Presumption and despair;
or, Satan’s various temptations.
I hate the tempter and his charms,
I hate his flattering breath;
The serpent takes a thousand forms
To cheat our souls to death.
He feeds our hopes with airy dreams,
Or kills with slavish fear;
And holds us still in wide extremes,
Presumption, or despair.
Now he persuades, “How easy ’tis
“To walk the road to heaven;”
Anon he swells our sins, and cries,
“They cannot be forgiven.”
[He bids young sinners, “Yet forbear
“To think of God or death;
“For prayer and devotion are
“But melancholy breath.”
He tells the aged, “They must die,
“And ’tis too late to pray;
“In vain for mercy now they cry,
“For they have lost their day.”]
Thus he supports his cruel throne
By mischief and deceit;
And drags the sons of Adam down
To darkness and the pit.
Almighty God, cut short his power,
Let him in darkness dwell;
And, that he vex the earth no more,
Confine him down to hell.