The Gentle Anarchist

I am a gentle Anarchist,
I couldn't kick a dog,
Nor ever would for sport assist
To pelt the helpless frog.
I'd shoot a Czar, or wreck a train,
Blow Parliament sky-high,
But none would call me inhumane;
I wouldn't hurt a fly.
                I wouldn't hurt a fly.
               And why indeed should I?
               It has neither land nor pelf
               That I covet for myself,
               Then wherefore should I hurt a fly?

I am a gentle Anarchist,
I live on herbs and fruits;
It don't become a communist
To eat his fellow-brutes.
I'd fire a town, upset a State,
Make countless widows weep,
Yet I am so compassionate
I wouldn't kill a sheep.
              I wouldn't hurt a fly;
              And why indeed should I?
              If it doesn't interfere
              With my personal career,
              Why the dickens should I hurt a fly?

I'm such a gentle Anarchist
I hate all hunting men;
I couldn't hook a fish, or twist
The neck of cock or hen.
I'd level gaols, let scoundrels loose,
Blow priests and churches up-
But, oh, my pity's so profuse
I couldn't down a pup.
               I wouldn't hurt a fly;
              And why indeed should I?
              Unless, that is to say,
               I found it in my way,
               And then it's all up with the fly.

                James Brunton Stephens (1888)

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