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Paul Laurence Dunbar - The Lawyers' Ways

I've been list'nin' to them lawyers 
In the court house up the street,
An' I've come to the conclusion
That I'm most completely beat.
Fust one feller riz to argy,
An' he boldly waded in
As he dressed the tremblin' pris'ner
In a coat o' deep-dyed sin.
Why, he painted him all over
In a hue o' blackest crime,
An' he smeared his reputation
With the thickest kind o' grime,
Tell I found myself a-wond'rin',
In a misty way and dim,
How the Lord had come to fashion
Sich an awful man as him.
Then the other lawyer started,
An' with brimmin', tearful eyes,
Said his client was a martyr
That was brought to sacrifice.
An' he give to that same pris'ner
Every blessed human grace,
Tell I saw the light o' virtue
Fairly shinin' from his face.
Then I own 'at I was puzzled
How sich things could rightly be;
An' this aggervatin' question
Seems to keep a-puzzlin' me.
So, will some one please inform me,
An' this mystery unroll--
How an angel an' a devil
Can persess the self-same soul? 

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Added: Mar 17 2005 | Viewed: 8594 times | Comments and analysis of The Lawyers' Ways by Paul Laurence Dunbar Comments (3)

The Lawyers' Ways - Comments and Information

Poet: Paul Laurence Dunbar
Poem: The Lawyers' Ways
Poem of the Day: Apr 10 2009

Comment 3 of 3, added on July 19th, 2014 at 1:47 AM.

LyK4kD Thanks so much for the blog article.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

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Comment 2 of 3, added on September 22nd, 2008 at 1:54 PM.


angeles from United States
Comment 1 of 3, added on January 9th, 2006 at 9:26 AM.

This is a really good poem. It expresses how lawyers can use their words to paint any sort of picture they want about a person. As was said in the poem (though not literaly) the lawyer made the accused appear guilty by saying just the right things, and everyone believed him. Then the other lawyer made the accused appear an angel, which confused the narrorator because they were both so convincing.

Chris from United States

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