First Visit -


As St. Jerome who died some ages ago,
Was sitting one day in the shades below,
" I've heard much of English bishops, " quoth he,
" And shall now take a trip to earth to see
" How far they agree in their lives and ways
" With our good old bishops of ancient days. "

He had learned — but learned without misgivings —
Their love for good living and eke good livings;
Not knowing (as ne'er having taken degrees)
That good living means claret and fricassees,
While its plural means simply — pluralities.

" From all I hear, " said the innocent man,
" They are quite on the good old primitive plan.
" For wealth and pomp they little can care,
" As they all say " No " to the Episcopal chair;
" And their vestal virtue it well denotes
" That they all, good men, wear petticoats. "

Thus saying, post-haste to earth he hurries,
And knocks at the Archbishop of Canterbury's.
The door was oped by a lackey in lace,
Saying, " What's your business with his Grace? "
" His Grace! " quoth Jerome — for posed was he,
Not knowing what sort this Grace could be;
Whether Grace preventing , Grace particular ,
Grace of that breed called Quinquarticular —

In short he rummaged his holy mind
The exact description of Grace to find,
Which thus could represented be
By a footman in full livery.
At last, out loud in a laugh he broke,
(For dearly the good saint loved his joke)
And said — surveying, as sly he spoke,
The costly palace from roof to base —
" Well, it is n't, at least, a saving Grace! "
" Umph! " said the lackey, a man of few words,
" The Archbishop is gone to the House of Lords. "
" To the House of the Lord, you mean, my son,
" For in my time at least there was but one;
Unless such many- fold priests as these
" Seek, even in their Lord , pluralities! "
" No time for gab, " quoth the man in lace:
Then slamming the door in St. Jerome's face
With a curse to the single knockers all
Went to finish his port in the servants' hall,
And propose a toast (humanely meant
To include even Curates in its extent)
" To all as serves the Establishment. "
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