Paradise Lost - by James Archer
Printable and editable Word version
(This sketch is performed by two clowns acting as narrators in rhyming couplets. For ease of presentation, the part of the first clown is in normal script and of the second in italics. The final three words are said by both of them. It could be done by one person, and was originally written to have interruptions from a heckler on the floor, which could be inserted.)
In days of old, ere we were born,
When earth had scarcely taken form,
There lived a gardener, Adam named,
Who over all creation reigned.
His servants were the cherubim;
The Lord was very good to him.
He gave him gifts of fish and birds,
Of fruit and veg, of flocks and herds,
Of trees and shrubs, of sun and shade,
And set him in a lovely glade.
Four rivers clear through Eden wound,
And water sprang up from the ground.
With crops and flowers the land was filled,
With wheat and grass and daffodils,
With strawberries and edelweiss;
Yes, Adam was in paradise.
The Lord, who saw he was alone,
Gave him a wife to cheer his home;
But Adam wasn’t satisfied –
One thing God had him denied –
An apple pleasing to the eye,
But God had said, “You’ll surely die
If of that tree you take your pick,
You’ll wish you hadn’t pretty quick.
You must not eat, for if you do
You’ll know what’s bad and what is true.”
Adam’s wife was tricked the first;
Adam soon found out the worst –
She’d lost the glory she’d been given,
And chosen not to live in heaven.
Adam saw her radiance dim,
But chose to join her in her sin,
Preferring what he knew was banned
To living happy in God’s land.
The Lord was walking in the wood.
He walked right past where Adam stood.
He summoned Adam (who had hidden
And would not do as he was bidden)
To come and meet Him face to face,
But Adam, knowing his disgrace,
Was not prepared to be so rude
As meet the Lord when he was nude.
He pulled down fig leaves from a tree
So God his bareness would not see.
But all his efforts were for nought –
By simple tricks God is not caught.
He asked him why he had to hide
When God approaching he espied.
Had he eaten of the fruit
That let the devil take his root
Inside his heart? Had he defied
God, on whose bounty he relied?
Adam, fearing for his life,
Laid the blame upon his wife.
Eve in turn said she did take
The fruit on offer from a snake!
(As tall a story, I should say,
As any I have heard today)
But the Lord could not be fooled.
He saw that in them Satan ruled.
He could not bear to hear their lies
Echo round his paradise.
He swore that Adam should be bound
To toil for food in stony ground;
Eve’s children she should bear in pain,
And neither in Eden would remain.
A sword would guard the tree of life
From banished Adam and his wife.
But God still loved, despite their sin,
And made them clothing out of skin.
In later years God sent His Son,
Who victory over Satan won;
By dying helpless on a cross
He suffered to redeem our loss.
But God forbid that we should stay
To tell you all of that today.
I quite agree; we haven’t time
To fill your heads with much more rhyme.
But if your interest has been stirred,
You’ll find the story in God’s word.