Ere the mother’s milk had dried
On my lips the Brethren came–
Tore me from my nurse’s side,
And bestowed on me a name
Such as “Bunny,” “Stinker,” “Podge”;–
But, whatever I should do,
Mine for ever in the Lodge.
Then they taught with palm and toe–
Then I learned with yelps and tears–
All the Armoured Man should know
Through his Seven Secret Years…
Last, oppressing as oppressed,
I was loosed to go my ways
With a Totem on my breast
Governing my nights and days–
Ancient and unbribeable,
By the virtue of its Name–
Which, however oft I fell,
Lashed me back into The Game.
And the World, that never knew,
Saw no more beneath my chin
Than a patch of rainbow-hue,
Mixed as Life and crude as Sin.
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