Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. IV. The Higher Life
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume IV. The Higher Life.  1904.
IV. Sabbath: Worship: Creed
The Religion of Hudibras
Samuel Butler (1612–1680)
From “Hudibras,” Part I.

  HE was of that stubborn crew
Of errant saints, whom all men grant
To be the true church militant;
Such as do build their faith upon
The holy text of pike and gun;        5
Decide all controversies by
Infallible artillery,
And prove their doctrine orthodox
By apostolic blows and knocks;
Call fire, and sword, and desolation        10
A godly, thorough Reformation,
Which always must be carried on
And still be doing, never done;
As if religion were intended
For nothing else but to be mended.        15
A sect whose chief devotion lies
In odd perverse antipathies;
In falling out with that or this,
And finding somewhat still amiss;
More peevish, cross, and splenetic,        20
Than dog distract, or monkey sick;
That with more care keep holiday
The wrong than others the right way;
Compound for sins they are inclined to,
By damning those they have no mind to;        25
Still so perverse and opposite,
As if they worshipped God for spite;
The self-same thing they will abhor
One way, and long another for.

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