Wednesday, February 05, 2014


Cheerful, and Grateful, and Gay

Charles Morris (1745-1838), excerpt from "The Pincushion," in Lyra Urbanica; Or, The Social Effusions of the Celebrated Captain Charles Morris, of the Late Life-Guards, Vol. I (London: Richard Bentley, 1840), pp. 280-284 (at 282-283):
But whence come these scourgers and stripers?
    Or what can such malice entice?
Do the Methodists send out these vipers?
    Or the gang for Suppression of Vice?
Shall these sin-sadden'd hearts of sour leaven,
    Deep hid in their sanctify'd dough,
Dare libel the blessings of Heaven,
    And load us with curses below?

In the list of the devil's vile engines,
    Your sanctify'd imp is the worst;
To blast all your joys with his vengeance,
    He tells you, and hopes, you'll be curst.
Most of all Envy's fiends that would hurt ye,
    The blasphemous quack we despise,
Who preaches on earth in mask'd virtue,
    And sins with bare face to the skies.

Of all scoundrels that shame human nature,
    The hypocrite's held in most hate:
The world ever flogs him with satire,
    And Heaven still tortures his fate.
But these saints for hell's service so willing,
    These righteous, in blasphemy clad,
Are recruits of the devil's own drilling;
    And the devil take care of the squad!

No sour-soul'd wretch, with his preaching,
    Shall deaden the glow in my breast,
Or blight Nature's beauties by teaching
    That Life still in sables is dress'd.
I live to be pleased with Creation,
    Feel cheerful, and grateful, and gay;
Not fret and blaspheme in vexation,
    And snarl like a dog through my day.

No!—I'm not to be touch'd by their venom,
    They can't mix their gall with my mirth;
I lash 'em in songs, when I pen 'em,
    And shun 'em as reptiles on earth.
Give me souls that take joy with devotion,
    Where hearts Heaven's blessings repay;
And may poison be ever the potion
    Of saints who would poison our day.

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