General Editor

Representative Poetry Online, edition 6.0, is a web anthology of 4,800 poems in English and French by over 700 poets spanning 1400 years.  more about RPO

 

 

 

 

The Lawyers' Ways

1I've been list'nin' to them lawyers
2    In the court house up the street,
3An' I've come to the conclusion
4    That I'm most completely beat.
6    An' he boldly waded in
7As he dressed the tremblin' pris'ner
8    In a coat o' deep-dyed sin.
9Why, he painted him all over
10    In a hue o' blackest crime,
11An' he smeared his reputation
12    With the thickest kind o' grime,
14    In a misty way and dim,
15How the Lord had come to fashion
16    Sich an awful man as him.
17Then the other lawyer started,
18    An' with brimmin', tearful eyes,
19Said his client was a martyr
20    That was brought to sacrifice.
21An' he give to that same pris'ner
22    Every blessed human grace,
23Tell I saw the light o' virtue
24    Fairly shinin' from his face.
25Then I own 'at I was puzzled
26    How sich things could rightly be;
28    Seems to keep a-puzzlin' me.
29So, will some one please inform me,
30    An' this mystery unroll--
31How an angel an' a devil

Notes

5] First one fellow rose to argue. Back to Line
13] Tell: till. Back to Line
27] aggervatin': aggravating. Back to Line
32] persess: possess. Back to Line
 What thou lovest well remains,
                  the rest is dross
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
What thou lov'st well is thy true heritage
Whose world, or mine or theirs
                or is it of none?
First came the seen, then thus the palpable
    Elysium, though it were in the halls of hell,
What thou lovest well is thy true heritage
What thou lov'st well shall not be reft from thee
Ezra Pound Pisan Cantos, LXXXI
Maps