On Milton
Do NOT attempt in verse or rhyme
what Milton did that former time.
To duplicate his great success
and clone his mode of grand address,
you'd ramble on and soon digress,
use all the big words you possess,
try hard to make us all impressed,
and end up with a bloody mess.
When Milton's eyes had gone quite blind
his skill was never undermined.
He had a way to find escape:
his brain was still in damn fine shape.
He wrote some stanzas every day,
hardcopied them without delay,
and kept this up for years and years
and had the best of all careers.
He wrote a prequel, in a sense,
and used his epic eloquence
to write fan fiction for the Book
and thought up quite a clever hook.
He told of Satan's rationale
for exiting his vile locale
and taking all his pals en masse
to turn poor mankind on its ass.
The first two humans weren't content;
their nimble minds were just not meant
to sit there baking in the sun,
just watching what the Lord had done.
They paid a very hefty price
for messing up their paradise,
for Eve screwed up and Adam let her.
(And Satan didn't fare much better.)
The Lord came down to have a look
and saw a thing he could not brook.
They're up to their own naked necks
engaging in some red-hot sex.
At least that's what I always thought,
a metaphor I once was taught
for eating apples from The Tree,
verboten to the n-th degree.
In any case, the Lord's upset.
He makes an edict they'll regret:
"Now heretofore there's no more fun;
there's no more frolic in the sun.
Protect this world I've just begun;
I want this planet smoothly run."
You see how easy it can be
to start digressing shamelessly?