Carl August Sandburg (1878-1967; pictured below), described as an American through and through, was a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize, one of which was for his work The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg, published in 1950.

He started off as a journalist and even saw military duty in the Spanish-American War of 1898. Perhaps even more remarkably, he campaigned as a socialist and won the mayoralty of Milwaukee, a position he held from 1910- to 1912.

It is a safe assumption from this poem, that Sandburg did not hold lawyers in high esteem. Otherwise, why say to Bob that a hearse's horse would snicker hauling away a lawyer's bones? In response, we print this poem as part of Poetic Justice: Law Poems on a completely without prejudice basis!

The lawyers, Bob, know too much.
They are chums of the books of old John Marshall.
They know it all, what a dead hand wrote,
A stiff dead hand and its knuckles crumbling,
The bones of the fingers a thin white ash.
The lawyers know
A dead man's thought too well.

In the heels of the higgling lawyers, Bob,
Too many slippery ifs and buts and howevers,
Too much hereinbefore provided whereas,
Too many doors to go in and out of.

Carl SandburgWhen the lawyers are through
What is there left, Bob?
Can a mouse nibble at it
And find enough to fasten a tooth in?

Why is there always a secret singing,
When a lawyer cashes in?
Why does a hearse horse snicker,
Hauling a lawyer away?

The work of a bricklayer goes to the blue.
The knack of a mason outlasts a moon.
The hands of a plasterer hold a room together.
The land of a farmer wishes him back again.
Singers of songs and dreamers of plays,
Build a house no wind blows over.
The lawyers...
Tell me why a hearse horse snickers hauling a lawyer's bones.

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