The lesser angels of our present danger
Arraign the better angels of our nature
And rearrange the stature of our hatred
On which the union of our state is wagered.
For Madison if men could angels be
No government could claim necessity;
If angels governed men there’d be no need
For mechanisms to suppress base schemes.
Was Lincoln lost in spirits then to see
We are not enemies, we must be friends?
The better angels of our nature bend
To touch the mystic chords of memory
But on the harp they once had played freely—
Except for one flat note whose frequency
Is tuned to the resentment in our spleen—
They find the strings all gone, the arch empty.
You made them just beneath the seraphim
They made a government that kept sights low
Of common sense they took the highest dose—
Amnesia of all souls’ whole origins.
For madmen in the market—midday sun—
No angels dwell in disenchanted skies
There is no nature by their lanterns’ lights.
And what if these men govern us, my son?
And what a spectacle to watch from hell,
As we compete with fallen angels still.