Poetry I Love: An Obstacle

An Obstacle
Charles Perkins Stetson

I was climbing up a mountain-path
with many things to do,
important business of my own,
and other people’s too,
when I ran against a Prejudice
that quite cut off the view.

My work was such as could not wait,
my path quite clearly showed,
my strength and time were limited,
I carried quite a load;
and there that hulking Prejudice
sat all across the road.

So I spoke to him politely,
for he was huge and high,
and begged that he would move a bit
and let me travel by.
He smiled, but as for moving!-
he didn’t even try.

And then I reasoned quietly
With that colossal mule:
my time was short-no other path-
the mountain winds were cool.
I argued like a Solomon:
he sat there like a fool.

Then I flew into a passion,
I danced and howled and swore.
I pelted and belabored him
till I was stiff and sore;
he got mad as I did-
but sat there as before.

And then I begged him on my knees;
I might be kneeling still
if I so hoped to move that mass
of obdurate ill-will
as well invite the monument
to vacate Bunker Hill!

So I sat before him helpless,
in an ecstasy of woe-
the mountain mists were rising fast,
the sun was sinking slow-
when a sudden inspiration came,
as sudden winds do blow.

I took my hat, I took my stick,
my load I settled fair,
I approached that awful incubus
with an absent minded air-
and I walked directly through him,
as if he wasn’t there! 

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