Robert Kirkland Kernighan
The City Of Damn-His Soul - Poem by Robert Kirkland Kernighan
He was nursed and cursed : he lied and died,
In the City of Damn-His-Soul ;
He was mothered and smothered in the slimy tide
Of the City of Damn-His-Soul,
And, strange to say, there were preachers there,
And temples, many and broad ;
But he never had taught him the simplest prayer,
Or had heard of the word of God !
For nobody cared for the poor galoot,
And fewer had cared for his soul
For they said that Hell had a new recruit
From the City of Damn-His-Soul.
But the angels they waited, outside the gate
Of the City of Damn His Soul ;
And they bore him away, with step elate,
To the City of Save-His-Soul ;
And the angels they put him to school How odd !
And they taught him the A B C
Of the Love, and the Wisdom, and Truth of God.
On the winterless side of the sea
He played and was taught, with the angels for chums,
Where the rivers of Paradise roll :
Ah, me, what a change from the bums and the slums
Of the City of Damn-His-Soul !
He has learned a trade in that wonderful place
In the City of Save-His-Soul ;
All traces of sin have been wiped from his face
In the college of Save-His-Soul ;
They Ve taught him to work : they Ve taught him to
They 've taught him to read and write ;
He works in the gardens of God, by day,
And learns new lessons by night.
The poor lone youth, who had carried the hod
For the devil's designs below,
Is a power and a prince in the realms of God
And I 'm glad that these things are so.
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