Religio Laici, Or A Layman's Faith (1682) is a poem by John Dryden, published as a premise to his subsequent The Hind and the Panther (1687), a final outcome of his conversion to Roman Catholicism.
The poet argues for the credibility of the Christian religion and against Deism, and (perhaps less convincingly) for the Anglican Church against that of Rome.
These are the last couplets of the poem (vv. 451-455):
- Thus have I made my own opinions clear:
- Yet neither praise expect, nor censure fear:
- And this unpolish'd, rugged verse, I chose;
- fittest for discourse, and nearest prose:
- For, while from sacred truth I do not swerve,
- Tom Sternhold's, or Tom Shadwell's rhymes will serve.
- ^ Complete facsimile in Googlebooks. Cf. also facsimile reproduction of 1682 ed., J. Dryden, Religio Laici, Or, a Laymans Faith a Poem. (1682), EEBO Editions (2010).
- ^ S. N. Zwicker, The Cambridge Companion to John Dryden, Cambridge University Press (2004).
- ^ As extracted from "The Poetical Works of John Dryden, Volume 1 by John Dryden", Project Gutenberg, in the public domain.
- ^ English courtier Thomas Sternhold (1500–1549) was the principal author of the first English metrical version of the Psalms, originally attached to the Prayer-Book and which first appeared in 1549. Their popularity was due more to the subject matter than to their poetic style. Thomas Shadwell (1642-1692) was an English poet and playwright who was appointed poet laureate in 1689. Cf. also Luminarium on John Dryden's poems.