Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HYPOCRITE DEVIL, by FENTON JOHNSON



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THE HYPOCRITE DEVIL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The devil is a mighty hypocrite
Last Line: The devil's hypocrite and conjure man.
Subject(s): Devil; Satan; Mephistopheles; Lucifer; Beelzebub


The Devil is a mighty hypocrite,
He steals away your heart, he steals your soul,
He rides you straight to Hell with honey words,
Oh, yes! That Devil's mighty hypocrite.

Last night he said to me, "My daughter, dance!
Go shuffle on the old barn floor your feet,
Nobody looking but the moon and stars.
Go shuffle on the old barn floor your feet."

I looked me straight to East and straight to West,
And from my trunk I took my yellow dress,
That I might dance once more the sinner's dance
Before my bones grew old and cold and stiff.

But ere I reached the barnyard gate I saw
My God of Jacob shining in the sky
"Go back, my daughter, to your pots and pans!
Dance not the sinner's dance lest ye should die."

He dipped my soul in water pure with love,
And led me homeward by the magic star,
"Beware!" He said. "The Devil's conjure man;
A mighty conjure man and hypocrite."

O children of the King, give heed to me
Go not with Beezlebub and all his ways,
Stay home and work your patch before you die,
The Devil's hypocrite and conjure man.





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