The Defence

Not guilty, yer Honers! I talks to yer straight!
An' I calls it a pretty crook game
An' an 'og of a thing, if the coppers should bring
Such dishonor as this on me name
On me name that 'as stood fer up'oldin' the good!
It's enough to make any bloke weep!
An' the goods as they says I received - spare me days!
Don't I tell yer I bought 'em dirt cheap!

Yes, I bought 'em dirt cheap; an' I says to the Bench,
As a man 'oo acts honest an' square,
That me solid defence is poun's, shillin's an' pence,
An' I arsts yer to deal with me fair.
Fer it's more than a joke when a square-livin' bloke
Is 'ad up fer committin' a crime;
Fer the JOHN, 'ere, 'e swears to the goods, an' declares
As I knoo they was pinched at the time.

But, gentlemen, listen, I bought 'em dirt cheap!
As the bloke 'ere, who sold 'em kin swear.
But they say 'e was crook, an' the goods that 'e took
Wasn't got, so to speak, on the square.
Well, per'aps that's all true, an' they ses that I knoo
They wus pinched when I made 'im the bid.
It 'ud be a fair sin fer to miss that chuck in;
So I arsts: Wot's the odds if I did?

'Ere's the Cop ses I'm charged with receivin' the goods,
As I bloomin' well knoo to be stole;
But then that isn't stealin' meself, an' I feel
As I orn't to be in this 'ole.
Fer I never stole things in me life, an' I brings
Twenty witnesses 'ere fer to say
That in all er me days I 'ave allus earned praise
Fer up'oldin' the straight, honest way.

Yus, I allus 'ave preached that to steal wus a sin,
An' I never pinched things in me life;
An' I brings up me kids as strict honesty bids,
An' I gotter respectable wife.
I am known in our street as a man 'ard to beat
At comdemnin' all thievin' an' crime;
An' there's clergymen 'ere as is ready to clear
Up me character every time.

So, yer Honers, I arsts to be cleared o' the charge;
An' I think yet should say, at the time,
Me respectable name is quite free frum all blame
In connection with thievin' an' crime.
Fer me great repitation's at stake, in a way;
It's a thing as I'm anxious ter keep;
Fer I never been once in the - Wot's that?
SIX MUNCE!
But, yer Honers, I got them things cheap!

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"The Defence" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 9 Dec. 2019. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6616/the-defence>.

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