Young Ben Clark

Young Ben Clark loved his job, he said;
It was the first he’d ever had.
He loaded trucks from morn till night,
Some hundred orders placed just right.
He was so fast and accurate
That no truck ever got off late.
The drivers stood and looked with awe,
Like men that watched a fast gun draw,
And felt their spirits rise inside
To see a youth with so much pride,
While men back in the factory
Worked that much faster just to see
Their finished boxes flowing by
To young Ben Clark upon the fly!

Ben got his check at each week’s end,
Saved what he could for round the bend.
Yes, round the bend a year or so,
When he to high tech school would go,
And there to study, learn to be
A top notch man for industry.

One weekend, while he mapped his plan
To be a better, happy man,
A knock came on his apartment door.
He opened it to one right poor.
She held a Bible in her hand
And looked like she could hardly stand.
Thick glasses were upon her face;
Her posture was a slumped disgrace.
She didn’t show a malice then,
But softly spoke of needy men
Who couldn’t work ’cause times were tough,
And businessmen were much too rough,
Demanding hours much too long
From these poor men who were not strong.
“And so, ” she said, “if you’d donate
A little bit to keep cruel fate
From harming them, then you would feel
A bit more close to love’s ideal.”

Ben Clark said, as this fish he eyed,
“I am a shark, and I’ve got pride.
I’m for myself, and I’m for more,
The more for me, not for the poor.
For breakfast I’d eat two of you,
But throw it up ere I was through!
Your love’s ideal is but a steal,
Immoral theft from he who’s best.
Now go and get a job that’s real
And see if you can pass the test!
And don’t pretend I’ve guilt—I’ve none,
For I’m my spiritual dad and son.
I raise me up, and I will climb
Till I get where I want, on time!

Your Bible’s but a phoney tool
To make a man a loser fool;
It teaches men to selfless be,
Like you before me whom me see.
Where is your self, where is your mind?
Why do you choose to be so blind?
How can you stand your mirror’s sight
When you see only you at night?
Why do you throw your life away
When it’s so early in its May?
You’ve got a chance, if you will think,
To lift yourself, and not to sink,
To save the only soul you’ve got
From all this senseless, selfless rot!”

The girl trembled, shook, then turned,
And dropped her book , as though it burned,
Then out of the apartments ran—
From her first sight of moral man.
He watched her through his window go,
A trifle sunk, a trifle slow,
But at the light she heaved a sigh,
And straighter stood, with head more high.
“Poor soul,” Ben thought, “so lost, so young,
The wretch for whom the hymn was sung.
But maybe that hard shock I gave
Will save her from a living grave.”
Young Ben Clark loved his life, he said;
It was the first he’d ever had.

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