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No womanish or wailing grief has part,
Religion does not censure or exclude
To teach the canvass innocent deceit,
Me poetry (or rather notes that aim
THE YEARLY DISTRESS,
TITHING TIME AT STOCK, IN ESSEX.
Verses addressed to a country Clergyman, complaining of the disagreeableness of the day annually appointed
for receiving the dues at the parsonage.
Come, ponder well, for 'tis no jest,
To laugh it would be wrong,
The burden of my song.
This priest he merry is, and blithe
Three quarters of a year,
When tithing time draws near.
He then is full of fright and fears,
As one at point to die,
He heaves up many a sigh.
For then the farmers come jog, jog,
Along the miry road, '. Each heart as heavy as a log,
To make their payments good.
In sooth, the sorrow of such days
Is not to be express'd, When he that takes and he that pays
Are both alike distress'd.
Now all unwelcome at his gates
The clumsy swains alight, With rueful faces and bald pates
He trembles at the sight.
And well he may, for well he knows
Each bumpkin of the clan, Instead of paying what he owes,
Will cheat him if he can.
So in they come each makes his leg,
And flings his head before, And looks as if he came to beg,
And not to quit a score.
“ And how does miss and madam do,
“ The little boy and all?" “ All tight and well. And how do you,
“Good Mr. What-d'ye-call?".
The dinner comes, and down they sit:
Were e'er such hungry folk? There's little talking, and no wit;
It is no time to joke.
One wipes his nose upon his sleeve,
One spits upon the floor,
Holds up the cloth before.
The punch goes round, and they are dull
And lumpish still as ever;
They only weigh the heavier.
At length the busy time begins.
“ Come, neighbours, we must wag-—" The money chinks, down drop their chins,
Each lugging out his bag.