The Sorrowful Fate of Bartholomew Jones
The Complete Poetical Works of William Gay, ed. J. Glen Oliphant (Melbourne: Thomas C. Lothian, 1911): 46-48. Sydney Electronic Text and Image Service (SETIS), digital text sponsored by AustLit: http://setis.library.usyd.edu.au/oztexts. Internet Archive.
1Bartholemew Jones made his money in mines,
2And although he has left us his fame still shines
3As a man who was knowing in various lines.
4It wasn't his line to write or to spell,
5To teach or to preach, to dig or to fell,
6But to handle his shares, and to keep out of hell.
7He knelt every day at the foot of the Throne
8(To use his own words), yet he wore (it was known)
9His garments of grace o'er a heart made of stone.
10And when Death would no longer concede a respite,
12As a man of whom no one could question the right.
13He wandered for long o'er the pavements of gold,
14Saw wonders and glories around him unfold,
15But somehow all seemed to him dismal and cold.
16He tired of the sun's everlasting rays,
17Grew sick of the harps and the hymns and the praise,
18And drooped in the glare of the glittering ways.
19"If this be the heaven I laboured to win,
20I'd better have taken full measure of sin,"
21He moaned to the angel who first let him in.
22Said the angel, while looking to bolt and to bar,
23"I fear, sir, you're somewhat mistaken so far,
24But this is the hell where the hypocrites are."
11] hied: hurried. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors:
Cameron La Follette