The Surplice Question

A very pretty public stir
Is making, down at Exeter,
About the surplice fashion:
And many bitter words and rude
Have been bestow’d upon the feud,
And much unchristian passion.
For me I neither know nor care
Whether a Parson ought to wear
A black dress or a white dress;
Fill’d with a trouble of my own,—
A Wife who preaches in her gown,
And lectures in her night-dress!

The Complete Poetical Works of Thomas Hood (London: Henry Frowde, 1906), p. 657.

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