Song Of The Church. No. 1. Leave Me Alone. A Pastoral Ballad.

A poem by Thomas Moore

"We are ever standing on the defensive. All that we say to them is, 'leave us alone.' The Established Church is part and parcel of the constitution of this country. You are bound to conform to this constitution. We ask of you nothing more:--let us alone."
--Letter in The Times, Nov. 1838.

Come, list to my pastoral tones,
In clover my shepherds I keep;
My stalls are well furnisht with drones,
Whose preaching invites one to sleep.
At my spirit let infidels scoff,
So they leave but the substance my own;
For in sooth I'm extremely well off
If the world will but let me alone.

Dissenters are grumblers, we know;--
Tho' excellent men in their way,
They never like things to be so,
Let things be however they may.
But dissenting's a trick I detest;
And besides 'tis an axiom well known,
The creed that's best paid is the best,
If the unpaid would let it alone.

To me, I own, very surprising
Your Newmans and Puseys all seem,
Who start first with rationalizing,
Then jump to the other extreme.
Far better, 'twixt nonsense and sense,
A nice half-way concern, like our own,
Where piety's mixt up with pence,
And the latter are ne'er left alone.

Of all our tormentors, the Press is
The one that most tears us to bits;
And now, Mrs. Woolfrey's "excesses"
Have thrown all its imps into fits.
The devils have been at us, for weeks,
And there's no saying when they'll have done;--
Oh dear! how I wish Mr. Breeks
Had left Mrs. Woolfrey alone!

If any need pray for the dead,
'Tis those to whom post-obits fall;
Since wisely hath Solomon said,
'Tis "money that answereth all."
But ours be the patrons who live;-
For, once in their glebe they are thrown,
The dead have no living to give,
And therefore we leave them alone.

Tho' in morals we may not excel,
Such perfection is rare to be had;
A good life is, of course, very well,
But good living is also-not bad.
And when, to feed earth-worms, I go.
Let this epitaph stare from my stone,
"Here lies the Right Rev. so and so;
"Pass, stranger, and--leave him alone."

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