The Shield

In the Kingdom of the dead Altruism stood,
Proud of all his killing of men’s happihood.
Social justice, too, with his socialistic crew,
Stood looking, smiling, and feeling not a doubt
That Freedom, “Yes!” and Justice, had been knocked out.
So many empty heads rolled bleating round their feet
In misery of selflessness, self-slaving and complete,
That social Justice, Altruism, laughed aloud and roared
To see the stupid people who their own selves ignored.
They’d taught them very well to seek a selfless hell,
And now they could forever with the mindless dwell.

A-top the pile of ashes of men’s joys and gains
The flame-red sign of SELFLESS marked the spot of pains.
And in and out each side of it crawled tortured souls
In broken little pieces of their self-cut wholes.
Then giant rats came running and gobbled up the bits
As Social Justice, Altruism, laughed in fits.
And many kings and popes sat nodding round in chairs
Made of men’s desires, of their secret hopes and dares.

A huge shield lay glist’ning on the dark, wide floor—a shield of purest gold.
This was Pride-Of-Accomplishment, which never looked old,
But Social Justice, Altruism, and kings and popes that sat,
Did wipe their feet and spit on it, threw dust on it and spat.
Then Altruism leaned over it, clear center-piece to see,
So like a mirror, clear and bright, pure light it seemed to be.
And Altruism looked and looked, but saw he nothing there,
And Social Justice, too, he looked, but all he saw was—Bare!
And so they yelled once, and twice, then shrank to Nothing More,
And kings and popes were vaporized by flashings from the floor!
A blind old man came walking in, and sang with selfish pride,
“The Shield-of-Accomplishment is always on man’s side!”
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