Cocker, On Church Reform.

A poem by Thomas Moore


Fine figures of speech let your orators follow,
Old Cocker has figures that beat them all hollow.
Tho' famed for his rules Aristotle may be,
In but half of this Sage any merit I see,
For, as honest Joe Hume says, the "tottle" for me!

For instance, while others discuss and debate,
It is thus about Bishops I ratiocinate.

In England, where, spite of the infidel's laughter,
'Tis certain our souls are lookt very well after,
Two Bishops can well (if judiciously sundered)
Of parishes manage two thousand two hundred.--
Said number of parishes, under said teachers,
Containing three millions of Protestant creatures,--
So that each of said Bishops full ably controls
One million and five hundred thousands of souls.

And now comes old Cocker. In Ireland we're told,
Half a million includes the whole Protestant fold;
If, therefore, for three million souls, 'tis conceded
Two proper-sized Bishops are all that is needed,
'Tis plain, for the Irish half million who want 'em,
One-third of one Bishop is just the right quantum.
And thus, by old Cocker's sublime Rule of Three,
The Irish Church question's resolved to a T;
Keeping always that excellent maxim in view,
That, in saving men's souls, we must save money too.

Nay, if--as St. Roden complains is the case--
The half million of soul is decreasing apace,
The demand, too, for bishop will also fall off,
Till the tithe of one, taken in kind be enough.
But, as fractions imply that we'd have to dissect,
And to cutting up Bishops I strongly object.
We've a small, fractious prelate whom well we could spare,
Who has just the same decimal worth, to a hair,
And, not to leave Ireland too much in the lurch.
We'll let her have Exeter, sole, as her Church.

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