Natural Theology


I ate  my fill of a whale that died
   And stranded after a month at sea.   .   .   .
There is a pain in my inside.
 Why have the Gods afflicted me?
Ow!   I am purged till I am a wraith!
Wow!   I am sick till I cannot see!
What is the sense of Religion and Faith:
 Look how the Gods have afflicted me!


How can the skin of rat or mouse hold
 Anything more than a harmless flea?.   .   .
The burning plague has taken my household.
 Why have my Gods afflicted me?
All my kith and kin are deceased,
 Though they were as good as good could be,
I will out and batter the family priest,
 Because my Gods have afflicted me!


My privy and well drain into each other
 After the custom of Christendie.   .   .   .
Fevers and fluxes are wasting my mother.
 Why has the Lord afflicted me?
The Saints are helpless for all I offer—
 So are the clergy I used to fee.
Henceforward I keep my cash in my coffer,
 Because the Lord has afflicted me.


I run eight hundred hens to the acre
 They die by dozens mysteriously.   .   .   .
I am more than doubtful concerning my Maker,
 Why has the Lord afflicted me?
What a return for all my endeavour—
 Not to mention the L. S. D!
I am an atheist now and for ever,
 Because this God has afflicted me!


Money spent on an Army or Fleet
 Is homicidal lunacy.   .   .   .
My son has been killed in the Mons retreat,
 Why is the Lord afflicting me?
Why are murder, pillage and arson
 And rape allowed by the Deity?
I will write to the Times, deriding our parson
 Because my God has afflicted me.


We had a kettle: we let it leak:
 Our not repairing it made it worse.
We haven’t had any tea for a week.   .   .
 The bottom is out of the Universe!


This was none of the good Lord’s pleasure,
  For the Spirit He breathed in Man is free;
But what comes after is measure for measure,
  And not a God that afflicteth thee.
As was the sowing so the reaping
 Is now and evermore shall be.
Thou art delivered to thine own keeping.
 Only  Thyself hath afflicted thee!
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