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Poem by Thomas Chatterton


The Churchwarden and The Apparition


A Fable

The night was cold, the wind was high,
And stars bespangled all the sky;
Churchwarden Joe had laid him down,
And slept secure on bed of down;
But still the pleasing hope of gain,
That never left his active brain,
Exposed the churchyard to his view,
That seat of treasure wholly new.
Pull down that cross, he quickly cried,
The mason instantly complied:
When lo! behold, the golden prize
Appearsjoy sparkles in his eyes.
The door now creaks, the window shakes,
With sudden fear he starts and wakes;
Quaking and pale, in eager haste
His haggard eyes around he cast;
A ghastly phantom, lean and wan,
That instant rose, and thus began:
Weak wretchto think to blind my eyes!
Hypocrisy's a thin disguise;
Your humble mien and fawning tongue
Have oft deceived the old and young.
On this side now, and now on that,
The very emblem of the bat:
Whatever part you take, we know
'Tis only interest makes it so,
And though with sacred zeal you burn,
Religion's only for your turn;
I'm Conscience called! Joe greatly feared;
The lightning flashedit disappeared. 



Thomas Chatterton


Thomas Chatterton's other poems:
  1. Chorus from Goddwyn
  2. Narva and Mored
  3. Eclogue the First
  4. An Excelente Balade of Charitie: As Wroten bie the Gode Pri
  5. On the Last Epiphany (Or Christ Coming to Judgment)


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