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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Country Parson

By Elizabeth Graeme Ferguson (1737–1801)

[Born at “Graeme Park,” near Philadelphia, Penn. Died near her birthplace, 1801. Parody on Pope’s Lines. Printed in a Collection of Poems by Nathaniel Evans. 1772.]

HOW happy is the country parson’s lot!

Forgetting bishops, as by them forgot;

Tranquil of spirit, with an easy mind,

To all his vestry’s votes he sits resigned:

Of manners gentle, and of temper even,

He jogs his flocks, with easy pace, to heaven.

In Greek and Latin, pious books he keeps;

And, while his clerk sings psalms, he—soundly sleeps.

His garden fronts the sun’s sweet orient beams,

And fat church-wardens prompt his golden dreams.

The earliest fruit, in his fair orchard, blooms;

And cleanly pipes pour out tobacco’s fumes.

From rustic bridegroom oft he takes the ring;

And hears the milkmaid plaintive ballads sing.

Back-gammon cheats whole winter nights away,

And Pilgrim’s Progress helps a rainy day.