"Above three thousand being hid in caves, / VVere stifled by these marble-hearted slaves."

— Billingsley, Nicholas (bap. 1633, d. 1709)

Place of Publication
Printed by J. Cottrel [etc.]
"Above three thousand being hid in caves, / VVere stifled by these marble-hearted slaves."
Metaphor in Context
When the black cloak of Popery was hurl'd
Upon the shoulders of the christian world,
The saints still labour'd to dispel away
Those shades Cimmerian, and reveal the day
With truth's bright lustre; and withall devest
The Roman glory. One among the rest,
A learn'd and godly man at Lions, whose name
Was Peter Valdo, much oppos'd the same;
Declaring plainly Transubstantiation
To be no better then an Innovation:
He mov'd the cred'lous people to embrace
The precious offers of the means of grace,
They which unto his Doctrine gave respect,
From him were called the Waldensian Sect:
Which like a Snow-ball rowling down a hill,
Decreased nothing, but increased still.
Though ev'ry day and hour the Martyrs bleed,
Yet is the Martyrs blood the Churches seed.
This her'sy in a thousand Citys swarme,
Maintaining seventy thousand men of arms:
Nor could the popish Canons, Constitutions,
Curses, Decrees, alter their resolutions:
To suffer wrong, in body, goods, or name,
For Christ his sake, was counted not a shame.
Valdo yet still proceeds (nor can he hope
Long life) to publish to the world, the Pope
Is Antichrist; the Mass abominable;
The Host an Idol; Purgator'a fable.[1]
Pope Innocent the third, did authorize
Monkish Inquisitors for to surprize
These Her'oicks (as he call'd them) by process,
That so the sec'lar power might them suppress,
Is any rich, the inquis'tors had a trick
To make him poor, Oh he's an Heretick,
Let him have such a death; no power controul'd
Or curb'd them in; but what they would, they would.
If any, water, or a pad of straw,
Gave to the Saints, he was condemn'd by law.
If any advocate, assaid to plead
His kinsmans cause an Action indeed!
And if an Heir, his father that way leans,
And that's enough to rob him of his means.
Nay, for to keep the people in more aw,
They prisoners do in their processions draw
Triumphantly; injoyning them to vex
And scourge themselves; with ropes about their necks,
A torch in either hand, others along
Must pass to terrify the gazing throng.
Besides all these, they have a thousand Querks;
They send cut some to fight against the Turks
And Infidels; (no need to seek for heires)
Their houses, goods, and chattels, all are theirs.
At their return, if any ask'd their wives
VVho lay with them? They 'ndangered their lives.
The foes confess'd, they had not wherewithall
To build up prisons for th' accused all:
And yet for all this persecution, there
[2]Above eight hundred thousand Christians were.
The faith encreas'd, and with a prosp'rous gale
Clim'd o're the Alps came to Pragela's vale;
From thence the people bordered upon
St. Martin, Piedmont, La Perouse Angrogne.
Wander there did innumerable flocks
Upon the craggy cliffs, and algid rocks.
Above three thousand being hid in caves,
VVere stifled by these marble-hearted slaves.
Searching in HDIS (Poetry)
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.