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The Vicar of Bray (18th Century)

In good King Charles' golden days,
When loyalty no harm meant,
A zealous High Churchman was I,
And so got my preferment;
To teach my flock I never missed,
Kings were by God appointed,
And lost are they that dare resist,
Or touch the Lord's anointed

And this is the law, that I'll maintain,
Until my dying day, Sir,
That whatsoever King may reign
I'll be the Vicar of Bray, Sir-

When Royal James possessed the crown
And pop'ry grew in fashion,
The penal laws I hooted down
And read the Declaration;
The Church of Rome I found would fit
Full well my constitution,
And I had been a Jesuit,
But for the Revolution

And this is the law, etc...

When William was our King declared,
To ease the nation's grievance,
With this new wind about I steered
And swore to him allegiance.
Old principles I did revoke,
Set conscience at a distance,
And passive obedience was a joke,
A jest was non-resistance.

And this is the law, etc...

When George in pudding time came o'er,
And moderate men looked big, sir,
I turned a cat-in-pan once more,
And so became a Whig, sir;
And thus preferment I procured
From our new faith's defender,
And almost every day abjured
The Pope and the Pretender.

And this is the law, etc...

The illustrious house of Hanover,
And Protestant succession,
To these I do allegiance swear,
While they can keep possession;
For in my faith and loyalty
I never more will falter,
And George my lawful King shall be-
Until the times do alter.

And this is the law, etc...

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Created 21/10/99
Last modified 18/10/01