The Beggar's Scapegoat

O fate how cruel thy ties and twists,
O fate, how can I love thee for this?
How should I bear thee now?
Like a brother? A mother?
Or as a farmer should bear the stench
Of his fatted sow?

O fate with thy binds and grips,
O fate, how should thou tear so deep to flesh on oily whips?
And how should I know thee now?
To string me like half a veal.
By strips of sinew and rusted hooks,
Have you no mercy to spare my carcass meal?

Would thee burden I with an Atlas weight,
For simple pleasure of a graceless hate?
O fate with thy vice and traps,
O fate, know this of me that;

Should I know and bear and love thee now; -
By Will it would not be done.
And only as a thong tethered to thy bloated purse
Should I carry your riches with scorn and curse,
And hope as thee would dither through miserable streets
And swollen markets,
Dead woods, forgotten roads and hooker’s hoards,
That some miserable thief should slit my throat
And pocket your keep, for bread, for wine
Or comfortable sleep.

I would not care as long as our ties lay severed and our relations dead.
And should you find then, my goat of blame, a reason of loathing that
Brews and bruise behind a beggar’s broken mind,
I say this: O fate,
Be not surprised.

by Graham Stone

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