By Richard H. Fries

In this installment of Poetic Justice: Law Poems, and once again, some of the spelling is telling of the era in which this was written; such as "renown" instead of "reknown" and "indorsed" instead of "endorsed".

It tells the funny story of a lawyer's friend who guarantees a loan taken by the lawyer. When the note is not paid by the lawyer, the friend sues. The lawyer magnanimously offers to fight the case "through thick and thin" and to even "pound the plaintiff into bits"; all the while hoping to sufficiently obfuscate the plain fact that the defendant would be the lawyer himself!

A lawyer once, of great renown,
Came to our little country town.
He had much learning and quick wit;
On brow and feature there had lit
Becoming sternness bold and fine
To demonstrate his legal line.
This limb of law could e'er convince
The poorest man and proudest prince
With jest and story often told
And to his heart all men enfold.
BarristerIn time he found a splendid friend,
To whom he said "Wilt thou me lend,
Thy name on back of this small note,
Which I myself prepared and wrote?
I'll surely meet it when 'tis due;
So help me Blackstone, this is true."
The friend indorsed the note with pen,
Now kindly used in lawyer's den.

In course of time, notes will be due,
As some of us so often rue.
So this note, too, matured at last,
And all unpaid was overpast.
Against indorser suit began,
And to the legal light he ran.
The lawyers smiled, "Be easy, friend;
You, who to me your name did lend!
I will fight this case through thick and thin,
and it will be a mortal sin,
As, through my learning and my wits,
I pound the plaintiff into bits,
And look you, friend, you stand aloof,
Whilst I to you will bring the proof
Of friendship sweet and friendship rare,
Which always near my soul you'll bear;
To show my liberality,
I'll for this service charge no fee."

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