A-sitting on a Fence (1940)

THE Face of our Anglican Church
Is comely, we dare to suppose,
Because of a steady research
To balance the Ayes and the Noes.

By doctrines obliquely averred,
And slightly ambiguous phrase,
We marshall our dissonant herd,
The blacks and the whites and the greys.

Whenever required to affirm
A dogma of Heaven or Hell,
We use an equivocal term,
To cover denials as well.

When questioners ask for advice,
We find it is prudent to swerve,
By answering, “It shall suffice
As every man’s conscience may serve.”

And so the broad highway is paved
For all, who with penitent thrill,
Cry, “What must I do to be saved?”
“Believe … or deny … as you will!”

It diddles the devil, we know,
And baffles his sinister ends;
He cannot tell if he’s a foe,
Or one of our intimate friends.

To seek indeterminate day,
We trample a dubious fen,
A multi-directional way,
For ever and ever, Amen.

S.J. Forrest, Parish Fashions (Dublin: Coelian Press, 1940), p. 9.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

One response to “A-sitting on a Fence (1940)

  1. Pingback: The Coelian Press: A Bibliographic Note | Richard Mammana

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s