Does knowledge quench your burning eyes, sirrah,
Eternal pages flaming fore your orbs?
Are pranks on popes a soothing balm betimes?
Do parlor tricks help snuff the licking flames?
A view from heaven water for your tongue?
Those four and twenty years seem but a leaf
Amongst the verdant forests of all time.
Recall your great ennui, it called to me,
With, “quid pro quo, if power you impart,
My soul becomes a part of Dis’ lair.”
Though mortal blood did sign the scroll, it was
For naught had single drop of Christ’s own blood
Been gleaned by Faustus from the firmament.
We mocked you most your final hour, and how
So great a man would beg to slink away,
“Oh, God I’ll be the flea on mastiff’s tail,
Or odor under hoof of grazing cows!”
You fool! It would have served you better, boy,
To study holy writ as demons have.
You think I served your whimsy for a lark?
Well bake on this, good doctor: endless thoughts
Bombard and haunt your memory; time you spent
In God’s creation, ever more apart.
© 2003 Peter Andrew Nelson
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I enjoyed this revisiting the poets of yore. Our language has changed, in some cases deteriorated since standards in general have dropped. So it is refreshing to read a poem with such eloquence.
It is very rare to see someone write in the seventeenth century prose. You did it eloquently!