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-The Parson's Case


That you, friend Marcus, like a stoic,
Can wish to die in strains heroic,
No real fortitude implies:
Yet, all must own, thy wish is wise.
Thy curate's place, thy fruitful wife,
Thy busy, drudging scene of life,
Thy insolent, illiterate vicar,
Thy want of all-consoling liquor,
Thy threadbare gown, thy cassock rent,
Thy credit sunk, thy money spent,
Thy week made up of fasting-days,
Thy grate unconscious of a blaze,
And to complete thy other curses,
The quarterly demands of nurses,
Are ills you wisely wish to leave,
And fly for refuge to the grave;
And, O, what virtue you express,
In wishing such afflictions less!

But, now, should Fortune shift the scene,
And make thy curateship a dean:
Or some rich benefice provide,
To pamper luxury and pride;
With labour small, and income great;
With chariot less for use than state;
With swelling scarf, and glossy gown,
And license to reside in town:
To shine where all the gay resort,
At concerts, coffee-house, or court:
And weekly persecute his grace
With visits, or to beg a place:
With underlings thy flock to teach,
With no desire to pray or preach;
With haughty spouse in vesture fine,
With plenteous meals and generous wine;
Wouldst thou not wish, in so much ease,
Thy years as numerous as thy days?



Jonathan Swift

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