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17th Century, New England, Pilgrims, Salem Witch Trials, Uncategorized

Two Poems About America’s Founding by Mark Walston Appearing in the Boston Review


Cotton Mather Preaches on Satan

Mark Walston


exceedingly disturbed,

Territory wrested from a devil
exceedingly disturbed,
the perceived accomplishment
of providential possession
of the utmost parts irritating,
infuriating, immediately precipitating
vile machinations to overturn
the godly establishment.

The mouth of perdition issues
a flood for the carrying away
of the ignorant and unrepentant,
the unsettling of the good harvest,
the extirpation of the vine.

Cast out the heathen attempts,
abort the hellish conception,
repel the assault more difficult,
more surprising, more snarled
with unintelligible circumstances
than hitherto encountered.

Critical incarnate legions persecute the justified,
seasonably an army horribly broke upon the center
dolefully shrieks, tormented by invisible hands,
mischief endeavored and fiendishly conquering.
Handle the infected and infested,

spectral exhibitions upon the sufferers,
delusions interwoven into circumstances of confessions,
the rules of understanding humane affairs ending.
Voluntary harmonious confessions acknowledge

concernment and demonstrations of composition
and operations prodigious beyond wonders,
threatening dissolution and dreadful increase,
concert and consult the methods
of a more gross diabolism,
short of miracle, to confound
the discovery of all the rest.


Mayflower Compact

Mark Walston

May 01, 2009 

Moored in mutuality,
the civic body politic
covenants intolerance,
constitutional submission
to preserve the order,
promise of obedience,
uniformity eternally
impersonating equality.


About markwalston

Writer, historian, creative director, poet, playwright, author of nine books and nearly 200 essays and articles exploring a broad range of American social, cultural and historical topics.


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