Ballad of Salvation Row

It came to pass one Sunday morn
When yet the stars had set
I set forth from my sinner’s den
Eternal life to get.

I slowed along the highway
To ease my drifter’s load
When all at once I came upon
A beggar down the road.

His eyes, they were a-blazing;
His body plagued with sores.
I thought perhaps within his mind
He knew what I searched for.

O help me in my weakness!
The Tramp, he spoke aloud
For I can find no solace
In company or crowd.

No pleasure hath fulfilled me
I drink my wine in vain;
The flames of youth have perished
I’ve only myself to blame.

‘Have you no son or brother
To help you on your feet?’
‘All men have I encountered
Each hath forsaken me!’

‘I blame not fate nor fortune’
In anguish, he did howl.
’Twas born from my wrongdoing
Of God I’ve run afoul!’

No honeyed words could comfort him
He shook his head and cried.
He laid his body down to rest
And shortly after died.

I sealed his tomb that Sunday morn
Paid his dues, but little else.
I must confess, within his guilt
I saw of him myself.