An augury

One moonless night in 1773
Americans, enflamed by British bullying,
Donned Indian face paint,            
boarded British ships,            
and gashed with hatchets
chests of tea unfairly taxed,      
and dumped the leaves into the sea,            
their business  aims and ethics clear,              
not touching other cargo still more dear.        
 
But one these, an “Indian” fraud,              
an Irish “brave” named Connors,
only seemed to share this patriotic zeal,            
stuffing  tea within the lining of his coat,              
gaining soon a shape more conical            
than that of all the other savages.
 
his fellow savages, enraged,            
stripped him of his loot,  beat   him        
with staves and cast him off the boat,                
politics and scruples synchronized,            
honesty and commerce yoked.
 
Connors’ trivial filching,
his sacrifice of principle for leaves of tea,
appears a sinister sign of looming doom,
a serpent found in enterprise’s garden,
a cancer on the tender flesh of capitalism
even while it is still within its cradle

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