1785 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Bp. Lewis Bagot

William Cowper, in "Tirocinium" The Task (1785) 315-16.



Behold your Bishop! well he plays his part,
Christian in name, and Infidel in heart,
Ghostly in office, earthly in his plan,
A slave at court, elsewhere a lady's man,
Dumb as a senator, and as a priest
A piece of mere church-furniture at best;
To live estranged from God his total scope,
And his end sure, without one glimpse of hope.
But fair although and feasible it seem,
Depend no much upon your golden dream;
For Providence that seems concern'd t' exempt
The hallow'd bench from absolute contempt,
In spite of all the wrigglers into place,
Still keeps a seat or two for worth and grace,
And therefore 'tis, that, though the sight be rare,
We sometimes see a Lowth or Bagot there.