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I do confess, without reserve or wheedle,
I view that groveling idea as one
Worthy some parish clerk's ambitious son,
A charity-boy who longs to be a beadle.
On such a vital topic sure 'tis odd
How much a man can differ from his neighbor;
One wishes worship freely given to God,
Another wants to make it statute-labor-
The broad distinction in a line to draw,
As means to lead us to the skies above,
You say—Sir Andrew and his love of law,
And I—the Saviour with his law of love.

Spontaneously to God should tend the soul,
Like the magnetic needle to the Pole;
But what were that intrinsic virtue worth,
Suppose some fellow with more zeal than knowledge,

Fresh from St. Andrew's college,
Should nail the conscious needle to the north ?
I do confess that I abhor and shrink
From schemes, with a religious willy-nilly,
That frown upon St. Giles' sins, but blink
The peccadilloes of all Piccadilly-
My soul revolts at such bare hypocrisy,
And will not, dare not, fancy in accord
The Lord of hosts with an exclusive lord
Of this world's aristocracy.
It will not own a nation so unholy,
As thinking that the rich by easy trips
May go to heaven, whereas the poor and lowly
Must work their passage as they do in ships.

One place there is—beneath the burial-sod,
Where all mankind are equalized by death;
Another place there is the Fane of God,
Where all are equal who draw living breath ;-
Juggle who will elsewhere with his own soul,
Playing the Judas with a temporal dole
He who can come beneath that awful cope,
In the dread presence of a Maker just,
Who metes to every pinch of human dust
One even measure of immortal hope--

He who can stand within that holy door,
With soul unbowed by that pure spirit-level,
And frame unequal laws for rich and poor,-
Might sit for Hell, and represent the Devil!

Such are the solemn sentiments, 0 Rae,
In your last journey-work, perchance, you ravage,
Seeming, but in more courtly terms, to say
I'm but a heedless, creedless, godless, savage;
A very Guy, deserving fire and faggots,-

A scoffer, always on the grin,
And sadly given to the mortal sin
Of liking Mawworms less than merry maggots !


The humble records of my life to search,
I have not herded with mere pagan beasts :
But sometimes I have “sat at good men's feasts,"
And I have been “where bells have knolled to church."
Dear bells ! how sweet the sound of village bells
When on the undulating air they swim !
Now loud as welcomes! faint, now, as farewells !
And trembling all about the breezy dells,
As fluttered by the wings of Cherubim.
Meanwhile the bees are chanting a low hymn;
And lost to sight the ecstatic lark above
Sings, like a soul beatified, of love,
With, now and then, the coo of the wild pigeon :-
O pagans, heathens, infidels, and doubters !
If such sweet sounds can't woo you to religion,
Will the harsh voices of church cads and touters ?

A man may cry Church! Church! at every word,
With no more piety than other people-
A daw's not reckoned a religious bird
Because it keeps a-cawing from a steeple;
The Temple is a good, a holy place,
But quacking only gives it an ill savor;
While saintly mountebanks the porch disgrace,
And bring religion's self into disfavor!

Behold yon servitor of God and Mammon,
Who, binding up his Bible with his ledger,

Blends Gospel texts with trading gammon,
A black-leg saint, a spiritual hedger,
Who backs his rigid Sabbath, so to speak,
Against the wicked remnant of the week,
A saving bet against his sinful bias-
"Rogue that I am," he whispers to himself,
“I lie-I cheat-do any thing for pelf,
But who on earth can say I am not pious !"

In proof how over-righteousness re-acts,
Accept an anecdote well based on facts;
On Sunday morning-(at the day don't fret)-
In riding with a friend to Ponder's End
Outside the stage, we happened to commend
A certain mansion that we saw To Let.
“Ay," cried our coachman, with our talk to grapple,
“You're right! no house along the road comes nigh it!
’T was built by the same man as built yon chapel,

And master wanted once to buy it,-
But t’ other driv' the bargain much too hard, --

He axed sure-ly a sum prodigious !
But being so particular religious,
Why, that you see, put master on his guard !"

Church is “a little heaven below,

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,

And, passing by the customary hassock Kneel down remote upon the simple sod, And sue in formâ pauperis to God.

As for the rest,-intolerant to none,
Whatever shape the pious rite may bear,
Even the poor Pagan's homage to the sun
I would not harshly scorn, lest even there
I spurned some elements of Christian prayer-
An aim, though erring, at a " world ayont"-
Acknowledgment of good-of man's futility,
A sense of need, and weakness, and indeed
That very thing so many Christians want-


Such, unto Papists, Jews or Turbaned Turks, Such is my spirit-(I don't mean my wraith!) Such, may it please you, is my humble faith; I know, full well, you do not like my works!

I have not sought, 'tis true, the Holy Land,
As full of texts as Cuddie Headrigg's mother,

The Bible in one hand,
And my own common-place-book in the other--
But you have been to Palestine—alas !
Some minds improve by travel—others, rather,

Resemble copper wire or brass,
Which gets the narrower by going further !

Worthless are all such pilgrimages-very!
If Palmers at the Holy Tomb contrive
The humans heats and rancor to revive
That at the Sepulcher they ought to bury.
A sorry sight it is to rest the eye on,
To see a Christian creature graze at Sion,
Then homeward, of the saintly pasture full,
Rush bellowing, and breathing fire and sinoke,
At crippled Papistry to butt and poke,
Exactly as a skittish Scottish bull
Haunts an old woman in a scarlet cloak.

Why leave a serious, moral, pious home,
Scotland, renowned for sanctity of old,
Far distant Catholics to rate and scold
For-doing as the Romans do at Rome?
With such a bristling spirit wherefore quit
The Land of Cakes for any land of wafers,
About the graceless images to flit,
And buzz and chafe importunate as chafers,
Longing to carve the carvers to Scotch collops?
People who hold such absolute opinions
Should stay at home in Protestant dominions,

Not travel like male Mrs. Trollopes.

Gifted with noble tendency to climb,

Yet weak at the same time,

Faith is a kind of parasitic plant,
That grasps the nearest stem with tendril rings;
And as the climate and the soil may grant,
So is the sort of tree to which it clings.
Consider, then, before, like Hurlothrumbo,
You aim your club at any creed on earth,
That, by the simple accident of birth,
You might have been High Priest to Mungo Jumbo.

For me—through heathen ignorance perchance,
Not having knelt in Palestine,-I feel
None of that griffinish excess of zeal,
Some travelers would blaze with here in France.
Dolls I can see in Virgin-like array,
Nor for a scuffle with the idols hanker
Like crazy Quixotte at the puppet's play,
If their “offense be rank,” should mine be rancor ?

Mild light, and by degrees, should be the plan
To cure the dark and erring mind;
But who would rush at a benighted man,
And give himn two black eyes for being blind ?

Suppose the tender but luxuriant hop
Around a cankered stem should twine,
What Kentish boor would tear away the prop
So roughly as to wound, nay, kill the bine ?

The images, 'tis true, are strangely dressed,
With gauds and toys extremely out of season;
The carving nothing of the very best,
The whole repugnant to the eye of Reason,
Shocking to Taste, and to Fine Arts a treason-
Yet ne'er o'erlook in bigotry of sect
One truly Catholic, one common form,

At which unchecked
All Christian hearts may kindle or keep warm.

Say, was it to my spirit's gain or loss
One bright and balmy morning, as I went
From Liege's lovely environs to Ghent,
If hard by the wayside I found a cross,

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