« AnteriorContinuar »
“ If Erin no longer my altar-flame fann'd,
By ceasing to murder for tithe now and then,
“ It might well be surmised that my paralysed hand
Had lost all control o'er the actions of men,
“ And what though each orthodox candidate swears
“ To my Thirty-nine Articles—’tis but a jest,
“ Since a bishop (proh pudor!), a bishop, declares
“ That such oaths are a form,-never meant as a test.
“ And who is the cause that I'm laid on the shelf,
“ Disown'd and deserted by all but a few?
“ Your looks and your whining expressions of ruth,
“ Your appeals-ever urged with insidious wiles,
“To reason and justice—to love and to truth,
“ Your tears of deceit, and your plausible smiles,
“ Have inveigled the bulk of my subjects away,
“ And have swell’d your own ranks with deserters
- Such conduct is base, and from this very day,
Hope and I mean to leave you and take a new line.”
With the look of an angel, the voice of a dove,
Thus Charity answer'd—“Since Concord alone
“ Can prosper our partnership mission of love,
66 And exalt the attraction that calls her her own,
" I would not, dear sisters, e'en harbour a thought,
“ That might peril a friendship so truly divine; * And if in our feelings a change has been wrought,
“ I humbly submit that the fault is not mine.
“ Christianity's attributes, holy and high,
“ When first, sister Faith, you delighted to teach, “ And Hope only wafted your words to the sky,
“I seconded gladly the labours of each:
“ But when, in crusades! you began to affect
“ A thousand disguises and masquerades new,
When you dress’d yourself up in the badges of sect,
“ Nay, even of Mussulman, Pagan, and Jew,
“And when in each garb, as yourself have just said,
“ You scatter'd a firebrand wherever you went,
“ While Hope spent her breath, as she follow'd or led,
“ In fanning the flames of religious dissent,
“ I raised up my voice in a solemn appeal
* Against your whole course of unchristian life,
“ Tho' its accents were drown'd in the clashing of steel,
“ In the clamour of councils, and schismatic strife;
“ But now when men, turning from dogmas to deeds.
“ Bear the scriptural dictum of Jesus in mind,
“ That salvation depends not on canons and creeds,
“ But on love of the Lord, and the love of our kind, “My voice can be heard, and my arguments weigh'd:
“ Which explains why such numerous converts of late
“ Are under my love-breathing standard array'd,
“ Who once, beneath yours, were excited to hate.
“Superstition must throw off Religion's disguise;
“ For men, now enlighten'd, not darkling like owls,
“ While they reverence priests who are holy and wise,
“ Will no longer be hoodwink'd by cassocks or cowls.
“ If, Sisters! forgetting your primitive troth,
“ You would still part the world into tyrants and slaves, “ What wonder that sages should look on you both
“ As the virtues of dupes, for the profit of knaves ?
“ You would separate? Do so—I give you
-I give you full scope;
“ But reflect, you are both of you naught when we part;
“ While I, 'tis well known, can supply Faith and Hope,
“ When I choose for my temple an innocent heart.”
The mill-wheel's frozen in the stream,
The church is deck'd with holly,
Misletoe hangs from the kitchen beam,
To fright away melancholy;
Younkers skate on the pool below,
Blackbirds perch on the garden rail,
And hark, how the cold winds blow!
There goes the squire to shoot at snipe,
Here runs Dick to fetch a log;
You'd swear his breath was the smoke of a pipe,
In the frosty morning fog.
Hodge is breaking the ice for the kine,
Old and young cough as they go, The round red sun forgets to shine,
And hark, how the cold winds blow!