Joseph Hall

(1574 - 1656 / England)

On Simony


Saw'st thou ever Siquis patcht on Pauls Church door
To seek some vacant vicarage before?
Who wants a churchman that can service say,
Read fast and fair his monthly homily?
And wed and bury and make Christen-souls?
Come to the left-side alley of St. Paules.
Thou servile fool, why could'st thou not repair
To buy a benefice at Steeple-Fair?
There moughtest thou, for but a slendid price,
Advowson thee with some fat benefice:
Or if thee list not wait for dead mens shoon,
Nor pray each morn the incumbents days were doone:
A thousand patrons thither ready bring,
Their new-fall'n churches, to the chaffering;
Stake three years stipend: no man asketh more.
Go, take possession of the Church porch door,
And ring thy bells; luck stroken in thy fist
The parsonage is thine, or ere thou wist.
Saint Fool's of Gotam mought thy parish be
For this thy base and servile Simony.

Submitted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

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