The Poems of Hell: Jonathan Swift’s “The Place of the Damned”

A poem by Jonathan Swift, of Gulliver’s Travels fame, that reminds us the truest Hell is here on Earth.

THE PLACE OF THE DAMNED
1731

All folks who pretend to religion and grace,
Allow there’s a HELL, but dispute of the place:
But if HELL may by logical rules be defined
The place of the damn’d–I’ll tell you my mind.
Wherever the damn’d do chiefly abound,
Most certainly there is HELL to be found:
Damn’d poets, damn’d critics, damn’d blockheads, damn’d knaves;
Damn’d senators bribed, damn’d prostitute slaves;
Damn’d lawyers and judges, damn’d lords and damn’d squires;
Damn’d spies and informers, damn’d friends and damn’d liars;
Damn’d villains, corrupted in every station;
Damn’d time-serving priests all over the nation;
And into the bargain I’ll readily give you
Damn’d ignorant prelates, and councillors privy.
Then let us no longer by parsons be flamm’d,
For we know by these marks the place of the damn’d:
And HELL to be sure is at Paris or Rome.
How happy for us that it is not at home!

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