Works in the Herald 1930

A witness, giving evidence before the British Select Committee on Capital Punishment, said that criminals were the most conservative and intolerant people in the world. Burglars, for instance, hate bigamists. A majority favored the death penalty for murderers.

Should it occasion much surprise
   That criminals should deal in blame,
As all of us, and recognise
   The full depth of another's shame.
The burglar blames the bigamist
   As something partially insane,
And Bluebeards equally insist
   That burglars are a sinful bane.

And, getting further up the scale,
   To normal men, like you and I,
The rule is never known to fail,
   While egotism throned on high,
Sets cunning traps for you and me,
   Blind with the illusion of our worth,
To ape the smirking Pharisee,
   And see sin stalking o'er the earth.

In a community of saints,
   Where all sins save fault-finding die,
One still might look for grave complaints
   Concerning haloes worn awry.
But as this sinful earth is trod,
   He who, of Jezebel or Cain,
Says, "There, but for the grace of God,
   Go I," is the most nearly sane.

Herald, 4 April 1930, p4

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-06