Archive for March 16th, 2019

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Justice in America by John Clark Ferguson (Alfred Lee)

Justice is blind, for, next her darken’d eyes
The well-tied bandage light of heav’n denies,
And in her hands she holds those awful scales,
Whose fair and honest measure never fails;
But brib’d by Jonathan, though next her face,
The kerchief hides her beauty’s beaming grace,
Still from beneath she steals a cunning glance,
In all the crookéd beauty called askance!
Nor are her measures all the proper weight,
To meet the searching majesty of light.
O I’m asham’d l hold, Justice, hold, enough,
Such blindness will not do for blindman’s-buff!
Why does the negro not enlist your aid
You only act for him by whom you’re paid,
And in the court that bears your Grace’s name,
White versus black does still your favour claim;
There, on the bench, (if true the rumour goes,)
Your Grace’s weary eye-lids like a doze!*
Pardon your most obedient—I’m afraid
Affront and insult to my charge are laid!
No! ’tis to shew the wonders of that art,
Of which clairvoyance prov’d in you’s a part,
That I unfold to European view
Mesmeric sleep that snores and judges too!

*  Mrs. Trollope, in her work descriptive of America, gives a very ludicrous account of the manner in which justice is administered in that country—a prisoner frequently making his defence before a snoring judge.

From: Ferguson, John Clark, The Poetical Works of John Clark Ferguson. New Edition with Additional Poems, 1856, R. Groombridge & Sons: London, pp. 88-89.

Date: 1850

By: John Clark Ferguson (Alfred Lee) (?1825-????)