'By good men's prayers see Grant restored!'
Shouts Talmage, pious creature!
Yes, God, by supplication bored
From every droning preacher,
Exclaimed: 'So be it, tiresome crew-
But I've a crow to pick with _you_.'
What! 'Out of danger?' Can the slighted Dame
Or canting Pharisee no more defame?
Will Treachery caress my hand no more,
Nor Hatred He alurk about my door?
Ingratitude, with benefits dismissed,
Not close the loaded palm to make a fist?
San Quentin was brilliant. Within the halls
Of the noble pile with the frowning walls
(God knows they've enough to make them frown,
With a Governor trying to break them down!)
Was a blaze of light. 'Twas the natal day
I muse upon the distant town
In many a dreamy mood.
Above my head the sunbeams crown
The graveyard's giant rood.
The lupin blooms among the tombs.
The quail recalls her brood.
On Evidence, on Deeds, on Bills,
On Copyhold, on Loans, on Wills,
Lawyers great books indite;
The creaking of their busy quills
I've never heard on Right.
Wide windy reaches of high stubble field;
A long gray road, bordered with dusty pines;
A wagon moving in a 'cloud by day.'
Two city sportsmen with a dove between,
Breast-high upon a fence and fast asleep
I saw a man who knelt in prayer,
And heard him say:
'I'll lay my inmost spirit bare
Ye parasites that to the rich men stick,
As to the fattest sheep the thrifty tick
Ed'ard to Stanford and to Crocker Ben
(To Ben and Ed'ard many meaner men,
To bucks and ewes by the Good Shepherd fed
The Priest delivers masses for the dead,
And even from estrays outside the fold
Death for the masses he would not withhold.
The Parson, loth alike to free or kill,
Forsakes the souls already on the grill,
And, God's prerogative of mercy shamming,
Spares living sinners for a harder damning.
Dim, grim, and silent as a ghost,
The sentry occupied his post,
To all the stirrings of the night
Alert of ear and sharp of sight.
A sudden something-sight or sound,