Imágenes de páginas

You say,

Yet sure of heaven themselves, as ifthey'd cribbed | Who looks on erring souls as straying pigs, The impression of St. Peter's keys in wax ! That must be lashed by law, wherever found,

And driven to church as to the parish pound. Of such a character no single trace

I do confess, without reserve or wheedle, Exists, I know, in my fictitious face,

I view that grovelling idea as one There wants a certain cast about the eye;

Worthy some parish clerk's ambitious son, A certain lifting of the nose's tip;

A charity-boy who longs to be a headle. A certain curling of the nether lip,

On such a vital topic sure 't is odd In scorn of ali that is, beneath the sky;

How much a man can differ from his neighbor; In brief, it is an aspect deleterious,

One wishes worship freely given to God, A face decidedly not serious,

Another wants to make it statute-labor, A face profane, that would not do at all

The broad distinction in a line to draw, To make a face at Exeter Hall,

As means to lead us to the skies above, That Hall where bigots rant and cant and pray,

Sir Andrew and his love of law, And laud each other face to face,

And I, – the Saviour with his law of love. Till every farthing-candle ray Conceives itself a great gaslight of grace !

Spontaneously to God should tend the soul,

Like the magnetic needle to the Pole ; Well ! — be the graceless lineaments confest !

But what were that intrinsic virtue worth, I do enjoy this bounteous beauteous earth;

Suppose some fellow, with more zeal than knowl. And dote upon a jest

edge “Within the limits of becoming mirth" ;

Fresh from St. Andrew's college, No solemn sanctimonious face I pull,

Should nail the conscious needle to the north? Nor think I'm pious when I'm only bilious,

I do confess that I abhor and shrink Nor study in my sanctum supercilious

From schemes, with a religious willy-nilly, To frame a Sabbath Bill or forge a Bull.

That frown upon St. Giles's sins, but blink I pray for grace, - repent each sinful act,

The peccadilloes of all Piccadilly, — Peruse, but underneath the rose, my Bible;

My soul revolts at such bare hypocrisy, And love my neighbor far too well, in fact,

And will not, dare not, fancy in accord To call and twit himn with a godly tract

The Lord of Hosts with an exclusive lord That's turned by application to a libel.

Of this world's aristocracy. My heart ferments not with the bigot's leaven,

It will not own a notion so unholy All creeds I view with toleration thorough.

As thinking that the rich by easy trips And have a horror of regarding heaven

May go to heaven, whereas the poor and lowly As anybody's rotten borough.

Must work their passage, as they do in ships. I've no ambition to enact the spy

One place there is, – beneath the burial-sod, On fellow-souls, a spiritual Pry,

Where all mankind are equalized by death; 'T is said that people ought to guard their noses Another place there is, — the fane of God, Who thrust them into matters none of theirs ; Where all are equal who draw living breath; And, though no delicacy discomposes

Juggle who will elsewhere with his own soul, Your saint, yet I consider faith and prayers Playing the Judas with a temporal dole, Amongst the privatest of men's affairs.

He who can come beneath that awful cope,

In the dread presence of a Maker just, I do not hash the Gospel in my books,

Who metes to every pinch of human dust And thus upon the public mind intrude it,

One even measure of immortal hope, As if I thought, like Otaheitan cooks,

He who can stand within that holy door, No food was fit to eat till I had chewed it.

With soul unbowed by that pure spirit-level, On Bible stilts I don't affect to stalk ;

And frame unequal laws for rich and poor, Nor lard with Scripture my familiar talk,

Might sit for Hell, and represent the Devil ! For man may pious texts repeat, And yet religion have no inward seat ;

The humble records of my life to search, "T is not so plain as the old Hill of Howth,

I have not herded with mere pagan beasts ; A man has got his belly full of meat

But sometimes I have “sat at good men's feasts," Because he talks with victuals in his mouth ! And I have been “where bells have knolled to

church." I honestly confess that I would hinder

Dear bells ! how sweet the sounds of village bells The Scottish member's legislative rigs,

When on the undulating air they swim ! That spiritual Pindar,

Now loud as welcomes ! faint, now, as farewells !

[ocr errors]

And trembling all about the breezy dells,

Gifted with noble tendency to climb, As fluttered by the wings of cherubim.

Yet weak at the same time, Meanwhile the bees are chanting a low hymn; Faith is a kind of parasitic plant, And, lost to sight, the ecstatic lark above That grasps the nearest stem with tendril-rings ; Sings, like a soul beatified, of love,

And as the climate and the soil may grant,
With, now and then, the coo of the wild pigeon;- So is the sort of tree to which it clings.
O pagans, heathens, infidels, and doubters ! Consider, then, before, like Hurlothrumbo,
If such sweet sounds can't woo you to religion, You aim your club at any creed on earth,
Will the harsh voices of church cads and touters ? That, by the simple accident of birth,
A man may cry Church ! Church ! at every word, You might have been High-Priest to Mumbo

With no more piety than other people,
A daw 's not reckoned a religious bird

For me, – through heathen ignorance perchance, Because it keeps a-cawing from a steeple ;

Not having knelt in Palestine, - I feel The Temple is a good, a holy place,

None of that griffinish excess of zeal But quacking only gives it an ill savor,

Some travellers would blaze with here in France. While saintly mountebanks the porch disgrace, Dolls I can see in Virgin-like array, And bring religion's self into disfavor !

Nor for a scufile with the idols hanker

Like crazy Quixotte at the puppet's play, Church is "a little heaven below,

If their “offence be rank,"should mine be rancor ! I have been there and still would go," Yet I am none of those who think it odd A man can pray unbidden from the cassock, Around a cankered stem should twine,

Suppose the tender but luxuriant hop And, passing by the customary hassock, What Kentish boor would tear away the prop Kneel down remote upon the simple sod,

So roughly as to wound, nay, kill the bine ? And sue in forma pauperis to God. As for the rest, intolerant to none,

The images, 't is true, are strangely dressed, Whatever shape the pious rite may bear,

With gauds and toys extremely out of season ; Even the poor pagan's homage to the sun

The carving nothing of the very best, I would not harshly scorn, lest even there

The whole repugnant to the eye of Reason, I spurned some elements of Christian prayer,

Shocking to Taste, and to Fine Arts a treason, An aim, though erring, at a

world ayont,'

Yet ne'er o'erlook in bigotry of sect

One truly Catholic, one common form, Acknowledgment of good, — of man's futility,

At which unchecked A sense of need, and weakness, and indeed

All Christian hearts may kindle or keep warm. That very thing so many Christians want,


Say, was it to my spirit's gain or loss, I have not sought, 't is true, the Holy Land,

One bright and balmy morning, as I went As full of texts as Cuddie Headrigg's mother,

From Liege's lovely environs to Ghent, The Bible in one hand,

If hard by the wayside I found a cross, And my own commonplace book in the other;

That made me breathe a prayer upon the spot,

While Nature of herself, as if to trace
But you have been to Palestine — alas !
Some minds improve by travel ; others, rather,

The emblem's use, had trailed around its base
Resemble copper wire or brass,

The blue significant Forget-Me-Not ? Which gets the narrower by going farther !

Methought, the claims of Charity to urge

More forcibly along with Faith and Hope, Worthless are all such pilgrimages — very !

The pious choice had pitched upon the verge If Palmers at the Holy Tomb contrive

Of a delicious slope, The human heats and rancor to revive

Giving the eye much variegated scope ! That at the Sepulchre they ought to bury.

“Look round," it whispered, on that prospect A sorry sight it is to rest the eye on,

rare, To see a Christian creature graze at Sion,

Those vales so verdant, and those hills so blue ; Then homeward, of the saintly pasture full, Enjoy the sunny world, so fresh and fair, Rush bellowing, and breathing fire and smoke, But” (how the simple legend pierced me through !) At crippled Papistry to butt and poke,

“PRIEZ POUR LES MALHEUREUX.” Exactly as a skittish Scottish bull Hunts an old woman in a scarlet cloke. With sweet kind natures, as in honeyed cells,

Religion lives, and feels herself at home;

To his tuned spirit the wild heather-bells

Ring Sabbath knells ;
The jubilate of the soaring lark

Is chant of clerk ;
For choir, the thrush and the gregarious linnet;
The sod 's a cushion for his pious want;
And, consecrated by the heaven within it,
The sky-blue pool, a font.
Each cloud-capped mountain is a holy altar ;

An organ breathes in every grove ;

And the full heart 's a Psalter,
Rich in deep hymns of gratitude and love !


to an ass.

But only on a formal visit dwells
Where wasps instead of bees have formed the

Shun pride, O Rae ! — whatever sort beside
You take in lieu, shun spiritual pride!
A priile there is of rank, a pride of birth,
A pride of learning, and a pride of purse,
A London pride, – in short, there be on earth
A host of prides, some better and some worse ;
But of all prides, since Lucifer's attaint,
The proudest swell's a self-elected Saint.
To picture that cold pride so harsh and hard,
Fancy a peacock in a poultry-yard.
Behold him in conceited circles sail,
Strutting and dancing, and now planted stiff,
In all his pomp of pageantry, as if
He felt “the eyes of Europe on his tail !
As for the humble breed retained by man,
He scorns the whole domestic clan, -

He bows, he bridles,

He wheels, he sidles,
As last, with stately dodgings in a corner,
He pens a simple russet hen, to scorn her
Full in the blaze of his resplendent fan !

“Look here,” he cries, (to give him words,)

“Thou feathered clay, thou scum of birds !". Flirting the rustling plumage in her eyes,

“Look here, thou vile predestined sinner,

Doomed to be roasted for a dinner,
Behold these lovely variegated dyes !
These are the rainbow colors of the skies,
That heaven has shed upon me con amore,
A Bird of Paradise ? - a pretty story !
I am that Saintly Fowl, thou paltry chick!

Look at my crown of glory!
Thou dingy, dirty, dabbled, draggled jill !”
And offgoes Partlett, wriggling from a kick,
With bleeding scalp laid open by his bill !
That little simile exactly paints
How sinners are despised by saints.
By saints ! — the Hypocrites that

Obsequious to the sinful man of riches;
But put the wicked, naked, barelegged poor

In parish stocks, instead of breeches.

Once on a time a certain English lass
Was seized with symptoms of such deep decline,
Cough, hectic flushes, every evil sign,
That, as their wont is at such desperate pass,
The doctors gave her over
Accordingly, the grisly Shade to bilk,
Each morn the patient quaffed a frothy bowl

Of asinine new milk,
Robbing a shaggy suckling of a foal,
Which got proportionably spare and skinny;
Meanwhile the neighbors cried, “ Poor Mary

Ann! She can't get over it ! she never can!" When, lo ! to prove each prophet was a ninny, The one that died was the poor wet-nurse Jenny.

To aggravate the case,
There were but two grown donkeys in the place;
And, most unluckily for Eve's sick daughter,
The other long-eared creature was a male,
Who never in his life had given a pail

Of milk, or even chalk-and-water.
No matter : at the usual hour of eight
Down trots a donkey to the wicket-gate,
With Mister Simon Gubbins on his back :-
Your sarvant, miss,

werry springlike day, Bad time for hasses, though ! good lack ! good

lack ! Jenny be dead, miss, – but I’ze brought ye

Jack, He does n't give no milk, – but he can bray."


ope heaven's

Thrice blessed, rather, is the man with whom
The gracious prodigality of nature,
The balm, the bliss, the beauty, and the bloom,
The bounteous providence in every feature,
Recall the good Creator to his creature,
Making all earth a fane, all heaven its dome !

So runs the story,

And, in vain self-glory, Some Saints would sneer at Gubbins for his blind.

ness ; But what the better are their pious saws

To ailing souls, than dry hee-haws, Without the milk of human kindness ?



Lekle Crep up quite undeknown

An' pecked in thon the winder Sin' there lot stulby all alone

With no one

high to header.

[merged small][ocr errors]


a paras on is woman That, you seo, it must be true She is always ceastly better

Zhow the best shat she can do!

[merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »