Casey at the Bar

 (with apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer)

The witnesses weren't breaking 
for the county at the trial 
The proof was unconvincing; 
the defendant wore a smile. 

And when Morgan fouled rebuttal,
and McLaughlin blew the cross, 
the prosecution table 
sat back to take a loss 

The news reporters, deadlines near 
each tiptoed out the door;
but all the locals stayed around,
tho’ it was nearly four.

They said, “if only Casey
were to argue on this case, 
they’d have a shot to get their man
and save the county’s face.

Then suddenly their eyes lit up,
a gasp rose from their mouths.
It echoed off the judge’s bench,
it rattled north and south.

It rumbled through the corridor,
and drew folks from afar.
For Casey, glib-tongued Casey,
was advancing to the bar.

His hair was styled expensively,
his face was richly tanned.
His suit was of the finest silk,
that cost him half a grand.

He nodded at the learned judge 
all strained to get a view.
Then he smiled at the jury.
And began to speak thereto.

There was ease in Casey’s manner 
as he calmly summed the case.
His voice was steady as a rock,
his words of even pace.

Defense attorneys, now alarmed, 
were helpless in this fray.
The jurors sat with awed rapport as Casey had his way.

The panel left to conversate;
the courtroom crowd stayed there.
Casey grinned with confidence;
the defendant said a prayer.

The jury won’t take half an hour.”
Was the being by state’s men.
They slapped each other on the back 
when the panel came in ten!

The cool ne’er strayed from Casey’s mien
as the jurors were led in.
Their look was stern, the viewers saw,
“He’s surely won again.”

And now the foreman stands erect 
and hands the clerk their feat.
And now a hush engulfs the room 
as the bailiff reads the sheet?
 * * *
Oh, somewhere in this fairest land
the state can throw the book.
There guilty men are all sent up,
and good men fear no crook.

And somewhere towns are safe and sound,
as justice calms the din.
But there is no joy at county - 
glib-tongued Casey did not win!


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