University of Virginia Library

A Proem unto Christ the Judge of the World.

O dearest dread, most glorious King,
I'le of thy justice Judgment sing:
Do thou my head and heart inspire
To do't aright, as I desire.
Thee, thee alone I'le invocate:
For I do much abominate
To call the Muses to mine aid:
Which is the unchristian use, and trade
Of some that Christians would be thought,
And yet they Worship worse than naught.
Oh, what a deal of Blasphemy,
And Heathenish Impiety,
In Christian Poets may be found,
Where Heathen Gods with Praise are crown'd,
They make JEHOVAH to stand by,
Till Juno, Venus, Mercury,
With frowning Mars, and thund'ring Jove,
Rule Earth below, and Heav'n above.
But I have learn'd to pray to none,
Save unto God in Christ alone.
Nor will I laud, no not in jest,
That which I know God doth detest.

I reckon it a damning evil,
To give Gods Praises to the Devil.
Thou, Christ, art he to whom I pray:
Thy glory fain I would display.
Oh, guide me by the sacred Sprite
So to indite, and so to write,
That I thine holy Name may praise,
And teach the sons of men thy ways.