Page:New poems and variant readings, Stevenson, 1918.djvu/55

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35
HAIL! CHILDISH SLAVES

I smoke a pipe abroad, because
To all cigars I much prefer it,
And as I scorn your social laws
My choice has nothing to deter it.


Gladly I trudge the footpath way,
While you and yours roll by in coaches
In all the pride of fine array,
Through all the city's thronged approaches.
O fine religious, decent folk,
In Virtue's flaunting gold and scarlet,
I sneer between two puffs of smoke,—
Give me the publican and harlot.


Ye dainty-spoken, stiff, severe
Seed of the migrated Philistian,
One whispered question in your ear—
Pray, what was Christ, if you be Christian?
If Christ were only here just now,
Among the city's wynds and gables
Teaching the life he taught us, how
Would he be welcome to your tables?


I go and leave your logic-straws,
Your former-friends with face averted,
Your petty ways and narrow laws,

Your Grundy and your God, deserted.