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And off goes 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 ope heaven's door
Obsequious to the sinful man of riches —
But put the wicked, naked, bare-legged poor,
In parish stocks, instead of breeches.
The Saints ? — the Bigots that in public spout,
Spread phosphorus of zeal on scraps of fustian,
And go like walking “Lucifers ” about
Mere living bundles of combustion.
The Saints ! — the aping Fanatics that talk
All cant and rant and rhapsodies high flown —
That bid you balk
A Sunday walk, And shun God's work as you should shun your own. The Saints !- the Formalists, the extra pious, Who think the mortal husk can save the soul, By trundling, with a mere mechanic bias, To church, just like a lignum-vitæ bowl ! The Saints ! — the Pharisees, whose beadle stands
Beside a stern coërcive kirk,
A piece of human mason-work, Calling all sermons contrabands, In that great Temple that's not made with hands! Thrice blessed, rather, is the man with whom The gracious prodigality of nature, The balm, the bliss, the beauty, and the bloom, The bountcous providence in every feature, Recall the good Creator to his creature, Making all earth a fane, all heaven its dome !
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!
Sufficiently by stern necessitarians
Poor Nature, with her face begrimed by dust,
Is stoked, coked, smoked, and almost choked; but must
Religion have its own Utilitarians,
Labelled with evangelical phylacteries,
To make the road to heaven a railway trust,
And churches — that's the naked fact — mere factories ?
0! simply open wide the temple door,
And let the solemn, swelling organ greet,
With Voluntaries meet,
The willing advent of the rich and poor !
And while to God the loud Hosannas soar,
With rich vibrations from the vocal throng –
From quiet shades that to the woods belong,
And brooks with music of their own,
Voices may come to swell the choral song
With notes of praise they learned in musings lone.
How strange it is, while on all vital questions,
That occupy the House and public mind,
We always meet with some humane suggestions
Of gentle measures of a healing kind,
Instead of harsh severity and vigor,
The saint alone his preference retains
For bills of penalties and pains,
And marks his narrow code with legal rigor !
Why shun, as worthless of affiliation,
What men of all political persuasion
Extol — and even use upon occasion —
That Christian principle, conciliation ?
But possibly the men who make such fuss
With Sunday pippins and old Trots infirm,
Attach some other meaning to the term,
One market morning, in my usual rambles,
Passing along Whitechapel's ancient shambles,
Where meat was hung in many a joint and quarter,
I had to halt a while, like other folks,
To let a killing butcher coax A score of lambs and fatted sheep to slaughter. A sturdy man he looked to fell an ox, Bull-fronted, ruddy, with a formal streak Of well-greased hair down either cheek, As if he dee-dash-dee'd some other flocks Besides those woolly-headed stubborn blocks That stood before him, in vexatious huddle – Poor little lambs, with bleating wethers grouped, While, now and then, a thirsty creature stooped And meekly snuffed, but did not taste the puddle. Fierce barked the dog, and many a blow was dealt That loin, and chump, and scrag and saddle felt, Yet still, that fatal step they all declined it, — And shunned the tainted door as if they smelt Onions, mint-sauce, and lemon-juice behind it.
At last there came a pause of brutal force ;
The cur was silent, for his jaws were full
Of tangled locks of tarry wool;
The man had whooped and bellowed till dead hoarse,
The time was ripe for mild expostulation,
And thus it stammered from a stander-by —
“ Zounds ! — my good fellow,- it quite makes me — why
It really — my dear fellow — do just try
Stringing his nerves like flint,
The sturdy butcher seized upon the hint, -
At least he seized upon the foremost wether,–
And hugged and lugged and tugged him neck and crop
Just nolens volens through the open shop —
If tails come off he did n't care a feather,–
Then walking to the door, and smiling grim,
He rubbed his forehead and his sleeve together —
“There !—I've conciliated him!”
Again — good-humoredly to end our quarrel —
(Good humor should prevail !)
I'll fit you with a talo
Whereto is tied a moral.
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 — to an ass.
Accordingly, the grisly Shade to bilk,
Each morn the patient quaffed a frothy bowl
Of assinine 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,— a werry spring-like 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.”
So runs the story,
And, in vain self-glory, Some Saints would sneer at Gubbins for his blindness ;
But what the better are their pious saws
To ailing souls, than dry hee-haws, Without the milk of human kindness?
A TABLE OF ERRATA.
WELL! thanks be to Heaven,
The summons is given ;
It's only gone seven,
And should have been six;
There's fine overdoing
In roasting and stewing,