Jeff Davis’ Prayer

JEFF DAVIS’ PRAYER.

BY CLARENCE BUTLER.

Bowed down with grievous cares of State,
(For tidings weren’t going very straight,)
There sat that awful potentate
King Jeff, the great Secesher;
He looked exceedingly forlorn,
Harrassed and vexed, annoyed and worn;–
‘Twas plain his office didn’t return
Much profit or much pleasure.

Says Jeff (he thus soliloquized:)
“This isn’t quite as I surmised;
It really cannot be disguised,
The thing is getting risky:
Winchester, Donelson, Roanoke,
Pea Ridge, Port Royal, Burnside’s stroke.
At Newborn—by the Lord, I choke!”
Jeff took a drink of whisky.

“McClellan, too, and Yankee Foote;
Grant, Hunter, Halleck, Farrigut,
With that accurst Fremont to boot;”
(Right here he burst out swearing;
And then, half mad and three parts drunk,
Down on his shaking knees he sunk,
And prayed like any frightened monk,
To ease his black despairing.)

He prayed: “0 mighty Lucifer!
Than Whom, of all that are or were
There is no spirit worthier
To be our Lord and Master;
0h, thou Original Secesh!
Please pity our poor quaking flesh.
And break this tightening Union mesh,
And stop this dire disaster!

“We trust we have not been remiss
In duty or in sacrifice;
We feel we have wrought thine abyss
Some services, good devil!
The hottest hell-fire marked our track
O’er the green land we have made black,
We think our hands have not been slack
In doing work of evil.

“Have we not drugged and drowsed the press,
And held the Bible in duress?
And, Satan, did we not suppress
The thinkers and the teachers;
Close up the schools, starve our the brains,
Lynch those attaint with loyal stains,
Festoon the Sacred Cross with chains,
And gag the Lord Christ’s preachers?

“O Prince of rebels! have we not
Almost eclipsed Iscariot,
And quite shamed Peter’s little blot,
With treachery and lying?
Have we not hacked, and hawed and burned,
And pillaged what the poor have earned;
Brought havoc on the rich, and spurned
The famished and the dying?

“So, being thine in word and deed,
We trust we shall not vainly plead
In this our time of frightful need,
And perilous reverses; —
Therefore, sink every Federal boat,
Let Stanton be with palsy smote,
Make George McClellan cut his throat,
And blast Old Abe with curses!

“Then, Satan, whilst we give thee thanks,
Kill Shields, choke Halleck, poison Banks,
And spread through all the Yankee ranks
Terrific devastation!
Let loose the plagues and pestilence,
Stir up the Northern malcontents,
And drive the invading mudsills hence,
In utter consternation!

“By all the incense we have brought;
By all the rain we have wrought;
By every woe, and every clot
Of murder, grim and gory; —
By every shriek and every wail
That makes the stunned heart blanch and pale,
O, let thy servants now prevail —
And thine shall be the glory!”

Monroe Sentinel (Monroe, Wisconsin) May 28, 1862

Previous post with Jefferson Davis: A Difference

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