T H E
P R A I S E O F H E M P - S E E D :
W I T H
The Voyage of Mr. Roger Bird and the Writer hereof, in a
Boat of browne-Paper, from London to Quinborough
Sweet sacred Muses, my inuention raise
Vnto the life, to write great Hempseeds praise.
This grain growes to a stalk, whose coat or skin
Good industry doth hatchell, twist, and spin,
And for mans best aduantage and auailes
It makes clothes, cordage, halters, ropes and sailes.
From this small Atome, mighty matters springs,
It is the Art of nauigations wings ;
It spreads aloft, the lofty skie it scales,
Flies o're the great Leuiathan and Whales,
Diues to the boundlesse bottome of the deepe,
Where Neptune doth mongst dreadful monsters keep.
From Pole to pole, it cuts both Seas and Skyes,
From th' orient to the occident it flyes.
Kings that are sundred farre, by Seas and Lands,
It makes them in a manner to shake hands.
It fils our Land with plenty wonderfull,
From th'Esterne Indies from the great Mogull,
From France, from Portingale, from Venice, Spaine,
From Denmarke, Norway, it scuds o're the maine,
Vnto this Kingdome it doth wealth acrue
From beyond China, farre beyond Peru.
From Belgia, Almaine, the West Indies, and
From Guiny, Biny, Island, New found-land,
This little seed is the great instrument
To shew the power of God Omnipotent,
Whereby the glorious Gospell of his Sonne,
Millions misled soules hath from Sathan wonne.
It is an instrument by the appointment of God for the encrease
of the Gospell of Christ.
Those that knew no God in the times of yore,
Now they their great Creator doe adore.
And many that did thinke they did doe well
To giue themselues a sacrifice to Hell,
And seru'd the Diuell with th'inhumane slaughters,
Of their vnhappy haplesse sonnes and daughters,
Now they the remnant of their liues do frame
To praise their Makers and Redeemers name.
Witnesse Virginia; witnesse many moe,
Witnesse our selues few hundred yeares agoe,
When in Religion, and in barbarous natures,
We were poore wretched misbeleeuing creatures.
How had Gods Preachers saild to sundry coasts,
T' instruct men how to know the Lord of Hosts?
But for the Sayles which he with wind doth fill.
As Seruants to accomplish his great will.
But leauing this high supernaturall straine,
I'le talke of Hempseed in a lower vaine.
How should we hauve gold, siluer, jems, or Iewels,
Wine, oyle, spice, rice, and diuers sorts of fewels:
Food for the belly, cloathing for the backe,
Silke, Sattin, Veluet, any thing we lacke,
To serue necessities ? How should we get
Such sorts of plenteous fish, but with the net ?
The Smelt, Roach, Salmon, Flounder and the Dace,
Would in fresh riuers keepe their dwelling place.
The Ling, Cod, Herring, Sturgeon, such as these
Would liue and dye in their owne natiue Seas.
Without this seed the Whale could not be caught,
Whereby our oyles are out of Greenland brought.
Nay wer't not for the net made of this seed,
Men could not catch a Sprat whereon to feed.
Besides, it liberally each where bestowes
A liuing vpon thousands where it growes ;
As beaters, Spinners, Weauers, and a crue
Of haltermakers which could scarce liue true,
But for th'imployment which this little graine
Doth vse them in, and payes them for their paine.
Mirth and Truth are good companions.
The Rope makers, the Net makers, and all
Would be trade falne, for their trade would fall.
Besides, what multitudes of Fishers are
In euery Sea-towne, numbers past compare,
Whilest they their seruants, children, and their wiues
From Hempseeed get their liuing all their liues.
The Fish-mongers would quickly goe to wrack,
The lacke of this seed would be their great lack,
And being now rich, and in good reputation,
They would haue neither Hall nor Corporation.
And all that they could buy, or sell, or barter,
Would scarce be worth a Gubbin once a quarter.
The mounting Larke, that seemes so high to flye,
Vntill she seemes no greater then a Flie ;
And to the flaming Sunne doth chirp and prate,
Doth in the net come to her ending date.
My neighbour Woodcocke, buzzard and the Gull,
And Philip Sparrow all most plentifull.
All sorts of faire fowle, or the foulest fowle,
From the degree of the Eagle to the Owle,
Are with ingenuous jins, grins, nets and snares
For mans reliefe oft taken vnawares :
Deeres, Hares, and Conies would too much abound,
And ouer-run the bearing breeding bround,
And Weazels, Polcats, Wildcats, Stoats and such
Like spoyling Vermin, would annoy men much,
Buf for toyles, hayes, for traps, for snares and grins,
Which brings vs food, and profit by their skins.
No Plowman liues beneath the azure Cope,
But for his plough or cart must vse the rope :
No Hostler liues in ours, or other Lands,
But makes the halters Horses falling bands.
Bels would hang dead within the loftie steeple
And neuer call to Church forgetfull people,
Mute like a bagbite, that hath lost his bag,
Except the Bell ropes made the clappers wag.
It were an endlesse taske to goe about it,
To reckon those that cannot liue without it.
Alasse what would our silken Mercers be ?
What could they doe (sweet Hempseed) but for thee?
Rash, Taffata, Paropa, and Nouato,
Shagg, Fillizetta, Damaske and Mockado,
No Veluets, Piles, two Piles, pile and halfe Pile,
No Plush, or Grograines could adorne this Ile,
No cloth of siluer, Gold, or Tisue, here :
Philip and Cheiny neuer would appeare
Within our bounds, nor any Flanders-serge
Could euer come within our Kingdomes verge :
Should Mercers want these things with diuers more
Their trade were nothing or else very poore.
This seed doth helpe the Grocer euery season,
Or else his wisedome could not yeeld a reison ;
He could not long be Currant in his state,
And (scarcely worth a fig) would end his Date.
For Cloues his credit would be clouen quick,
Nor from the loafe or lumpe, his lips could licke :
No Nutmegs, Liquoris, or biting graines,
Or Almons for a Parrat, were his gaines,
Sans Ginger weakely he would run his Race,
And Powltry Mace, would put down Indian Mace:
And he vnable (through his want of pelfe)
To pepper vs, or yet to prune himselfe.
The Draper of his wealth would much be shorted.
But that our cloathes and Kersies are transported,
Our cottons, penistones, frizadoes, baze,
Our sundry sorts of frizes, blackes and grayes.
And linnen Drapers but for transportation,
Could hardly Canuase out their occupation.
Hempseed doth yeeld or else it doth allow
Lawne, Cambricke, Holland Canuase, Callico,
Normandy, Hambrough, strong poledauis, Lockram.
And to make vp the Rime (with reason) Buckram.
The Goldsmiths trade would totter and unsettle,
And he could be a man of no good mettle,
Were't not for Sailes and Ropes that Ships doe rig,
That bring gold, siluer, many a Sow and Pig ;
Which makes them by an admirable skill
To liue by that which many a Horse doth kill,
Which is the *Fashions ; for continually
They sell the fashion, but they seldome buy.
A Goldsmith and a Taylor liue by that which will kill a horse.
And braue wine Marchants, little were your gaine,
By Mallegoes, Canaries Sacke from Spaine,
Sweet Allegant, and the concocted Cute,
Hollock and Tent would be of small repute;
O all you Bachinalian drunkards honour Hemp-seed.
Your Bastards their owne Fathers would forget,
Nor they our Gossips lips no more would wet.
The wind no Muskadine could hither bandy,
Or sprightfull Malmesey out of fruitfull Candy.
Liatica or Corsica could not
From their owne bearing breeding bounds be got.
Peter-se-mea, or head strong Charnico,
Sherry, nor Rob-o-Dauy here could flow.
The French Frontiniacke, Claret, Red nor White,
Graues nor High-Country could our hearts delight.
No Gascoygne, Orleance, or the Chrystall Sherrant
Nor Rhenish from the Rheine would be apparent.
Thus Hempseed, wth these wines, our land doth spread
Which if we want, wine Marchants trades were dead.
The Vintners trade were hardly worth a rush
Vnable to hang vp a signe, or bush ;
And were't not for this small forgotten graine
Their coniuring at midnight would be vaine.
Anon, anon, would be forgotten soone,
And he might score a pudding in the Moone,
But not a pinte of Claret in the Sunne,
Because the emptie hogshead could not runne.
His blushing lattice would looke pale and wan,
Nor could he long be a well liquord man :
No more could all his regiments of pots
Affright men daily, with scores, bills, and shots.
The Taylors trade would hardly get them bread
If Hempseed did not furnish them with thread ;
And though it be a terror to most theeues
Yet it this occupation neuer greeues,
They loue it, black, brown, yellow, greene, red, blew,
Which is a signe, that Taylers must be true :
The worthy Company, of warme lin'd Skinners
Would in short space be miserable sinners
If Hempseed did not oft supply their boxes
With Russian Sables, Miniuers and Foxes :
With Beares, & Budges; and rare powdered Ermines,
And with the skins of divers beasts and Vermines.
The Habberdasher of small ware, would be
In a small time, a man of small degree :
If Hempseed did not help him by the great,
Small would his gaines be, to buy cloathes or meat.
Then might his wares be rightly tearmed small
Which would by eyther few or none at all.
And * Dyers though you doe no colours feare,
'Tis Hempseed that doth you to riches reare,
Woad, Madder, Indico, and Cutcheneale,
Brazil, and Logwood, and aboundant deale
Of drugs, which did they not your wants supply,
You could not liue, because you could not dye.
They might liue to dye poorely, but not dye to liue rich.
Apothecaries were not worth a pin,
If Hempseed did not bring their commings in ;
Oyles, Vnguents, Sirrops, Minerals, and Baulmes,
(All Natures treasures, and th' Almighties almes,)
Emplasters, Simples, Compounds, sundry drugs
With Necromanticke names like fearefull Bugs,
Fumes, Vomits, purges, that both cures, and kils,
Extractions, conserues, preserues, potions, pils,
Ellixers, simples, compounds, distillations,
Gums in abundance, brought from foraigne nations.
A braue world for Physitions and Chyrurgions the while.
And all or most of these forenamed things
Helpe, health, preseruatiues ; and riches brings.
There's many a Gallant dallying with a Drab,
Hath got the Spanish pip, or Naples scab,
The Galliæ Morbus or the Scottish fleas,
Or English Poxe, for all's but one disease.
And though they were perfum'd with Ciuet hot
Yet wanting these things they would stinke and rot,
With gowts, Consumptions, Palsies, Lethargies,
With apoplexies, quinzies, plurisies,
Cramps, cataracts, the teare-throat cough and tisick
From which, to health men are restore'd by Physicke,
Agues, quotidian, quartane, tertian, or
The leprosie, which all men doe abhor.
The stone, strangury, botches, biles, or blaines,
Head-aches, cankers, swimming of the braines,
Ruptures, Herniaaquosa or Carnosa,
Or the Eolian hernia ventosa.
All Dropsies, Collicks, Iaundizes, or Scabs,
Gangrenaes, Vlcers, wounds, and mortall stabs.
Illiaca passioes, Megrims, Mumps, or Mange,
Contagious blouds, which throgh the veins do range
Scurfes, meazles, murraines, fluxes, all these griefes,
Transported medicines daily bring releefes,
Most seruiceable Hempseed but for thee,
These helpes for man could not thus scattered be.
Tobacoes fire would soone be quenched out,
Nor would it leade men by the nose about :
Nor could the Merchants of such Heathen Docks
From small beginnings purchase mighty stocks :
By follies daily dancing to their pipe
Their states from rotten stinking weeds grow ripe ;
By which meanes they haue into Lordships run
The Clients being beggered and, vndone :
Who hauing smoak'd their Land, to fire and ayre
They whiffe and puffe themselues into dispaire
Ouid 'mongst all his Metamorphosis
Ne're knew a * transformation like to this,
Nor yet could Oedipus e're vnderstand,
How to turne Land to smoake, and smoake to Land.
For by the meanes of this bewitching smother,
One Element is turn'd into another,
As Land to fire, fire into Ayrie matter,
From ayre (too late repenting) turnes to water.
A strange change, and yet not stranger then for the women of
these times to be turn'd to the shapes of men.
By Hempseed thus, fire water, aire, earth, all
Are chang'd by pudding, leafe, roule, pipe and ball.
by John Taylor published 1620