Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1607–1764
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. I–II: Colonial Literature, 1607–1764
 
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,        5
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:        10
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,        15
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?        20
 
 
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