Poetic Reflections
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Poetic Reflections

Reverend William Goodacre 1825

Untitled when republished 1907 by Luther Lindley, who explains reason behind this originally dated plea, made by this parish Reverend to the Archbishop of York.

The rev. gentleman was incumbent at Sutton for 40 years, and probably did more hard work in the Church, at a very slender remuneration, than any clergyman of his day. He was incumbent, not only of Sutton, but also of Skegby, and of Mansfield Woodhouse, the united incomes of all three not amounting to £300 a year, and no residence. He would frequently commence the day with a full morning service at Mansfield Woodhouse, then perform a second at midday at Skegby, and finish up the day with a third at Sutton, with perhaps, a baptism, wedding, and burial in the intervals, and either a walk or a drive of 10 miles between the Churches. He brought up a large family, and bequeathed to them a precept which had been the guiding principle of his own laborious life, to "Owe no man anything, but to love one another."

The Archbishop of York being about to licence a Curate either to Kirkby or Sutton, the following Verses were written by the above-named rev. gentleman during his ministry in this locality, and as a result the Curate was licenced to Sutton :—

This journal of the eighth of May.
In eighteen hundred twenty-five,
Is penned to show that after all
The night is come and I'm alive.

My breakfast done at half-past eight,
I left my home and took my way
Towards Mansfield Woodhouse, where began
The labours of this toilsome day.

The Sunday Schools to teach the young
Their duty both to God and man,
I first inspected, and approved
The faithful labourers and their plan.

At half-past ten to church I went,
Said prayers and preached, four pairs did ask,
A woman churched, and half-past twelve
Completed saw my morning task.

I mounted steed, to Skegby rode,
Imparted to a female ill
The Holy Eucharist, as before
She had to me expressed her will.

At this place, too, I prayed and preached,
And set the congregation free;
Then mounting steed to Sutton hied,
And reached the church just after three.

Two children here I first baptised,
Then prayed and preached as heretofore;
Seven couples published—when the hour
Exceeded somewhat half-past four.

Two children more I christened then,
Ten minutes, too, in vestry stayed
Among the teachers of the school,
To hear some plans that they had made.

Again to Mansfield Woodhouse went,
A corpse in waiting there I found;
The last sad rites 'mid weeping friends
I read—and dust gave to the ground.

A fourth time then I prayed and preached,
And, this performed, the hour drew nigh
Whereof the kirk-hammer 'gainst the bell
Right hours would sound to passers-by.

Two children more I then did name,
In private manner as allowed
By Holy Church—tho' not approved—
But 'tis the humour of the crowd.

A person sick who wished my prayers
I called to see, as I was bound;
And after giving some advice,
My duty done with joy I found.

Bestowed with welcome by a friend,
Some food I ate with eager zest.
Which dinner or my supper call,
Or any name that you like best.

I sat awhile as loth to move;
But, knowing I was not at home.
I sallied forth, and safe arrived
Beneath my humble, peaceful dome.

This scrawl complete—the hour of " twelve"
Brings my day's labour to a close,
The past fatigue seoures my rest,
To yon I wish a sound repose.

14 Jan 12     by Gary Elliott       Updated 06 Aug 14