An Execration By David Wheatley

Given the existence of plagues of eels and bloodsuckers in Lake Léman,

cursed by the Bishop of Lausanne and the learned doctors of Heidelberg,

the homicidal bees condemned at the Council of Worms, the petition

of the inhabitants of Beaune for a decree of excommunication against certain

noxious insects called hurebers, a kind of locust or harvest fly —

given, further, the trial of the weevils of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne lasting

over eight months, with due attention to the protocol of cases brought

against caterpillars, to the custom of writing letters of advice to rats,

the writs of ejectment served on them, and the rhyming rats of Ireland;

and, further, Egbert, Archbishop of Trier, having previously 

the swallows which disturbed the devotions of the faithful and sacrilegiously

defiled his head and vestments with their droppings, and exulted

in scandalous unchastity during his sermons; in spite of the 
vermifugal efficacy

of St. Magnus’s crosier and accompanying papal execratories, all sorts

of animals, a cock burned at the stake for the unnatural crime of laying

an egg, an ox decapitated for its demerits, all manner of sweet

and stenchy beasts, are observed to persist in their heretical obduracy,

irrational and imperfect creatures, though notified, admonished and commanded

to depart from the habitations of man, notices to this effect being posted

on trees that all guilty parties may read; and whereas it has been

urged that brute beasts that they are, the field mouse, locust, mole,

ass, mule, mare, goat, snail, slug, weevil, turtledove, pig, cow and bull,

are lacking immortal souls (that they might be damned), they lack not

indwelling spirits, otherwise demons and imps of Satan, of which

they are the visible form, so that it is the demon and not the beast

that suffers in the beaten dog and squeals in the butchered pig;

a vile and lowly specimen of which genus art thou, the accused,

standing trotters against the dock before me now, that did willfully

last Tuesday fortnight throw the swineherd’s son to the ground,

mangling his ears and cheeks, for which crime having first been dressed

in a velveteen waistcoat as is our custom and the executioner 

with a fresh pair of gloves, you will be conveyed to the town square

and there without benefit of clergy be hanged by the neck until dead

and your body thereafter displayed for the improvement of your fellow

filth-dwelling sinners. Do you have anything to say for yourself?

About Author Annette J Dunlea Irish Writer

Irish Writer Website: Twitter: @adunlea Facebook:
This entry was posted in Ireland, Poetry, Writing & Writers and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.