He called the house “an awful dump”
And then denied he said it,
The owners felt their heartbeats thump,
Despite the factual edit.
They hoped that he would be the man
To turn an awesome profit,
As he boasted no other can
(And he made money off it).
He let known scoundrels lease the place,
Destroying, selling assets,
And they were startled at the pace,
The multifarious facets.
He said that he would “make it great,”
The title-holders swallowed
Hook-line-and-sinker juicy bait,
And waited for what followed.
The house interior hollowed out,
Their benefactor strutted,
And his performance seemed in doubt,
Unclear how much was gutted.
“The house exterior still stands,”
One owner to another
Declared, “we should be clapping hands—
It would be such a bother
“To have the rascal booted out,
Besides, I find him charming,
And when he talks I feel his clout,
His flattery disarming.”
The other owners scratched their heads,
“Our cherished property
Appears at risk, trust torn to shreds.
We’ll have to wait and see.”
How did it end? You’ll never know,
Some owners crossed the others—
They took it for a TV show,
They were competing brothers.
Still, Cain and Abel brethren were—
And one by one was slain;
He said, “I am no murderer,
And God can feel my pain.”
Indeed the act of treachery
Was by the Lord rewarded,
And oft transgressors hold wealth’s key
Our history has recorded.
Indeed God- and Christ-loving men
Have been the boldest sinners,
No doublecross too wide for them
If it will make them winners.
The house did not begin a dump,
But as a dump it ended,
Because the owners, like a chump,
Let their world be upended,
Driven by malice hardly least
Of all their motivations:
“For we have met, and know the beast,
Ourselves, and our impatience.
“We looked to have an easy way
To bring sins to atonement
That happened long before today,
Without wholesale dethronement
“Of privilege that we enjoy—
It seems unlike to happen,
So what we have we will destroy,
And leave a wreck misshapen.
“The history books will speak of us
As those who sullied beauty,
Preferring the indecorous
Instead of sacred duty.”
It may be that it came to pass
Exactly as predicted,
For humankind so often has
Greatest wounds self-inflicted.
When first a man lies to himself
Disaster has to follow,
For conscience, like a little elf,
Discerns false promise hollow.
The self-deceiver next succumbs
To those who will deceive him,
As, bye and bye, a prophet comes
And falsely they believe him.