James Maxwell


9. Postscript; by Way of Application


	Were all the Poets such as these now found,
No matter then how thick they spread the ground;
But now for poets we have poetasters,
Who fill their readers minds with sad disasters;
Only pretenders to the sacred gift,
Who from celestial to infernal shift.
  	Such wound the modest and the pious ear, 
While advocates for Satan they appear. 
Instead of poets sacred to the Muse, 
They all the pure poetic fire abuse.
	Not so the Bards who at the first appear’d, 
When God the topstone of Creation rear’d. 
Then did his sons the sacred Muse employ, 
And to his praise all shouted loud for joy! 
Yea, sacred hymns did ev’ry one compose,
When first the fabric of Creation rose.
	But Satan, envious at the homage paid,
Consulted how God’s kingdom to invade. 
With hellish spite his legions he inspir’d,
Then all with hopes of victory were fir’d.
But though in this their enterprize they fell,
And all at once were thunder’d down to hell;
Yet for a time permitted are to roar,
And seek throughout this earth whom to devour.
	Now those who are entangled in their chains, 
Become their votaries and spare no pains. 
Some such pretend philosophers to be, 
Some preachers and some poets too we see. 
Such are emissaries by Satan sent,
Who through this world their noisome đîison vent. 
These swarm like locusts, and pollute the air 
And catch the heedless youths at unaware. 
But libertines are caught with little guile, 
They take the bait with a contented smile. 
Nay, ev’n the sager sort are oft deceiv’d, 
And sometimes of their reason quite bereav’d.
	Thus is the Muses’ fire so much abas’d, 
That nothing can be more profanely us’d. 
Beware, ye thoughtless, of the gilded bait, 
Nor yield yourselves a prey to hell’s deceit: 
For sure by hell are those his servants sent, 
And on his errands they are fully bent.
	A serpent first he for this use employ’d, .
Who quickly Adam and his wife decoy’d, 
Thus of a subtile creature he made choice, 
Whom he soon taught to speak with human voice; 
But now of Adam’s sons he can as well
Instruct to speak the dialect of hell.
These can more plausibly mankind deceive, 
Than e’er the serpent could our mother Eve. 
And thus  more easily his end he gains
Than by a serpent, and with half the pains.
Thousands bath he won over in this way, 
And who can tell how many more he may? 
Unless the great Creator with a nod, 
Command them all down to hell’s dark abode. 
We’re told that Satan should be loos’d awhile, 
And many thousands on this earth beguile.
Now surely this appears to be the time, 
So many are deceiv’d by jargon-rhime.






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