I see the deed nefarious
As you they target, so and thus,
A figure strung in effigy
And emblem of humanity—
Yet, even in the midst of revels,
They too are human, horrid devils
Attempting so to expiate
Their sin, having succumbed to hate.
They kill you as a symbol of
A cultish hate, replacing love
With curse and slogan, in their malice
Effecting torture crude and callous.
Could I forestall the angry mob
Hysterical with hearts that throb;
Could I tamp down that lust to kill,
To desecrate, and death fulfill;
Could I prevent the awesome deed,
My friend, I would—and will—proceed.
Yet, though I holler and I shout
My words unheard devoid of clout
Remain unheeded in the wind—
The deed once done none can rescind.
So, in your name, I testify
It is not right that you should die,
And mine, in this, the long regret:
Not to prevent is to abet.