John Littlejohn

John Littlejohn was staunch and strong,
Upright and downright, scorning wrong;
He gave good weight, and paid his way,
He thought for himself, and he said his say.
Whenever a rascal strove to pass,
Instead of silver, money of brass,
He took his hammer, and said, with a frown,
" The coin is spurious, nail it down."

John Littlejohn was firm and true,
You could not cheat him in " two and two;"
When foolish arguers, might and main,
Darkened and twisted the clear and plain,
He saw through the mazes of their speech
The simple truth beyond their reach;
And crushing their logic, said, with a frown,
" Your coin is spurious, nail it down."

John Littlejohn maintained the right,
Through storm and shine, in the world's despite;
When fools or quacks desired his vote,
Dosed him with arguments, learned by rote,
Or by coaxing, threats, or promise, tried
To gain his support to the wrongful side,
" Nay, nay ," said John, with an angry frown,
" Your coin is spurious, nail it down."

When told that kings had a right divine,
And that the people were herds of swine,
That nobles alone were fit to rule,
That the poor were unimproved by school,
That ceaseless toil was the proper fate
Of all but the wealthy and the great,
John shook his head, and swore, with a frown,
" The coin is spurious, nail it down."

When told that events might justify
A false and crooked policy,
That a decent hope of future good
Might excuse departure from rectitude,
That a lie if white was a small offence
To be forgiven by men of sense,
" Nay, nay ," said John, with a sigh and frown,
" The coin is spurious, nail it down."

When told from the pulpit or the press,
That heaven was a place of exclusiveness,
That none but those could enter there
Who knelt with the " orthodox" at prayer,
And held all virtues out of their pale
As idle works of no avail,
John's face grew dark, as he swore, with a frown,
" The coin is spurious, nail it down."

Whenever the world our eyes would blind
With false pretences of such a kind,
With humbug, cant, and bigotry,
Or a specious, sham philosophy,
With wrong dressed up in the guise of right,
And darkness passing itself for light,
Let us imitate John, and exclaim, with a frown,
" The coins are spurious, nail them down."
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