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In the Gardens of the Palace at Fulham is a dark recess; at the end of this stands a Chair, which once belonged to Bishop Bonner. – A certain Bishop of London, more than two hundred years after the death of the aforesaid Bonner, one morning, just as the clock of the Gothic Chapel had struck six, undertook to cut with his own hand a narrow walk through this thicket, which is since called the Monks-Walk. He had no sooner begun to clear the way, than, lo ! suddenly upstarted from the chair the Ghost of Bishop Bonner, who in a tone of just and bitter indignation, uttered the following Verses.
BISHOP BONNER’S GHOST.
REFORMER, hold! ah, spare my shade,
Respect the hallow'd dead !
See utter darkness fled.
Just so your innovating hand
Let in the moral light;
Fled intellectual night.
Where now that holy gloom which hid
Fair truth from vulgar ken? Where Dow that wisdom which forbid
To think that monks were men?
• The author accompanied the late Bishop PORTEUR when he first went to take possession of the Palace at Fulham. He complained to her that he found no retired walk to which he imght withdraw occasionally. She pointed out a spot where such a retrent might be formed ; and while he was clearing away the branches, the following verses were written. A few copies only were printed by HORACE WALPOLI, Earl of Orford, at his press at Strawberry Hill.
The tangled mazes of the schools,
Which spread so thick before ; Which knaves entwin’d to puzzle fools,
Shall catch mankind no more.
Those charming intricacies where ?
Those venerable lies ?
Those sweet perplexities?
Ah ! fatal age, whose sons combin'd
Of credit to exhaust us;
A LUTHER and a FAUSTUS ! *
Had only Jack and Martin + liv'd,
Our pow'r bad slowly fled;
Had laymen never read.
For knowledge flew, like magic spell,
By typographic art:
If priests the truth impart.
Ye councils, pilgrimages, creeds !
Synods, decrees, and rules ! Ye warrants of unholy deeds,
Indulgences and bulls ! * The same Age which brought Heresy into the Church, unhappily introduced Priuting among the Arts, by which means the Scriptures were unluckily disseminated among the Vulgar.
+ How Bishop Bonner came to have read Swirt's Tale of a Tub it may now be in vain to inquire.
Where are ye now ? and where, alas !
The pardons we dispense? And penances, the sponge of sins;
And Peter's holy pence?
Where now the beads, which us'd to swell
Lean virtue's spare amount ? Here only faith and goodness fill
A heretic's account. But soft — what gracious form appears?
Is this a convent’s life? Atrocious sight! by all my fears,
A prelate with a wife !
Ah! sainted MARY *, not for this
Our pious labours join'd; The witcheries of domestic bliss
Had shook ev'n GARDINER's mind.
Hence all the sinful, human ties,
Which mar the cloyster's plan ; Hence all the weak fond charities
Which make man feel for man.
But tortur'd memory vainly speaks
The projects we design'd; While this apostate Bishop seeks
The freedom of mankind.
* An orthodox Queen of the sixteenth century, who laboured with might and main, conjointly with these two venerable Bishops, to extinguish a dangerous heresy ycleped the Reformation.