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A Sonnet Upon The Pitiful Burning Of The Globe Playhouse In

Now sit thee down, Melpomene,
  Wrapp'd in a sea-coal robe,
  And tell the doleful tragedy
  That late was play'd at Globe;
  For no man that can sing and say
  But was scar'd on St. Peter's Day.
  Oh sorrow, pitiful sorrow, and yet all this is true.

  All you that please to understand,
  Come listen to my story,
  To see Death with his raking brand
  'Mongst such an auditory;
  Regarding neither Cardinal's might,
  Nor yet the rugged face of Henry the Eight.
  Oh sorrow, pitiful sorrow, and yet all this is true.

  This fearful fire began above,
  A wonder strange and true,
  And to the stage-house did remove,
  As round as tailor's clew;
  And burnt down both beam and snag,
  And did not spare the silken flag.
  Oh sorrow, pitiful sorrow, and yet all this is true.

  Out run the knights, out run the lords,
  And there was great ado;
  Some lost their hats and some their swords,
  Then out run Burbage too;
  The reprobates, though drunk on Monday,
  Prayed for the fool and Henry Condye.
  Oh sorrow, pitiful sorrow, and yet all this is true.

  The periwigs and drum-heads fry,
  Like to a butter firkin;
  A woeful burning did betide
  To many a good buff jerkin.
  Then with swoll'n eyes, like drunken Flemings,
  Distressed stood old stuttering Hemings.
  Oh sorrow, pitiful sorrow, and yet all this is true.

...
  Be warned, you stage strutters all,
  Lest you again be catched,
  And such a burning do befall
  As to them whose house was thatched;
  Forbear your whoring, breeding biles,
  And lay up that expense for tiles.
  Oh sorrow, pitiful sorrow, and yet all this is true.

  Go draw you a petition,
  And do you not abhor it,
  And get, with low submission,
  A license to beg for it
  In churches, sans churchwardens' checks,
  In Surrey and in Middlesex.
  Oh sorrow, pitiful sorrow, and yet all this is true.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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