Hundreds And Thousands

But a scant 2000 folk, no more,
Sitting solemn-faced within the pews,
While the parsons preach and outward pour,
In divers tones, their own peculiar views.
Folk of sobriety,
'Proddies' and 'Pats,'
Breathing their piety
Into their hats;
Glowing with holiness,
Stern and austere;
Kneeling in lowliness,
Meek and sincere.
Only 2000.

Gaily 50,000 folk or so
Travel to and fro in tram and train;
Godless Jeremiah, Jim and Joe,
Giddy Gerty, Gwendoline and Jane.
Bent on frivolity,
 Eager for fun,
Sinful in jollity
Off for a run.
Taking a peach along
Out for the day,
Walking the beach along,
Godless but gay.
Full 50,000.
What's three hundred pounds a year to him
Of Scotchbyterian mould and visage stern,
Who'll go each dinner-time, with purpose grim,
And teach those folk what they refuse to learn?
 Is it o'er muckle to
Gi'e to a mon,
One that will buckle to
Preaching upon
Creeds ev'ry dinner-time,
Praying with zest,
 Giving each sinner time
Texts to digest?
 Merely 300?

About 10,000 working men, or less,
With dinner pail and pasty at their lunch,
All list'ning to a clergyman's address,
And solemnly reflecting as they munch.
With due propriety
Blinking their eyes,
Swallowing piety
With their hot pies;
Glad that they will have their
Church with their bun.
And they can still have their
Sunday for fun.
Nearly 10,000.

'Tis now 2000 years ago, or near,
Since parsons 'gan to roam this troubled earth;
The sects increase and multiply each year
 Which moves the pagan to loud, godless mirth).
Yet do they battle on
Fighting the Deevil,
Still do they rattle on
Girding at evil;
Preaching humility,
Pleading with tears
Is it futility?
Wait a few years.
  'Tis but 2000.

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"Hundreds And Thousands" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 24 Feb. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6375/hundreds-and-thousands>.

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