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- THERE smiled the smooth Divine, unused to wound
- The sinner's heart with hell's alarming sound.
- No terrors on his gentle tongue attend;
- No grating truths the nicest ear offend.
- That strange new-birth, that methodistic grace,
- Nor in his heart nor sermons found a place.
- Plato's fine tales he clumsily retold,
- Trite, fireside, moral seesaws, dull as old,--
- His Christ and Bible placed at good remove,
- Guild hell-deserving, and forgiving love.
- 'Twas best, he said, mankind should cease to sin:
- Good fame required it; so did peace within.
- Their honors, well he knew, would ne'er be driven;
- But hoped they still would please to go to heaven.
- Each week he paid his visitation dues;
- Coaxed, jested, laughed; rehearsed the private news;
- Smoked with each goody, thought her cheese excelled;
- Her pipe he lighted, and her baby held.
- Or placed in some great town, with lacquered shoes,
- Trim wig, and trimmer gown, and glistening hose,
- He bowed, talked politics, learned manners mild,
- Most meekly questioned, and most smoothly smiled;
- At rich men's jests laughed loud, their stories praised,
- Their wives' new patterns gazed, and gazed, and gazed;
- Most daintly on pampered turkeys dined,
- Nor shrunk with fasting, nor with study pined:
- Yet from their churches saw his brethern driven,
- Who thundered truth, and spoke the voice of heaven,
- Chilled trembling guilt in Satan's headlong path,
- Charmed the feet back, and roused the ear of death.
- "Let fools," he cried, "starve on, while prudent I
- Snug in my nest shall live, and snug shall die."
- Timothy Dwight
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