VERITAS

Who dances with lies makes merry with his death,

For he that bends to a lie convenient,

Or else hopes in lies that life be lenient,

Is but a hollow corpse vainly walking,

A thin reed talking,

With winds of baleful voices blowing,

A mortal shadow swiftly growing,

And death bodily is but poor reprieve,

For the profit of lies is death ill-achieved.

 

He that dines on lies starves by his design,

For the bread he eats is blighted by his speech,

And the cup he drinks brims with his rank deceit,

But he that lies does not lie alone,

For a lie is a thing fast grown,

And spreads afar to distant parts,

And lodges fast in trembling hearts,

So by words ill spoken a man is felled,

Or else in chains his soul is held.

 

A nation made of lying men is a nation fit for fire,

For men as these rejoice in them,

Whose crooked words the land condemn,

And brick by brick a hell is built,

A house of hidden guilt,

Where truth is told scarce once a year,

A light from which all fly in fear,

Where honest men are hateful foes,

And wickedness like cancer grows.

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