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A poem by Jared Barhite

The Ogre

Title:     The Ogre
Author: Jared Barhite [More Titles by Barhite]

There's an ogre abroad, boys,
There's an ogre abroad,
A three-handed monster
That makes his abode
In hamlet and city,
In country and town,
And revels in death
As he drags people down.
He's a sly old destroyer,
Very loth to admit
That the snares he is using
Are fraud and deceit.
He has slain and devoured
More than the sword;
By all earnest people
He is greatly abhorred,
For he leads to disease,
To sorrow and death,
As poison exhales
From his presence and breath.
He fastens himself
On bright, innocent youth,
And slyly allures him
From virtue and truth.
He holds by the throat
The servants who wait
To hear his excuses;
And sad is their fate,
For insidious smile
Is his only excuse
To victims who suffer
Defeat and abuse.
So sly are his movements,
So stealthy his tread,
Like a vampire, on blood
He is frequently fed,
While his victim, unconscious,
Makes no defence;
He steals mind and honor
And good common sense.
If you meet him, my boy,
Beware of his grasp,
For his smiles are so sweet;
But on you he will clasp
The shackles he carries
Forever concealed,
And when he secures you
He seldom will yield.
He will keep you away
From duty and right,
Destroy all your honor,
Your hopes sadly blight,
With promises made
Which he cannot fulfill
He robs of contentment
And shackles the will.
This monster has always
A right hand and left hand
That have powers of their own
That ought to command.
If he had only these
And used them aright,
His presence would ever
Afford us delight;
But the third hand he has
Is a very unkind hand,
For this ogre's real name
Is Little Behind Hand.
Little Behind Hand
Is tyrant indeed,
From which we would have
Mankind ever freed.
Little Behind Hand
Can seldom find work,
For he stumbles in blindness
And gropes in the dark,
He is sullen and mean,
Near-sighted and sour,
Ruin and trouble
'Bout him constantly lower.
Drive him off! Drive him off!
Ere he fasten on you
His fangs of destruction,
The pestilent dew
That he breathes on his victim
To deaden the sense
Of his presence and power,
And their sad consequence.
Strike him down! Strike him down!
With strong, sturdy blow,
If you yield to him now
He will soon lay you low,
And when hand and foot
Are at his command,
You will feel he has grown
To a Big Behind Hand.

* * * * *

The public tide is polluted
With offal, fraud, and deceit;
In ev'ry line of industry
Its venomous forms we meet
In men who sneer at truth and right,
Who, Honor's path have decried,
That they might gain the golden calf
Whose power they have deified.

[The end]
Jared Barhite's poem: Ogre