‘Twas a glorious day, as is oft the Lord’s way,
Of blessing the folks who will come
To hear from His word and perhaps be assured
That their ways be appropriately glum.
And so Parson Grimm, pious and prim,
Attired in his robe black and cold,
Prepared to expound on the sins that abound
In the miserable hearts of his fold.
“Repent,” he did cry and spread his arms wide,
As if to enclasp his whole flock.
“Flee from your sin and let Jesus in.
Be it known that God is not mocked,
“By jollified rants and indecent dance,
High spirits are not to be fed.
If you go on this way, I’m obliged to say,
“Tis thin ice your twirling feet tread.”
With woebegone eyes and adjusting of ties,
The folks crumpled under their shame.
They wiggled and squirmed and set their jaws firm,
Looking ‘round for someone to blame.
‘Twas true, they would say, they’d indulged in play
Of the jigging sort with partners embraced.
Laughing all the while, with no thought of guile,
No notion of causing disgrace.
Then someone spied in the midst of the tide
Of reproof pouring down like the rain,
A pulsating quiver, an immodest shiver
Gripping Grimm as he pressed his refrain.
He joggled and jiggled; he waggled and giggled,
Leaving the pulpit to frolic and leap,
Skipping down the aisle in an improper style
Straight into the midst of his sheep.
Appalled and amazed, and confoundedly dazed
Folks grieved at the wicked display
Of their duly appointed and divinely anointed
Gyrating in an unseemly way.
He was graceful and lewd, then comely and crude,
As he reeled through a waltz quite demented.
With wide, blinking eyes and shrill, piercing cries
He shimmied with moves not invented.
He two-stepped and jived, dipped low and dived.
Sweat streamed from his flushed, crimson face.
“Dancing halls,” he gasped, “will cause you to lapse.”
He fell into the pianist’s embrace.
His hands, how they fluttered, his lips wetly sputtered,
Not freed from his feverish prance,
“Dear flock, I remind you, the devil will bind you.
I exhort you, THOU SHALT NOT DANCE.”
Then with a loud roar, he fell to the floor,
His eyes rolling back in his skull.
He heaved once and sighed, as though he had died.
His flock leaned into the hushed lull.
His trouser leg wrinkled, and two bright eyes twinkled.
‘Neath his robe, there emerged a wee mouse.
Four ladies near swooned and several lads crooned
At the sight of a beast in God’s house.
Exhausted and weak, trembling and meek
Parson Grimm raised a fist to the sky.
“I was assaulted, assailed, beguiled by Ba’al,
But, David didn’t dance well as I.”
Poor Parson Grimm, of the sore, aching limbs
Obtained from his wild, whirling fling,
Preached well with his lips, but his swiveling hips
Proclaimed a far different thing.
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