Satire Against False Union

They beat the breast and noble virtues swore
As between tennis did their ancestors
But it would have been better for the lot
To play a match at court than court a plot
For those who would follow them to display
Pretense to progress — even those they betray.
What could be richer in bitter irony
To defend men’s rights by men’s idiocy?
Say you had upon your head a beret
And I told you to remove it straight away
Because some people don’t seem to like them
And so it is only fit to condemn
Your hat — at least until you turn eighteen
— It’s for the common good and would be mean
To show that you are French (or Basque); you see,
We best defend the rights that make you free
By making sure everyone’s the same
And if you don’t like it then you’re to blame;
Would you not want to punch me in the face
For so insulting reason, right, and race?
Well, what if I then told you to take off your head
Despite protests that it would leave you dead
Saying it was to protect your right to life
(Or the whims of others who mean no strife
Otherwise)? Would you say that that was right
Or would you yell, rage, and roar — might you fight?
So with that lesson in mind I tell you
You could mingle with both fop and yahoo
With a large frozen fish upon your head
And even that frozen fish they would dread
When it means something, then they take command,
Those who despise your fish — or do not understand.


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