Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy

(1883-1929 / Great Britain)

Woodbine Willie


They gave me this name like their nature,
Compacted of laughter and tears,
A sweet that was born of the bitter,
A joke that was torn from the years

Of their travail and torture, Christ's fools,
Atoning my sins with their blood,
Who grinned in their agony sharing
The glorious madness of God.

Their name! Let me hear it -- the symbol
Of unpaid -- unpayable debt,
For the men to whom I owed God's Peace,
I put off with a cigarette.

Submitted: Friday, September 17, 2010

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