Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE NEW VICAR OF BRAY, by GEORGE GORDON BYRON



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THE NEW VICAR OF BRAY, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Do you know dr. Nott?
Last Line: And from bishop sink into backbiter!'
Alternate Author Name(s): Byron, Lord; Byron, 6th Baron
Subject(s): Clergy; Nott, George Frederick (1767-1841); Priests; Rabbis; Ministers; Bishops


Do you know Dr. Nott?
With 'a crook in his lot,'
Who seven years since tried to dish up
A neat Codicil
To the Princess's Will,
Which made Dr. Nott not a bishop.

So the Doctor being found
A little unsound
In his doctrine, at least as a teacher,
And kick'd from one stool
As a knave or a fool,
He mounted another as preacher.

In that Gown (like the Skin
With no Lion within)
He still for the Bench would be driving;
And roareth away,
A new Vicar of Bray,
Except that his bray lost his living.

''Gainst Freethinkers,' he roars,
'You should all block your doors
Or be named in the Devil's indentures:'
And here I agree.
For who e'er would be
A Guest where old Simony enters?

Let the Priest, who beguiled
His own Sovereign's child
To his own dirty views of promotion,
Wear his Sheep's clothing still
Among flocks to his will,
And dishonour the Cause of devotion.

The Altar and Throne
Are in danger alone
From such as himself, who would render
The Altar itself
But a step up to Pelf,
And pray God to pay his defender.

But, Doctor, one word
Which perhaps you have heard:
'He should never throw stones who has windows
Of Glass to be broken,
And by this same token
As a sinner, you can't care what Sin does.

'But perhaps you do well:
Your own windows, they tell,
Have long ago suffered censure;
Not a fragment remains
Of your character's panes,
Since the Regent refused you a glazier.

'Though your visions of lawn
Have all been withdrawn,
And you miss'd your bold stroke for a mitre;
In a very snug way
You may still preach and pray,
And from bishop sink into backbiter!'





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