The Curse of the Scab.

Author:Rogers, Webster
Position::Poems of Censure and Condemnation - Poem
 
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The Curse of the Scab The man may betray his country And his country's flag forsake, And his name shall be accursed And his life shall forfeit make; The man may deny the Godhead And the bigot's torch may gleam, Yet the nation's flag is a painted rag And the bigot's god a dream. The man, he may slay his brother, And his brother's ghost forgive; The man, he may rob the widow And may restitute and live. The woman may sell her body And her guilt at last will pass, But who will plead in his day of need For the wretch that sells his class? Yet his deed is of ancient usage Of the code of the "Tooth and Claw," And the crime he does is legal Behind the shield of the law; And the faithless guards of freedom And the priests of vested wrong, And the shepherds who steep, nor feed the sheep, Have sung him a soothing song. But the new, true ethics whisper And his fellows loudly cry: "Make thou no pact with the spoiler, For the time of times is nigh; By the bootless trade of Esau, By Iscariot's age-long ban, As the man in pride from the beast will divide Go prove thyself the man!" The gods of the trial balance Of Epah, and Ell, and Lakh; They sit, in the gate of judgment, On the souls that turn not back. And may they curse with curses Whose powers be strong or faint, But into the breed of the traitorous deed They strike the great scab faint. That taint in the soul will fester And burn like the serpent's bite, Will itch in the listless morning And throb through the restless night; And, be it becloaked or naked, All souls, as they pass, will feel And smell the rot of the putrid spot Of the scab that does not heal. And never the ban of bishop, Nor curse of a priest or pope, Can drive so far from the guilty The ghost of a...

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