Ballade of Evil

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Evil! What poor argument We mortals hear to make us trustThat as for God he never meant To bait this hook of pain with lust! Then by what devil was it thrustThro' the filmy first upheaval Of our planetary dust?No man knoweth the end of evil.

By dint of wishing, sages say, Things shape themselves much as we see;And filth and pain are the price we pay Largely for the will to be; That we evolve contingentlyOn such acceptance and receival: Is this the measure of God's mercy?No man knoweth the end of evil.

Say if you choose there is naught but good: Harden your heart and soften your brain:Say wrong is right misunderstood: Close your eyes to filth and pain: Swear all is right and all is sane,And all correct from days primeval: And then--well, then what will you gain?No man knoweth the end of evil.

We strive in mud forever obscure, Forever in hope of some reprieval,But living or dead we are not sure: No man knoweth the end of evil.

© MacInnes Tom