The Day of Doom

Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)
The suddenness, Majesty and Terror of Christ’s appearing.

V.

For at midnight breaks forth a light,
which turns the night to day,
And speedily an hideous cry
doth all the World dismay.
Sinners awake, their hearts do ache,
trembling their loins surpriseth;
Amaz’d with fear, by what they hear,
each one of them ariseth.

VI.

They rush from beds with giddy heads,
and to their windows run.
Viewing this light, which shines more bright
than doth the noon-day Sun.
Straightway appears (they see’t with tears)
the Son of God most dread,
Who with his Train comes on amain
to judge both Quick and Dead.

VII.

Before his face the Heav’ns give place,
and Skies are rent asunder.
With mighty voice and hideous noise,
more terrible than Thunder.
His Brightness damps Heav’n’s glorious Lamps
and makes them hide their heads;
As if afraid and quite dismay’d,
they quit their wonted steads.

VIII.

Ye sons of men that durst contemn
the Threat’nings of God’s Word,
How cheer you now? Your hearts, I trow,
are thrill’d as with a sword.
Now Atheist blind, whose brutish mind
a God could never see,
Dost thou perceive, dost now believe
that Christ thy Judge shall be?

IX.

Stout Courages, (whose hardiness
could Death and Hell outface,)
Are you as bold, now you behold
your Judge draw near apace?
They cry, “No, no, Alas! and woe!
our courage all is gone:
Our hardiness (fool hardiness)
hath us undone, undone!“

Learning and Booting

 

  …all we got, it seems we have lost
We must have really paid the cost
Bob Marley

Jacob Zuma, Julius Malema
Beat your chests, inflame your jungle.
All the world observes the mayhem
while your poor policemen bungle.

Rage impulses uncontrolled,
Cages open in your zoo;
On to shopping malls. Your cadres
Acted as directed to.

South Africa is not our world.
Red rainbows fail to end in gold.
A cloud of global witnesses
are watching. Let your woes unfold.

The Day of Doom

Michael Wigglesworth (1631—1705)
The security of the world before Christ’s coming to judgment.

I.

Still was the night, serene and bright,
when all Men sleeping lay;
Calm was the season, and carnal reason
thought so ’twould last for aye.
“Soul, take thine ease, let sorrow cease;
much good thou hast in store:“
This was their Song, their Cups among,
the evening before.

II.

Wallowing in all kind of Sin,
vile Wretches lay secure;
The best of men had scarcely then
their Lamps kept in good ure.
Virgins unwise, who through disguise
amongst the best were number’d,
Had clos’d their eyes; yea, and the Wise
through sloth and frailty slumber’d.

III.

Like as of old, when men grew bold,
God’s threat’nings to contemn.
Who stopt their Ear, and would not hear
when Mercy warnéd them,
But took their course, without remorse,
till God began to pour
Destructi-on the World upon,
in a tempestuous show’r;

IV.

Who put away the evil day,
and drown’d their cares and fears,
Till drown’d were they, and swept away
by vengeance unawares;
So at the last, whilst men sleep fast
in their security,
Surpris’d they are in such a snare
As Cometh suddenly.

Day of Doom: Get Ready

The Day of Doom, a quintessentially Puritan poem of over 200 eight-line stanzas vividly describing Judgment Day and the torments awaiting sinners in Hell, was the first book of poetry printed in the American Colonies and the first American bestseller. Its author, Michael Wigglesworth, graduated from Harvard in 1651 and served the town of Malden, Mass., as minister and physician. The day of doom is the foundation of any collection of early American literature, yet it is also one of the legendary rarities of early American printing. Only one fragmentary copy survives of the first edition, printed in Cambridge, Mass., ca. 1662, and only four fragmentary copies of the second edition of 1666.

This Just In: We Welcome The Day of Doom!

 

I will be posting this edifying New England poem here at ConnectHook soon.
I discovered it in this excellent anthology I purchased recently: