The Clerk

The clerk sat on a stool
And added up a column,
Looking a very fool,
Staid he was and solemn.
He said :
' Nineteen and one,
Mark nought and carry two,'
And that was all that he had done
And all that he could do.

The clerk sat on his stool
And another line began :
The heroes called him fool
But God had called him man.
He said :
' Two fives are ten
And carry one along.
'The devil shuddered in his den
And Heaven broke forth in song.

Charles Williams ~ Poems of Conformity (1917) Milford-OUP

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