His father taught him that the world was cruel
Dangerously inhabited by knaves and fools.
He showed his boy no mercy when
He failed to stand the test,
For he’d make him grow up strong, he said,
He’d make his son the best.
Spare the rod, his father said, and spoil
The wayward child.
So vigilant the father was, he never cracked
Anger hand in hand with truth, or so his father said,
Would make a man out of the child, when wit
And wisdom wed.
So diligent, the father watched, and every word or deed
Was scrutinized and criticized and every bitter weed,
Drawn from the soil of a boy’s young heart
And crushed beneath the feet
Of the one who vowed to raise him right
By rigid force and creed,
Righteous acts with love amiss will spoil
The fertile sod.
The son he raised beneath the rod grew up
And cursed his God.