John Holbo has uncovered an old argument against atheists, one that might have oozed languidly from the fermenting brain of Ray Comfort. But no! This is from a 19th century book of poetry! I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Ray steals it soon, though.
Basically, it’s an invented disagreement. An imaginary atheist argues that in a well-designed universe, large oak trees ought to bear pumpkin-sized fruit, while little ground-hugging shrubberies out to have acorn-sized fruit. This is easily dismissed by the poet by having an acorn fall on the atheist’s head.
Fool! had that bough a pumpkin bore,
Thy whimseys would have work’d no more,
Nor skull have kept them in.
It even has an illustration of a weeping atheist, which John thinks might look like me, back in my youth in 1792, when I hadn’t grown the beard yet and was fond of tricorn hats, and was always being pelted with acorns by puritans.