from 'The Parish'

Clare prophetically commenting on the current government?

Deceptions aimd at ignorance alone
Empty as frothing bubbles on the stream
Or shadowy banquets in a beggars dream
Ruins the mark the motly monster bears
& vile hypocrisy the mask it wears
Cant as high priest around its alter prays
& preaches loud its mockery of praise
Oer blinded minds its poison quickly runs
But shrinks in mist from reasons searching suns
To those gilt Dagons knaves & fools may raise
Deceptions alters of decieving praise
& paint their claims as interest wills to paint
Call each a god a devil or a saint

(lines 1048-1059)

Written between 1820 and 1824, and added to in the following years, 'The Parish a Satire' remained largely unpublished [I WONDER why] until the Tibbles edition in 1935.  Clare thought it, "the best thing in my own mind that I have ever written & I mean to take some pains in altering & making it better still if I can" (Letters p377)

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