Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/146

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THOMAS FRANCIS BIGNOLD.

A Camel—so the Court expects to trace
In past experience every present case;
'Twixt right and wrong an even balance keeps,
The prisoner is released—and Justice weeps.
(Ye Powers! I trust the freedom of my pen
Is covered by Exceptions One to Ten).

Who shall suffice by instinct or by tact
To thread the mazes of the Squatter's Act,
Enforcing mushroom rights with jealous care,
Yet guarding pauper landlords from despair?
Neglect "demand," and overlook "supply,"
Gaze on pure equity with heaven-lit eye.
And without line or plummet, rule or square.
Evolve the only rent precisely "fair."

Who shall suffice his anger to restrain
When daily, hourly, called on to explain:
"Explain why this was entered, that omitted,
"Why A was flogged, and B and C acquitted.
"Since no efficient officer will fail
"In close attention to minute detail,
"Note whence this shameful error of three pai,
"And why Ram Chandra did not dot an 'i';
"Whether he met with punishment condign,
"And, if you fined him, when he paid the fine.
"If not, why not? Write, in three days at most,
"(This first acknowledged by return of post)
"Whether you think the principle should be
"Applied to all who fail to cross a 't.'
"A figured statement carefully prepare
"To show each prisoner's weight and daily fare;
"Kiss the Jail Code, and certify and swear."

'Tis not enough in this insatiate age
That pleas and argument our cares engage;
'Tis not enough the solid hours to waste
Among conflicting precedents and paste;
'Tis not enough to watch the turning scale
And check each seer of gunny in the Jail;