The Hippopotamus


       Similiter et omnes revereantur Diaconos, ut
       mandatum Jesu Christi; et Episcopum, ut Jesum
       Christum, existentem filium Patris; Presbyteros
       autem, ut concilium Dei et conjunctionem
       Apostolorum. Sine his Ecclesia non vocatur; de
       quibus suadeo vos sic habeo.


       And when this epistle is read among you, cause
       that it be read also in the church of the
     The broad-backed hippopotamus
     Rests on his belly in the mud;
     Although he seems so firm to us
     He is merely flesh and blood.

     Flesh-and-blood is weak and frail,
     Susceptible to nervous shock;
     While the True Church can never fail
     For it is based upon a rock.

     The hippo's feeble steps may err
     In compassing material ends,
     While the True Church need never stir
     To gather in its dividends.

     The 'potamus can never reach
     The mango on the mango-tree;
     But fruits of pomegranate and peach
     Refresh the Church from over sea.

     At mating time the hippo's voice
     Betrays inflexions hoarse and odd,
     But every week we hear rejoice
     The Church, at being one with God.

     The hippopotamus's day
     Is passed in sleep; at night he hunts;
     God works in a mysterious way-
     The Church can sleep and feed at once.

     I saw the 'potamus take wing
     Ascending from the damp savannas,
     And quiring angels round him sing
     The praise of God, in loud hosannas.

     Blood of the Lamb shall wash him clean
     And him shall heavenly arms enfold,
     Among the saints he shall be seen
     Performing on a harp of gold.

     He shall be washed as white as snow,
     By all the martyr'd virgins kiss,
     While the True Church remains below
     Wrapt in the old miasmal mist.


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