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Well enough, in sooth, he liked that truth,
And nothing the worse for the jest;
And in this he did not rest:
That second thoughts are best.
For as Piggy plied with wind and tide,
His way with such celerity,
In cotton-spun prosperity.
The streets were dirty and dim:
And Brothers the Prophet saw him.
He entered a thriving bookseiler's shop;
Quoth he, we are both of one college, For I myself sate like a Cormorant once
Upon the Tree of Knowledge. As he passed through Cold-Bath Fields he look'd
At a solitary cell; And he was well-pleased, for it gave him a hint
For improving the prisons of Hell.
With a cordial tug and jerk;
When his heart is in his work.
He saw the same turnkey unsettering a man
With little expedition; And he chuckled to think of his dear slave-trade, And the long debates and delays that were made,
Concerning its abolition.
He met one of his favorite daughters
By an Evangelical Meeting:
And given her a fatherly greeting.
But she tipt him the wink, drew back, and cried,
Avaunt! my name's Religion ! And then she turn'd to the preacher
And leer'd like a love-sick pigeon.
A fine man and a famous Professor was he,
Whose fame not yet o'erpast is:
The great Sir Arch-Bombastes.
With throbs and throes, and ah's and oh's,
Far famed his flock for frightning;
His eyes zigzag like lightning.
This Scotch phenomenon, I trow,
Beats Alexander hollow;
Then ten Fire-Kings could swallow.
Another daughter he presently met;
With music of fife and drum,
And march of rank and file,
From church he saw her come.
He call’d her aside, and began to chide,
For what dost thou here? said he; My city of Rome is thy proper home,
And there's work enough there for thee.
Thou hast confessions to listen,
And bells to christen, And altars and dolls to dress;
And fools to coax,
And sinners to hoax,
And great pardons to sell
For those who pay well, And small ones for those who
Nay, Father, I boast, that this is my post,
That the great Harlot,
Who is clothed in scarlet, Can very well spare me now.
Upon her business I am come here,
That we may extend our powers : Whatever lets down this church that we hate,
Is something in favor of ours.
You will not think, great Cosmocrat!
That I spend my time in fooling ; Many irons, my sire, have we in the fire,
And I must leave none of them cooling; For you must know state-councils here, Are held which I bear rule in.
When my liberal notions,
Produce mischievous motions,
Whom I shall find a tool in;
Who all this while are schooling.
Fine progress they make in our liberal opinions,
My all sorts of—inians
And all sorts of-arians;
My all sorts of—ists,
Who have all sorts of twists
High and low,
Well pleased wilt thou be at no very far day
When the caldron of mischief boils, And I bring them forth in battle array
And bid them suspend their broils, That they may unite and fall on the prey,
For which we are spreading our toils. How the nice boys all will give mouth at the call,
Hark away! bark away to the spoils !
My merry old Jerry,
At this good news, so great
The Devil's pleasure grew, That with a joyful gwish he rent
The hole where his tail came through.
His countenance fell for a moment
When he felt the stitches go;
That I've made for my tailor below.
Great news! bloody news! cried a newsman;
The Devil said, Stop, let me see!
The bloodier the better for me.
So he bought the newspaper, and no news
At all for his money he had. Lying varlet, thought he, thus to take in old Nick!
But it's some satisfaction, my lad, To know thou art paid beforehand for the trick,
For the sixpence I gave thee is bad.
And then it came into his head
By oracular inspiration,
In the course of this visitation,
For all this reading nation.
Therewith in second sight he saw
The place and the manner and time, In which this mortal story
Would be put in immortal rhyme.
That it would happen when two poets
Should on a time be met,
In the shire of Somerset.
There while the one was shaving
Would he the song begin;
In ready accord join in.
So each would help the other,
And the phrase and conceit
Would in unison meet,
Till the whole were merrily done.
And because it was set to the razor,
Not to the lute or harp,