Monday, June 23, 2008

The Patriot Liar

With ax and hoe they carved it up
For Eden they sailed the sea
Then met a man and filled his cup
For that was all his plea

He spoke to them so eloquent
Of home so far away
And was it really common sense
To honor and obey?

A favorite of the general
Good judge of character he
He let Tom Paine seduce him
And so on Christmas Eve

The Englishman, new patriot
Spoke of the trying times
And how blood spilled as sacrifice
Turned living souls divine

The turning point, a paradox
The ragged men replied
They slipped across the Delaware
Their hearts and souls refined

The spy thought surely ... this will be the night
When they are overrun
And England she'll achieve her lofty goal
To make the world as one

To celebrate the baby's birth
Peace born in Bethlehem
The Hessians were merry to celebrate
The colonists slipped in

The blood ran freely in the snow
From throats and feet unshod
And Trenton fell to Patriots on Christmas Eve
Their battered souls for God

Painters and writers inspired
Made Washington royalty
Though he missed the spy within his ranks
And near lost liberty

Did we know there were plans
To draw us into war
Before colonials trained?
Paine's Common Sense -- the door?

A publishing sensation
The friend of Franklin he
Paid copies found in every hand and home
Of the sons of liberty

When Paine went home to England
When all his ink was dry
The war was lost, but he was paid
A traitor or a spy?

No demons in the new world ... not a weed
Till Europeans came
And brought with them the seeds and smallpox germs
Their boots and hands were blamed

Meanwhile Paine dispatched to France
To help them with their cause
To rally with his words the Third Estate
And win the Crown's applause

Instead he won a cell in Luxembourg
His head would soon be lost
But Jefferson, the statesman, intervened
And paid the scoundrel's costs

In bed with he who would have killed them
American Trinity
Washington, Franklin and Jefferson
Despite you ... liberty

And Paine who had extolled man's reason
And cursed Christ he once praised
Reconsidered that ... and died alone
No friend of liberty

We want to think the best of us
And praise these noble gents
Who courted a spy from England
While they feigned providence.

We want to think the best of us
By demi-gods inspired
An infant drew for Washington a pentagram
Naive and evil ... the patriot liar.

by Randall Carter Gray