Friday Poem: To His Coy Mistress — The Cheesesellers Wife

Had we but world enough and time, 

This coyness, lady, were no crime. 

We would sit down, and think which way 

To walk, and pass our long love’s day. 

Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side 

Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide 

Of Humber would complain. I would 

Love you ten years before the flood, 

And you should, if you please, refuse 

Till the conversion of the Jews. 

My vegetable love should grow 

Vaster than empires and more slow; 

An hundred years should go to praise 

Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze; 

Two hundred to adore each breast, 

But thirty thousand to the rest; 

An age at least to every part, 

And the last age should show your heart. 

For, lady, you deserve this state, 

Nor would I love at lower rate. 

       But at my back I always hear 

Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near; 

And yonder all before us lie 

Deserts of vast eternity. 

Thy beauty shall no more be found; 

Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound 

My echoing song; then worms shall try 

That long-preserved virginity, 

And your quaint honour turn to dust, 

And into ashes all my lust; 

The grave’s a fine and private place, 

But none, I think, do there embrace. 

       Now therefore, while the youthful hue 

Sits on thy skin like morning dew, 

And while thy willing soul transpires 

At every pore with instant fires, 

Now let us sport us while we may, 

And now, like amorous birds of prey, 

Rather at once our time devour 

Than languish in his slow-chapped power. 

Let us roll all our strength and all 

Our sweetness up into one ball, 

And tear our pleasures with rough strife 

Through the iron gates of life: 

Thus, though we cannot make our sun 

Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Note: Thee word “Coy” means “Shy.”

David Bruce: 250 Anecdotes About Religion — Mass, Money


 • Three major league umpires, Tom Gorman, Augie Donatelli, and Artie Gore, went to Mass. Afterward, the three umpires and the priest, Father John, were standing outside the church when Milwaukee shortstop Johnny Logan walked by. Father John said to Mr. Logan, “How nice to see you. Do you see my three umpires? They all went to Mass and hit the rail. How about you?” Mr. Logan replied, “Father, they need it.”

• Pope John XXIII was the son of winegrowers, and he knew and appreciated good wine. After tasting some new wine from the Vatican vineyards, he joked with the papal gardener, “Enrico, do me the favor of not allowing any of the priests who come here to taste this wine. The Monsignors will all want to have it for their Masses, and then they might want to say Mass four or five times a day!”


• As a Methodist preacher in Texas, Edwin Porter attended Annual Conference each year, where he found out to which church he would be assigned for the following year and where stewards voted on allocating funds to worthy projects. One such project was the bishops’ fund, but when discussion arose on this important topic, one steward didn’t hear the final letter of the word “fund.” The steward stood up and said, “Now, Brother Porter, I want to be a good member of the church and pay my part, but there’s one thing I’m not willing to contribute to — that’s the bishop’s fun. Why can’t the bishop pay for his own fun?”

• Comedian Eddie Cantor was getting ready to star at one of the many benefits he supported to raise money for Israel. At this particular benefit, the admission was the purchase of a $1,000 Israel bond per person. On an elevator, Mr. Cantor happened to overhear an elderly couple talking about the benefit, which they were going to attend. The husband whispered to the wife, “Think of it. It’s costing us $2,000 for this dinner today.” The wife whispered back to the husband, “See, I’m telling you, Sam, it’s costing more and more to eat out these days.”

• Lillian Baylis of the Old Vic and Sadler’s Wells knew how to get people to work for her cheap. First, she would get on her knees and pray to God: “Please, God, send me a good tenor. And let him be cheap.” After the tenor had asked for more money than she was prepared to pay, she would say, “You are asking for more money? Just a minute, dear. I will have to ask God.” As the tenor stood in her office, she would get on her knees again and pray to God, and then she would stand up and tell the tenor, “I’m sorry, dear. God says ‘No.’”

• Mulla Nasrudin was sitting upstairs when a beggar knocked at his door. Nasrudin poked his head outside the window and asked, “What do you want?” The beggar replied, “Come downstairs and I will tell you.” Nasrudin went downstairs, where the beggar asked Nasrudin for alms. Nasrudin said, “Follow me,” then he and the beggar went upstairs, where Nasrudin answered, “No.” “Why did you drag me upstairs?” asked the beggar. Nasrudin replied, “For the same reason you dragged me downstairs.”

• W.C. Fields got his first paying juggling job in 1891, when the deacon of a Methodist church agreed to pay him and a friend 30 cents to perform their act at a festival hosted by the church. However, after the act, the Methodist deacon refused to pay the money. This made Mr. Fields and his friend so angry that they stole 31 umbrellas from the Methodist church and pawned them for $1.20. After this unfortunate experience, Mr. Fields formed the resolution to do his act only for Baptists.

• Gregor Mendel, whose research on peas led to the development of the science of genetics, joined the Order of Saint Augustine and eventually became the abbot at his monastery in Brünn, Moravia. One of the reasons the other monks elected him as abbot was that the government taxed the monastery each time it elected a new abbot and therefore it preferred to elect young abbots, such as the 45-year-old Father Mendel, who would probably live for many years.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


250 Anecdotes About Religion — Buy

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Buy the Paperback

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Kindle

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Apple

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Barnes and Noble

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Kobo

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Smashwords: Many Formats, Including PDF

Music Recommendation: The Control Freaks — “First Aid Kit”


Music: “First Aid Kit”


Artist: The Control Freaks

Artist Location: San Francisco, California

Record Company: Slovenly Recordings

Record Company Location: Reno, Nevada


Price: $1 (USD) for track; $7 (USD) for 13-track album

Genre: Punk. Pop Punk.



Slovenly Recordings

Slovenly Records on YouTube

David Bruce: 250 Anecdotes About Religion — Ignorance, Marriage, Mass


• Rabbi Isaac Elhanan Spektor received a visit from a young man who was wondering whether he should give up his belief in God and become a free thinker. Rabbi Spektor asked whether the young man had read the Talmud. The answer came back: No. Had he read Maimonides? No. Had he read the Torah? No. Had he read Moses Mendelssohn? No. The Rabbi sighed and said, “Young man, you are too ignorant to call yourself a free thinker. You should call yourself by your correct name — an ordinary ignoramus.”


• After a man and woman of Sidon had been married for 20 years without having any children, they were required by law to get a divorce. Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai told them that just as they had had a festive banquet when they got married, so now they should have one as they got a divorce. At the banquet, the husband told his wife that although he was divorcing her, she could have whatever she valued most in what had been their house. That night, as he slept, his divorced wife ordered her servants to remove him from his house to the house of her father. When her divorced husband woke up, he asked, “Where am I?” She told him, and when he asked why he was there, she replied, “Don’t you remember your telling me last night that I may take with me whatever I like best when I return to my father’s house? Nothing in the whole world do I like better than you!” They then went to Rabbi Simeon ben Yohai and remarried. (This time, she became pregnant, after the good Rabbi had prayed for her.)

• A couple of Jewish painters were working inside a Catholic church when they became intrigued by a ritual. After asking what the ritual was, they learned that a nun was being prepared for the ceremony of professional — a ceremony that could be likened to a wedding between the nun and Jesus. After asking permission, the Jews were allowed to be present at the actual ceremony, but a surprised priest asked what they were doing there. The Jews replied, “We’re relatives of the groom.”

• A Quaker thought about proposing, but hesitated because he wanted to make the right decision. However, while having tea at his loved one’s house, he asked for half a cup of tea, and she filled his cup exactly half full. This so pleased the Quaker that he proposed. Years after they were married, his wife asked him why he had decided to propose to her. He explained the matter of the half a cup of tea, and she replied, “I remember that afternoon well — there wasn’t another drop in the teapot.”

• Abraham Lincoln liked to tell a story about a soon-to-be justice of the peace who gave a marriage certificate to two people although he had not yet been authorized to hold office. The “marriage” certificate read: “To all the world Greeting. Know ye that John Smith and Peggy Myres is hereby certified to go together and do as old folks does, anywhere inside coperas precinct, and when my commission comes I am to marry them good and date em back to kivver accidents.”

• In the old days, women frequently died in childbirth, and their husbands remarried quickly. Only a few months after his first wife had died, Methodist preacher Joshua Thomas, aka “the Parson of the Islands,” proposed marriage to a young woman. She asked, “Isn’t this rather sudden?” He replied, “But I’ve had my eye on you for quite a while.”

• After Sydney Smith was married, he tossed six worn teaspoons into his bride’s lap, and then he explained that he had just fulfilled one of his marriage vows — he had endowed his wife with all his worldly goods.


• Kathleen O’Connell Chesto tells this story about attending Mass with her two-year-old daughter, Liz. In his homily, the priest described Solomon’s Temple as “magnificent.” Liz recognized the word, so she stood up and told the congregation, “My Daddy calls me magnificent.” The priest stopped his homily and said to the congregation, “Isn’t that what being a Christian is all about? Each of us can say that we have a Daddy Who thinks that we are magnificent.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


250 Anecdotes About Religion — Buy

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Buy the Paperback

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Kindle

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Apple

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Barnes and Noble

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Kobo

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Smashwords: Many Formats, Including PDF

Music Recommendation: Squirrel Butter — “Never Miss Missing You”


Music: “Never Miss Missing You”


Artist: Squirrel Butter

Artist Location: Seattle, Washington

Info: “Based in Seattle, husband & wife duo Squirrel Butter, Charlie Beck & Charmaine Slaven, performs traditional and original music primarily influenced by Appalachian, early country, jug band, and blues artists from the late 1800’s through 1950’s.”

“Featuring mostly original music written by Charlie Beck, this 14-track album includes many guest musicians for a full band sound on most of the tracks.”

Squirrel Butter performs “Whiskey and Wine” from their BANJO CLOG album.

Price: $1 (USD) for track; $12 (USD) for 14-track album

Genre: Americana



Squirrel Butter on Bandcamp

David Bruce: 250 Anecdotes About Religion — Humility, Husbands and Wives, Hypocrites, Ignorance


• The Dalai Lama gave a series of lectures in Tucson, Arizona. Although his English is good, he lectured in Tibetan about Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, and a translator spoke in English. At one point, the Dalai Lama told the translator, “You’re mistaken. That’s not what I said.” They then argued about a sentence by Shantideva — the Dalai Lama thought the sentence was “She said that to him,” but the translator thought the sentence was “He said that to her.” After discussing the sentence for a while, the Dalai Lama looked the sentence up, and then he started laughing and admitted, “Oh, I made a mistake.” Although he was lecturing in front of 1,200 people, he freely admitted that the mistake was his.

• One day Pope John XXIII went to a nursing home that was run by nuns so he could visit a dying prelate. The nun who answered the door was understandably astonished to see the Pope, and she almost fainted. However, the Pope told her, “No need to be alarmed, Sister. After all, I’m only the Pope.”

Husbands and Wives

• The private Groucho (real name: Julius) Marx was as funny as the public Groucho Marx. His first wedding was like a scene out of a Marx Brothers movie. Harpo hid behind a potted plant and made it appear to be walking around the room. When the minister said, “We are gathered here in holy matrimony,” Groucho’s response was, “It may be holy to you, Reverend, but we have other ideas.” And when the minister asked, “Do you, Julius, take this woman to be your lawful wedded wife,” Groucho replied, “Well, we’ve gone this far. We might as well go through with it.”

• A young, newlywed Hindu couple came to Mother Teresa and gave her much money, which they had saved by not celebrating their wedding, not buying wedding clothes, and not going on a honeymoon. When Mother Teresa asked why they had made such a sacrifice, they answered, “We love each other so much that we wanted to share the joy of our love with those you serve.”

• An atheist heckled Billy Sunday during a sermon by interrupting with questions designed to embarrass believers. For example, the heckler asked, “Who was Cain’s wife?” Mr. Sunday responded, “I honor every seeker after the truth. But I should like to warn this man that he shouldn’t risk salvation by too many inquiries after other men’s wives.”

• Bob Hope’s wife, Dolores, is a devout Catholic. Once, she got on a plane in which two priests were seated in front of her and three nuns were seated behind her. Charlie Lee, one of Mr. Hope’s many writers, was also on the plane. He asked Mr. Hope, “Why can’t she take out regular insurance, like the rest of us?”


• Reed Smoot was one of the first Senators from Utah. He was a Mormon, and it was rumored that he was a polygamist, although he wasn’t (however, he did support polygamy when that was Mormon doctrine). Mr. Smoot’s swearing-in was delayed by a filibuster until another Senator looked at all the philanderers in the Senate, then said, “Gentlemen, I would rather have a polygamist who does not polyg, than a monogamist who does not monog.”

• A nobleman told the Bishop of Meaux, Jacques Bossuet, that he didn’t go to church because too many hypocrites were there. Bishop Bossuet responded, “Don’t let that keep you away, my lord, because there is always room for one more.”


• Religion in the American frontier was often almost nonexistent, save for circuit-riding preachers, who were sometimes astonished by the ignorance of the people they were trying to teach. The Reverend Freeborn Garrettson, a Methodist circuit rider, asked a frontiersman, “Do you know Jesus Christ?” The frontiersman answered, “Sir, I do not know where the gentleman lives.” To test a young boy’s knowledge of Scripture, another circuit rider asked, “Who killed Abel?” The young boy answered, “I didn’t know he was dead. We just moved here last week.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


250 Anecdotes About Religion — Buy

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Buy the Paperback

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Kindle

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Apple

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Barnes and Noble

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Kobo

250 Anecdotes About Religion — Smashwords: Many Formats, Including PDF