Right From Wrong

Do I know right from wrong? Oh, yes, I do:
I know it bril­liantly beyond all doubt!
And I intend to teach it, boy, to you:

You will know the unproven from the true;
You will know the faint whis­per from the shout.
Do I know right from wrong? Oh, yes: I do!

It isn’t sim­ply that I have a clue:
My cer­ti­tude puts every cloud to rout–
And I intend to teach it, boy, to you!

I’ll bind your con­science with fero­cious glue.
You’ll find no time to frown, no time to pout.
Do I know right from wrong? Oh, yes, I do:

I know the black that lies behind the blue.
I know the bruis­ing word that wins the bout.
And I intend to teach it, boy, to you.

I’ll teach it with the hard heel of my shoe.
I’ll teach it with this great big stick, you lout!
Do I know right from wrong? Oh, yes, I do–
And I intend to teach it, boy, to you!

 

 

 





avatar

Tom Riley has pub­lished well over 700 poems in venues rang­ing from The Lyric to Light to Angli­can The­o­log­i­cal Review. He teaches Clas­si­cal lan­guages and Eng­lish lit­er­a­ture in Napa, California.