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Alexander Pope (1688–1744). Complete Poetical Works. 1903.

Early Poems: Imitations of English Poets

Dr. Swift: The Happy Life of a Country Parson

PARSON, these things in thy possessing

Are better than the bishop’s blessing:

A wife that makes conserves; a steed

That carries double when there ’s need;

October store, and best Virginia,

Tythe pig, and mortuary guinea;

Gazettes sent gratis down and frank’d,

For which thy patron’s weekly thank’d;

A large Concordance, bound long since;

Sermons to Charles the First, when prince;

A Chronicle of ancient standing;

A Chrysostom to smooth thy band in;

The Polyglott—three parts—my text,

Howbeit—likewise—now to my next;

Lo here the Septuagint—and Paul,

To sum the whole—the close of all.

He that has these may pass his life,

Drink with the ’Squire, and kiss his wife;

On Sundays preach, and eat his fill,

And fast on Fridays—if he will;

Toast Church and Queen, explain the news,

Talk with Churchwardens about pews,

Pray heartily for some new gift,

And shake his head at Doctor S—t.