The Devil went to every single school
Across America to find a Faust--
But no one wanted knowledge. Each dim fool
Stared at a phone--the Devil could not roust
A one to lust for power, wisdom, art--
None could be tempted for none had a heart.
The Devil went back down to Hell and spoke
To all his demons--Pandemonium
Gathered around and silence finally broke.
"I searched around America--I come
With nothing for a one of you to do--
You can't corrupt the ignorant. It's true.
"You can't tempt anyone who will not care,
Who neither love nor hate their lives, are loathe
To value anything, feel no despair,
So ignorant they think the poet's "Goethe,"
Assuming they have even heard of him--
Why put out any light that glows so dim?"
The Devil left them, went to Heaven. God
Spoke, "Lucifer, what brings you here? A soul
You want to tempt?" The Devil gave a nod
And said, "I wish. But I can't meet my goal.
There's no one there to take a dare. They stare
As screens, indifferent, without a care.
"They shrug their shoulders over everything--
They're natural nihilists who at their best
Discourage greatness before it can spring
To life--so lazy they must always rest
From never doing anything. A nation
Who cannot even rise up to temptation."
"There's greatness still in Asia, Africa"
God said. "These peoples rise, and with them great
And awe-inspiring men. America
Is slumping, slouching--there's no debate
That they're as dead as Europe. Do move on.
Your Western opportunities are gone."
The Devil shook his head. "I know you're right.
I've gotten used to tempting in the West.
To wrestle with a Faust is my delight,
But now it's time to take on all the rest."
"I think you'll find the rest a worthy foe,"
God said," So now, my adversary, go."