine, Booker gained the position of licenser of mathematical books. Elias Ashmole bought his papers for £140 -- "far more Money than they were worth" according to Lilly (p. 29) -- and erected a gravestone for him (Ebsworth, RB, 7:634). "To say no more of him," wrote Lilly, "he lived an honest Man, his Fame now questioned at his Death" (p. 29).27

   The original stanzas map a program of loyal resignation suitable for the second half of the 1640s when royalist affairs were going poorly. The stanzas added in 1660 touch on several topics that seem to have been commonly in the thoughts of hopeful royalists that year: reform of the universities, settlement of the church, agreement between parliament and the crown, and a return of many things -- prosperous trading, justice, law, security, peace, and marital harmony.

   There are two printed versions in the British Library, one in roman type, the other in blackletter, that presumably belong to the year of the king's return, though both are undated. The text given here follows the version in roman type (L1) rather than that in blackletter (L2), since it contains more substantive variants from earlier versions, suggesting a greater degree of revision specifically for the occasion. The major difference between the two printings is that the roman version maintains focus on domestic issues, trusting that treacherous "Rogues," rather than "Frenchees," will flee with the king's return (line 77). The xenophobic note, however, is sharpened in another version of this ballad -- England's Great Prognosticator -- which is given next.

[26] /.FL Wing: P441. Copies: L1 1876.f.3, brs. roman type COPYTEXT. L2 Rox. III. 256, bl brs. no use of roman. I have reported here only variants of whole words or phrases. HH [not found]. Ms variant at EN ADV l9.3.4(29). Reprint: Ebsworth, RB, 7:682-84, based on text of L2.

[27] See also DNB.

The KING enjoys His own again.

To be joyfully Sung with its own proper sweet Tune.28
1: WHat Booker can prognosticate,
2:       or speak of our Kingdom's present state?
3: I think my self to be as wise,
4:       as he that most looks in the Skies:
5: My Skill goes beyond the depth of the Pond,
6:      or Rivers29 in the greatest Rain;30
7: By the31 which I can tell, that all things will be well,
8:      When the King comes Home in Peace again.

9: There is no Astrologer then I say
10:      can search more deep in this than32 I,
11: To give a33 reason from the Stars,
12:       what causeth Peace or civil Wars;
13: The Man in the Moon may wear out his shoon34
14:       in running after Charles his Wain.
15: But all to no end, for the times they will mend,
16:       When the King comes Home in Peace again.

17: Though for a time you see White-hall
18:       with Cob-webs hanging over the Wall,35
19: Instead of Silk and Silver brave,
20:       as formerly it us'd to have;
21: In every Room,36 the sweet Perfume,
22:       delightfull for that Princely Train;
23: The which you shall see, when the time it shall be,
24:       That the King comes Home in Peace again.

25: Two Thousand Years37the Royal Crown,
26:       hath been his Fathers and his own;
27: And I am sure ther's none but he
28:       hath right to that Soveraignitie.
29: Then who better may the Scepter sway38
30:       than39 he that hath such Right to Reign?
31: The hopes of your Peace, for the Wars will then cease
32:       When the King comes Home in Peace again.

33: Till then upon Ararat's-hill,
34:       my Hope40 shall cast her Anchor still,
35: Until I see some Peaceful Dove
36:       bring Home that41 Branch which I do Love,
37: Still will I wait till the Waters abate,
38:       which most disturbs my troubled Brain;
39: For I'll42 never rejoyce, till I hear the43 Voice,
40:       That the King's come Home in Peace again.

41: Oxford and Cambridge shall agree
42:       crown'd with Honour and Dignitie;
43: Learned Men shall then take place,
44:       and bad Men silenc'd with Disgrace,
45: They'll know it was then but44 a shameful Strain
46:       that hath so long disturb'd our[45] Brain,
47: For surely I can46 tell that all things will be47 well
48:       When the King comes Home in Peace again.

49: Church Government shall settled be,
50:       and then I hope we shall agree,
51: Without their help, whose high brain Zeal,
52:       hath48 long distrub'd our Common well
53: Greed out of date, and Coblers that do prate49
54:       of Wars that still disturb their Brain.
55: The which you shall see when the time it shall be
56:       That the King comes Home in Peace again.

57: Tho' many Men are much in Debt,
58:      and many Shops are to be set:
59: A Golden time is drawing near,
60:      Men shall take Shops to hold their Ware.
61: And then all our Trade shall flourish alamode,
62:      the which we shall e'er long50 obtain;
63: By the which I can tell that all things will be well
64:      When the King comes Home in Peace again

65: Maidens then shall enjoy their Mates,51
66:      and Honest Men their lost Estates:
67: Women shall have what they do lack,52
68:       their Husbands, who are coming back.
69: When the Wars have an end, then I &53 my Friend
70:      all Subjects freedom shall obtain.
71: By the which I can tell that all things will be well
72:      When the King comes Home in54 Peace again.

73: Though People now walk in great Fear
74:       alongst the Country every where:
75: Thieves shall then tremble at the Law,
76:       and Justice shall keep them in aw,
77: The Rogues55 shall flee with their Treacherie
78:       and all the Kings Foes most shamefulie,56
79: The which you shall see when the time it shall be
80:       That the King comes Home in Peace again.

81: The Parliament must willing be,
82:       that all the World may plainly see,
83: How they do labour still for Peace,
84:       that now these bloody Wars may cease:
85: For they'll57 gladly spend their Lives to defend
86:       the King in all his Right to Reign;
87: So then I can tell all things will be well,
88:       When the King enjoys58 sweet Peace again

89: When all these shall come to pass,59
90:       then farewell Musket, Pipe60 and Drum,
91: The Lamb shall with the Lyon feed,
92:       which were a happy time indeed:
93: O let us all pray, we may see the day,
94:       that Peace may govern in his Name:
95: For then I can tell all things will be well
96:       When the King comes Home in Peace again.61


[28] proper sweet Tune.] proper Tune.

[29] Rivers] River

[30] lines 5-6: Ebsworth suggests that "Booker's skill in measuring `the depth of a Pond, or Rivers, in the greatest rain'. . . was gained as an experienced Angler, and maker of fishing-tackle, resident in Tower-Street, temp. Caroli" (RB, 7:634).

[31] the] thee

[32] than] then

[33] give a] give you a

[34] shoon] shoone

[35] Wall,] wal

[36] Room] Roome

[37] Two Thousand Years] Full fourty years following Upon Defacing of Whitehall

[38] Scepter sway] Scepter to sway,

[39] than] then

[40] Hope] hopes

[41] that] the

[42] I'll] I'le

[43] the] that

[44] it was then but] it then to be

[45] our] their

[46] For surely I can] For I can surely

[47] will be] shal go

[48] hath] have

[49] line 53: Coblers, i.e. Col. John Hewson, a common butt of royalist satires because of his artisanal origins.

[50] we shall e'er long] ere long we shal

[51] Mates] Maiks L2. Ebsworth sees here evidence of a Northern printer, suggesting John White of Newcastle (RB, 7:684).

[52] lack] lake

[53] &] and

[54] the King comes Home in] we enjoy sweet

[55] Rogues] Frenches

[56] all the Kings Foes most shamefulie] the Kings foes a shamed remain

[57] they'll] they will

[58] the King enjoys] we enjoy

[59] shall come to pass,] things to pass shall come,

[60] Pipe] Pick

[61] When the King comes Home in Peace again.] GOD SAVE THE KING, AMEN.