“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!