Ye Penitential Duster.

(Ye tune yt goeth to S. Betsye Bakere.)

Miss Saurin, in that “ convent case”1
(Unless she told a “ buster”),2
Was forced upon her head to wear3
A penitential duster.4
If brooms and brushes all went wrong,5
And put her in a fluster,6
For her untidiness she wore7
The penitential duster.8
When Starrs shot madly from their spheres,9
And made Superior bluster,10
That poor Nun had to veil her head11
With penitential duster.12
With nasty, mean, and spiteful ways,13
They strove hard to disgust her ;14
She meekly bore them all, and wore15
Her penitential duster.16
In cell or school, with priest or book,17
In all they did mistrust her ;18
They took her ring, and made her wear19
A penitential duster.20
They kept her in the bath-room cold,21
And in a garret thrust her ;22
She’d mutton scraps and mouldy bread,23
And penitential duster.24
And, when the Reverend Mother then25
With tit-bits did entrust her,26
She help’d herself, and had to wear27
The penitential duster.28
For little peccadilloes that29
With earth’s stains did encrust her,30
She had to pace the convent in31
A penitential duster.32
Though, on conventual rule, this case33
Most truly shed no lustre,34
A hint we all may take from that35
Same penitential duster.36
Suppose, that in this outer world,37
Our faults we had to muster,38
How many Externs then would wear39
The penitential duster !40
For, if those fashions were to spread41
That round the cloister cluster,42
How few of us would be without43
Our penitential duster !44
But while some, in that Convent case,45
Maintain that nought was juster46
Than that, for faults, the nuns should wear47
A penitential duster48
I, for my part, must frankly own49
I like a faith robuster !50
I’d scorn to make such dust about51
A penitential duster !52