poem | 2023
I would consider this to be likely the most important work I've done. Whether it's the best or not is another question for posterity to decide. It has been on my heart awhile to sketch a short 'confession' of sorts in standard verse. I'm not sure why. But I had to put down my other projects to finish this.
Now, as I have given up the job of synopsis writing, seeing as I am useless at it (as one gets older, one must cut one's losses), I have employed a dear friend of mine named John to write some verse for me, seeing he himself has written heavily on biblical themes. He went a bit far this time though, and wrote an entire book called Paradise Regained. It wasn't really necessary, but it's not a bad read.
"Or, if I would delight my private hours
with music or with poem, where so soon
as in our native language can I find
that solace? All our Law and Story strewed
with hymns, our Psalms with artful terms inscribed,
our Hebrew songs and harps, in Babylon
that pleased so well our victor's ear, declare
that rather Greece from us these arts derived—
ill imitated while they loudest sing
the vices of their deities, and their own,
in fable, hymn, or song, so personating
their gods ridiculous, and themselves past shame.
Remove their swelling epithetes, thick-laid
as varnish on a harlot's cheek, the rest,
thin-sown with aught of profit or delight,
will far be found unworthy to compare
with Sion's songs, to all true tastes excelling,
where God is praised aright and godlike men,
the Holiest of Holies and his Saints
(such are from God inspired, not such from thee);
unless where moral virtue is expressed
by light of Nature, not in all quite lost."
The purpose of this piece, as a confession, is to be brief. It is obviously not exhaustive as such, and there are many other things I could have written about, which I did not, because, simply, it was not in the scope of the piece. For those who shall misunderstand or be angry about this, I leave to you the immortal Timothy Dexter: "thay may peper and solt it as they plese."