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Song of the Pelagian Heresy

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Song of the Pelagian Heresy

Song of the Pelagian Heresy
(Hillaire Belloc, 1912)

 Pelagius lived in Kardanoel
 and taught a doctrine there
 How whether you went to Heaven or Hell,
 It was your own affair.
 How, whether you found eternal joy
 Or sank forever to burn,
 It had nothing to do with the church, my boy,
 But it was your own concern.

 Oh, he didn't believe in Adam and Eve,
 He put no faith therein!
 His doubts began with the fall of man,
 And he laughed at original sin!

 With my row-ti-tow, ti-oodly-ow,
 He laughed at orignal sin!

 Whereat the Bishop of old Auxerre
 (Germanus was his name)
 He tore great handfuls out of his hair,
 And he called Pelagius Shame:
 And then with his stout Episcopal staff
 So thoroughly whacked and banged
 The heretics all, both short and tall,
 They rather had been hanged.

 Oh, he thwacked them hard, and he banged them long
 Upon each and all occasions,
 Till they bellowed in chorus, loud and strong
 Their orthodox persuasions!

 With my row-ti-tow, ti-oodly-ow,
 Their orthodox persuasions!

 Now the Faith is old
 and the Devil is bold
 Exceedingly bold. indeed;
 And the masses of doubt
 That are floating about
 Would smother a mortal creed.
 But we that sit in sturdy youth,
 And still can drink strong ale,
 Oh -- let us put it away to infallible truth,
 Which always shall prevail!

 And thank the Lord
 For the temporal sword,
 And for howling heretics, too;
 And whatever good things
 our Christendom brings,
 But especially the barley-brew!

 With my row-ti-tow, ti-oodly-ow
 Especially the barley-brew!

                              THE SONG OF THE PELAGIAN HERESY
                             THE STRENGTHENING OF MEN'S BACKS
                               THE VERY ROBUST OUT-THRUSTING
                                    OF DOUBTFUL DOCTRINE
                                THE UNCERTAIN INTELLECTUAL
                                        (Hillaire Belloc, 1912)

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