The Parish Register eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 65 pages of information about The Parish Register.
More fix’d and deeper than the maiden blush;
His paler lips the pearly teeth disclosed,
And lab’ring lungs the length’ning speech opposed. 
No more his span-girth shanks and quiv’ring thighs
Upheld a body of the smaller size;
But down he sank upon his dying bed,
And gloomy crotchets fill’d his wandering head. 
   ‘Spite of my faith, all-saving faith,’ he cried,
’I fear of worldly works the wicked pride;
Poor as I am, degraded, abject, blind,
The good I’ve wrought still rankles in my mind;
My alms-deeds all, and every deed I’ve done;
My moral-rags defile me every one;
It should not be:- what say’st thou! tell me, Ralph.’ 
Quoth I, ’Your reverence, I believe, you’re safe;
Your faith’s your prop, nor have you pass’d such time
In life’s good-works as swell them to a crime. 
If I of pardon for my sins were sure,
About my goodness I would rest secure.’ 
   “Such was his end; and mine approaches fast;
I’ve seen my best of preachers,—­and my last,” —
   He bow’d, and archly smiled at what he said,
Civil but sly:- “And is old Dibble dead?”
   Yes; he is gone:  and we are going all;
Like flowers we wither, and like leaves we fall; —
Here, with an infant, joyful sponsors come,
Then bear the new-made Christian to its home: 
A few short years and we behold him stand
To ask a blessing, with his bride in hand: 
A few, still seeming shorter, and we hear
His widow weeping at her husband’s bier:-
Thus, as the months succeed, shall infants take
Their names; thus parents shall the child forsake;
Thus brides again and bridegrooms blithe shall kneel,
By love or law compell’d their vows to seal,
Ere I again, or one like me, explore
These simple Annals of the village poor.

1801.

Footnotes: 

{1} Note:  Indentation and Punctuation as original.

{2} Allusions of this kind are to be found in the Fairy Queen.  See the end of the First Book, and other places.

*** End of the project gutenberg EBOOK, the parish Register ***

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The Parish Register from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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