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As Lent fell upon the Swiss burg known as Zurich,
A bleakness had fallen on Rathaus and Kerk.
Herr Zwingli, himself never known as a funster,
Was leading the small congregation Grossmunster.
Why was there no Freiheit? And why no Erkiesen?
If not in the Scriptures, then there was no reason
To shun the consumption of wurst or krakauer,
Without which, one’s face appeared pallid and dour.
A pastor, a shepherd, committed soul-soother,
Old Ulrich stood shoulder to shoulder with Luther,
Though, scoring their theses as pathways to heaven,
Martin hit ninety-five; Ulrich, just sixty-seven.
“If you bind us to manmade traditions, then you’re a
Transgressor against the rule sola Scriptura,
And the Bible says nothing to privilege fish
As the meat of the season, no matter your wish!”
But since this was her’sy, the bishop of Konstanz
Drew up a condemning and bitter remonstrance:
“Look! Now it’s speisen and – gasp! – Fasnachtkichli!
Mein Gott! Very soon they’ll be eating it weekly!
And pretty soon every Protestant jerk’ll
Be gouging on hot tartiflette and spanferkel!
Not to mention that decadent dish of raclette,
Even chocolate will gladden the protestant set!
And we’ll have none of that! No such carnal heart-warming,
Or the church will soon fall, for our gates they’ll be storming!”
“So be it,” said Ulrich, “we must have our freedom! (And, speaking of sausages, I didn’t eat ‘em!
But that’s not the point.) Christ alone is our guide;
As his word is our warrant, we won’t be denied
What we need to give nurture to body and soul,
We’re subject to Him, not beneath your control!
Be careful, dear Bishop, our thoughts have great gaussage,
And this will soon be about far more than sausage!”
Dear Ulrich was right, our great hero named Zwingli,
Whose teachings can still make reformed souls get tingly.
Though a good deal of history is long since forgotten,
The story’s still told. Its lessons, not rotten,
Are well and alive, and now you are well-versed
In the tale of this day. Now bring on the wurst!