Not since the time the sense of evil
Caught our first parents by surprise,
While eating fruit in Paradise,
One fateful morning, had the Devil,
Used as he was to steam and smoke,
Beheld such chaos as now broke
Upon his horny, bloodshot eyes.
Prince of the Power of the air,
Lord of terrestrial things as well
As subterranean life in Hell,
He had till now not been aware
How this great watery domain
Might be enclosed within his reign;
Such things as fish, cold-blooded, wet,
Had served no end of his as yet.
The serpent could be made to lie,
And hence fit agent to deceive
A trustful female such as Eve;
But he, though cold, at least was dry.
For all his wily strategy
Since time began, the Devil saw
No way to circumvent the sea.
The fish transgressed no moral law,
They had no principles, no creed,
No prayers, no Bibles, and no Church,
No Reason’s holy light to read
The truth and no desire to search.
Hence from Dame Nature’s ancient way
Their fins had never learned to stray.
They ate and drank and fought, it’s true,
And when the zest was on they slew;
But yet their most tempestuous quarrels
Were never prejudiced by morals;
As Nature had at the beginning
Created them, so they remained—
Fish with cold blood no skill had trained
To the warm arts of human sinning.