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Pope Night
by [?]

In addition to the bonfires on the hills, there was formerly a procession in the streets, bearing grotesque images of the Pope, his cardinals and friars; and behind them Satan himself, a monster with huge ox-horns on his head, and a long tail, brandishing his pitchfork and goading them onward. The Pope was generally furnished with a movable head, which could be turned round, thrown back, or made to bow, like that of a china- ware mandarin. An aged inhabitant of the neighborhood has furnished us with some fragments of the songs sung on such occasions, probably the same which our British ancestors trolled forth around their bonfires two centuries ago:–

“The fifth of November,
As you well remember,
Was gunpowder treason and plot;
And where is the reason
That gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot?”

“When James the First the sceptre swayed,
This hellish powder plot was laid;
They placed the powder down below,
All for Old England’s overthrow.
Lucky the man, and happy the day,
That caught Guy Fawkes in the middle of his play!”

“Hark! our bell goes jink, jink, jink;
Pray, madam, pray, sir, give us something to drink;
Pray, madam, pray, sir, if you’ll something give,
We’ll burn the dog, and not let him live.
We’ll burn the dog without his head,
And then you’ll say the dog is dead.”

“Look here! from Rome The Pope has come,
That fiery serpent dire;
Here’s the Pope that we have got,
The old promoter of the plot;
We’ll stick a pitchfork in his back,
And throw him in the fire!”

There is a slight savor of a Smithfield roasting about these lines, such as regaled the senses of the Virgin Queen or Bloody Mary, which entirely reconciles us to their disuse at the present time.

It should be the fervent prayer of all good men that the evil spirit of religious hatred and intolerance, which on the one hand prompted the gunpowder plot, and which on the other has ever since made it the occasion of reproach and persecution of an entire sect of professing Christians, may be no longer perpetuated. In the matter of exclusiveness and intolerance, none of the older sects can safely reproach each other; and it becomes all to hope and labor for the coming of that day when the hymns of Cowper and the Confessions of Augustine, the humane philosophy of Channing and the devout meditations of Thomas a Kempis, the simple essays of Woolman and the glowing periods of Bossuet, shall be regarded as the offspring of one spirit and one faith,–lights of a common altar, and precious stones in the temple of the one universal Church.