Pandemonian Plains

To wound the eternal cause with deepest harms,
A cheated gospel proves the surest arms:
Those arms, no hand can, like a preacher’s wield;
False friends may stab, when foes must fly the field.
This M* * * * * proves, in whom my utmost skill
Peer’d out no means of mischief, but the will.
He, in hard days, when ribbons gave no bread,
And Spitalfield’s brave sons from Tyburn fled,
Scampering from bailiffs, wisely dropp’d the shuttle,
To preach down truth, and common sense to throttle.
With cunning, oft in scrapes and bustles tried,
Tongue at-your-service, in all stories plied,
The dirtiest ridicule of things most holy,
And dirtier flattery of sin and folly,
A mimickry, at which buffoons would blush,
Religion cent-per-cented, at a rush,
Boldness, that dares to make the Bible lie,
And brass, that would a foundery supply,
Mid gather’d rogues, and blockheads, oft he stood,
And rous’d to fun the genuine brotherhood;
Scripture, and argument, oblig’d to yield,
Made learning, sense, and virtue, quit the field,
While fainting decency sunk down to see
The desk of God a puppet-show for me.
This said, invested with the robes of day,
To C * * * * * * *’s dome he wing’d his gladsome way,
And spread delightful to his wilder’d sense,
The pride of system, and the increase of pence.
Forth from its cobwebs straight the work he drew,
In mould still precious, and in dust still new.
This darling pet to usher to mankind,
High blown to ecstasy, the sage design’d;
And conn’d, with grand-parental love, the day,
When thro’ the world the heir should make its way.
The laughing spirit seized the lucky hour,
And round Columbia bade the trumpet roar,
And thus thro’ all her regions rang the song —
To Pandemonia’s plains, ye mortals, throng!

Timothy Dwight: The Triumph of Infidelity (1788)

One comment on “Pandemonian Plains

  1. L.K. Latham says:

    Very timely – in many ways


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