Cruell and sodaine, hast thou since
Purpled thy naile, in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty bee,
Except in that drop which it suckt from thee?
So the XXth Broadsheete of The FLEA is attayne’d; & Yr Hble & Obdt is honour’d to offer these Parnassian delytes to his discerning Readeres. Signor Andrew Frisardis translation from Dante’s Vita nova must be an ornament & exemplar to the Crafte; Mistress Ann Drysdales translation of M. Rimbauds ‘Les Chercheuses de Poux’, as ‘The Nit Pickers’, is in fine the best Englishing of this poem I have read, (M. Rimbaud, whose birthe-daye it is as we go to publick-Pixel, being, in my estimation, one of the uerie best Poets ever to wield goose-quill). In this XXth Broadesheet may ye moreouer find Mistress Janet Kenny, agen demonstrating the pouuer of her metaphysickal Musings, in her reflection upon the Svpreme Being (or not), with her poem, ‘Challenge’; I would fain direct the Reader to the informative & morally up-liftinge Interview conducted by Mr. Mike Burch, with Mistress Kenny, at his famous premises The Hypertexts, hard by St. Pawles yard. Mr. Timothy Murphy hath torn himself away from the headlong pleasures of venerie, sparing the smal birdes for a pace, sufficiently to pen a rich bag of fine & FLEA-ish Lines, in his accustom’d & superlative Manner.
Mr. Robert Mezeys uerses ‘To a Believer in Two Moods’ have impress’d your editor mightily; not alone for their poetic excellence, but as well for the thematic Connexion exhibited in them, with the astounding and numinous great Rock, Uluru, sacred to the Indigenes of these remote Antipodes. But I leaue the Reader now, to discouer the sundrie & diuers other excellences of the Poems published herein, saue only to remark & welcome two poetic voices new to this Broadsheete: Mr. Rex Plomboste, a modest writer, whose sharpe satyrickal eye boldly pierces the farthest reaches of the Cosmos; & Don Pablo Estévez y Blanco, who hath deliuer’d to us his philosophical Speculations, from his home somewhere in the papiste Iberian realmes; Don Pablo hath prouided some Explanatory Notes to his uerses, whiche I have pinn’d vp on the wall of The Flea Blogge, here .
Yr Hble & Odt Editor hath of late been chided for his alleg’d improprietyes of attitude, & heresies of temperament, by one doctrinayre Puritan of Politickal Hyper-Correctness; thus, in the folouuing Termes, (which bring to his mind the Outrage, voic’d by Mr. Gabriel Harvey upon the head of the excellente Robert Greene):
Who hath not heard of this FLEA-bytten, crack’d Caratacus, toss-potte of the realme of tauernes; his dissolute, and licentious liuing; his fond disguising of a Master of Arte with ruffianly haire, vnseemly faded aparell, & more vnseemelye Company: his vaineglorious & Thrasonicall brauinge: his piperly Extemporizing, & Tarletonizing: his apishe counterfeiting of euery ridiculous & absurd toy: his fine coosening of Iuglers, & finer iugling with cooseners: hys villainous cogging, & foisting; his monstrous swearinge, & horrible forswearing; his impious profaning of sacred Textes: his other scandalous & blasphemous rauing; his riotous & outragious surfeitinge; his continuall shifting of lodginges: his plausible musteringe, & banquetinge of roysterly acquaintaunce at his first comminge; his beggarly departing in euery hostesses debt; his infamous resorting to the Banckeside, Shorditch, Southwarke, & other filthy hauntes: his obscure lurkinge in basest corners: his pawning of his sword, cloake, & what not, when money came short; his impudent pamphletting, brazen broadsheeteinge, phantasticall interluding, & desperate libelling, when other coosening shifts failed: his imploying of Bloxsom (surnamed bullye Bloxsom) till he was intercepted at Tiborne, & the atheistickal treacherous Holt, & Signor Zirilli the notorious Italian H-ll-rayzer, to leauy a crew of his trustiest companions, to guarde him in daunger of Arrestes: his wynckinge at, & keeping lewd & unruly companye, of wilde doxies & Rum-duchesses, as Annie Drysdale, & Angela France, & Pat Jones, in friuolous & festiue frolickinge: particulars are infinite: his contemning of Superiors, deriding of other, & defying of all good order?
Alas! yr Editor, unbow’d, yet in truth, most wearie of such fustian Bombaste, can but thanke all those Supporters & Well-Wishers who haue (over the Yeares) made his Editorial pathe so pleasaunt to tred; & forgiue those who haue reuil’d or falsely accuz’d him of this or that Mis-deede or Mis-Thoghte; &, in sum, he can propose merely this singular Replie, (which must wait to be compos’d severall Centuries hence, by one Mistress Laura Riding, whom he regards as a future-kindred-Sprite):
Cure of Ignorance
The dogs still bark,
And something is not clear.
From ignorance dogs barked always.
How to enlighten them?
There are no dogs now —
They do but bark.
What is not clear is what is clear.
Dogs have the scent,
Yet nothing runs like prey.
Shall we seem to disappear
Until the dogs stop barking?
There is no other way to explain.