1Virtue once in the
Olympics fought a duel—
second, Wisdom, that transcendent jewel.
3Fortune courageously did her oppose,
4And giddily for second, Folly chose.
5The sad spectators grieved to see this
6Fearing that Virtue’s side would win the day.
7Thus pitying Fortune and her fellow, Folly,
cockneys sat most melancholy.
9But see the fate of war: Fortune was blind
laid about, her foes to find,
11Nor cared on who or where her blows did light.
12Folly as bravely did maintain the fight,
13Not valuing what she did or what she said;
14And now the people that were so afraid
15’Gan to rejoice; then Virtue she
16Wisdom drew back with slow but modest pace;
acclamations made the
Paeans the people unto Fortune sing.
19Folly with Fortune’s help did wear the crown;
20Virtue with Wisdom both were hisséd down.
21Then let none by success judge of the cause,
22For we have lived (ay me) to see the laws
23Of God and Nature basely trampled on,
impiety the vict’ry won;
25And such a king killed,
that this isle before
26Did never see, nor never will see more,
Unless our God his princely son restore.