Corn and Catholics
"What! still those two infernal questions,
That with our meals our slumbers mix --
That spoil our tempers and digestions --
Eternal Corn and Catholics!
Gods! were there ever two such bores?
Nothing else talk'd of night or morn --
Nothing in doors, or out of doors,
But endless Catholics and Corn!
Never was such a brace of pests --
While Ministers, still worse than either,
Skill'd but in feathering their nests,
Plague us with both, and settle neither.
So addled in my cranium meet
Popery and Corn, that oft I doubt,
Whether this year, 'twas bonded Wheat
Or bonded Papists, they let out.
Here, landlords, here, polemics nail you,
Arm'd with all rubbish they can rake up;
Prices and Texts at once assail you --
From Daniel these, and those from Jacob.
And when you sleep, with head still torn
Between the two, their shapes you mix,
Till sometimes Catholics seem Corn --
Then Corn again seems Catholics.
Now, Dantzic wheat before you floats --
Now, Jesuits from California --
Now, Ceres, link'd with Titus Oats,
Comes dancing through the "Porta Cornea.
Oft, too, the Corn grows animate,
And a whole crop of heads appears,
Like Papists, bearding Church and State --
Themselves, together by the ears!
In short, these torments never cease;
And oft I wish myself transferr'd off
To some far, lonely land of peace,
Where Corn or Papists ne'er were heard of.
Yes, waft me, Parry, to the Pole,
For -- if my fate is to be chosen
'Twixt bores and icebergs -- on my soul,
I'd rather, of the two, be frozen!