Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PARSON AT FAULT, by HORACE SMITH

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE PARSON AT FAULT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: A country parson took a notion
Last Line: "I have it not, I'll take my oath."
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Horatio
Subject(s): Churches; Prayer; Cathedrals

A COUNTRY parson took a notion
Into his head, one Whitsuntide,
That it was more like true devotion
To preach extempore; -- he tried:
Succeeded once -- twice -- thrice -- but, lo!
His fourth discourse was not forthcoming;
Spite of his hawing and his humming,
Not a word further could he go;
So that the worthy man perforce
Was fain to leave them in the lurch,
And say, that, since he came to church,
He'd lost the thread of his discourse.

Whereat a man below exclaimed,
"Lock the doors, beadle! search us round,
All, every one, until it's found;
The thief should really be ashamed. --
Here are my pockets -- ransack both!
I have it not, I'll take my oath."

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