When Altruism sharpened his claws
And looked at the boy who sang,
He grinned as he thought of the church-bell
That slowly and deeply rang.
The boy would be going to church, yes!—
His parents were selfless tools—
Where he’d learn to feel guilty for joy, yes!
And sing in the choir of fools.
He would learn to go singing for others,
And just for himself sing no more.
For the good of the self lives in brothers,
And the needy, who need, and the poor.
Of pity he’d sing, and of sorrow,
And never of love or delight
Till, on some old, gray, lone tomorrow,
He’d kneel without joy in the night.
And Altruism’s eyes, they were gleaming,
And a madness filled up his mind,
And his ears and his nostrils were drooling
With the thought that men though him kind.