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Forgiven, unforgiven, they who drive the nails

Know what they do:  they hammer.

If they doubt, if their vocation fails,

They only swell the number,


Large already, of the mutineers and thieves.

With only chance and duty

There to cloak them, they elect and nail.

The vinegar will pity.


Judas who sops, their silver his accuser, errs

To blame the unrewarded.

They guard the branch he hangs from.  Guilt occurs

Where it can be afforded.


Turner Cassity



From The Destructive Element: New and Selected
Ohio University Press/Swallow Press, 1999.
Reprinted by permission of the author.

Background by
Erd Ogivae

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