Verse Against the New Lights by Jacob Bailey

Behold the gifted teacher rise
And roll to heaven his half-shut eyes;
In every feature of his face
See stiffness sanctity and grace
Like whipping post erect he stands
Then with slow and gentle voice
Begins to make a languid noise
Strives with a thousand airs to move
To melt and thaw your hears to love
But when he fails by soft’ning arts
To mollify your frozen hearts
Observe him spring with eager jump
And on the table fiercely thump
With double fist he beats the air
Pours out his soul in wrathful prayer
Then seized with furious agitation
Screams forth a frightful exhortation
And with a sharp and hideous yell
Sends all your carnal folks to hell
Now to excite your fear and wonder
Tries the big jarring voice of thunder
Like wounded serpent in the vale
He writhes his body and his tail
Strives by each motion to express
The Agonies of deep distress
Then groans and scolds and roars aloud
Till dread and frenzy fire the crowd
The madness spreads with rapid power
Confusion reigns and wild uproar
A concert grand of joyful tones
Mingled with sighs and rueful moans
Some heaven extol with rapturous air
While others rave in black despair
A blended group of different voices
Confound and stun us with their noises
Thus in some far and lonely site
Amidst the deepest glooms of night
Where roll the slow and sullen floods
O’er hung with rocks and dusky woods
I’ve heard the wolves terrific howl
The doleful music of the owl
The frogs in hoarser murmurs croak
While from the top of some tall oak
With notes more piercing soft and shrill
Resounds the spritely whip-poor-will
These give the ears of wonderous greeting
Not much unlike a pious meeting
Here blue-eyed Jenny plays her part
Inured to every saint-like art
She works and heaves from head to heel
With pangs of puritanic zeal
Now in a fit of deep distress
The holy maid turns prophetess
And to her light and knowledge brings
A multitude of secret things
And as Enthusiasm advances
Falls into ecstasies and trances
Her self with decency resigns
To these impulses and inclines
On Jemmy Trim a favourite youth
A chosen vessel of the truth
Who as she sinks into his arms
Feels through his veins her powerful charms
Grown warm with throbs of strong devotion
He finds his blood in high commotion
And fired with love of this dear sister
Is now unable to resist her.

From: Rawlyk, G. A., Ravished by the Spirit: Religious Revivals, Baptists, and Henry Alline, 1988, McGill-Queen’s University Press: Kingston and Montreal, pp. 77-79.
(https://books.google.com.au/books?id=7frHPlIx9RsC)

Date: 1789

By: Jacob Bailey (1731-1808)

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