By habit and repute and daring cunning
By never minding who or what was hurt,
By creeping, checking, doing worst and running,
Never caught though, always after, cursed.
By being stealth and venom in one moulding,
By wrapping it with subterfuge and sly,
By revelations, once perceived, revolting,
Never sought and always wond’ring why.
By hands that first turned fists to malice mischief,
By feet that rarely led but to astray,
By numbing all the sense he once was born with,
Never cared and always went own way.
Antithesis to good, I knew the boy then,
No one could get round or through or near,
Sixteen years have flown, I still recall him,
Man-child nurtured, natured in all fear.