THE parson preached in solemn way,
—A well-clad man on ample pay,—
And told the poor they were sinners all,
Depraved and lost by Adam's fall;
That they must repent, and save their souls.
A hollow-eyed wretch cried, "Give us coals!"
Then he told of virtue's pleasant path,
And that of ruin and of wrath;
How the slipping feet of sinners fell
Quick on the downward road to h——,
To suffer for sins when they are dead;
And the hollow voice answered, "Give us bread!"
Then he spoke of a land of love and peace,
Where all of pain and woe shall cease,
Where celestial flowers bloom by the way,
Where the light is brighter than solar day,
And there's no cold nor hunger there.
"Oh," says the voice, "Give us clothes to wear!"
Then the good man sighed, and turned away,
For such depravity to pray,
That had cast aside the heavenly worth
For the transient and fleeting things of earth!
And his church that night, to his content,
Raised his salary fifty per cent.