Friends, Americans, Countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to convict the President, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
Their wickedness must from our midst be cleansed.
So let it be with this President.
The noble Pence has told you the President was ambitious,
And truth be, it is a most grievous fault when lawless.
But the President has not answered for it yet —
Here today by leave of Pence and the rest.
For Pence is an honorable man;
So are they all, all honorable enablers of the senate.
I come to speak at the President’s trial.
He was our betrayer, faithless and unjust to us.
But Hawley says he was lawfully ambitious;
And Hawley is an honorable man.
He has banished the homeless from Lady Liberty’s lamp,
Whose dreams of a better life have been dispelled.
Did this in the President not seem lawlessly ambitious?
When the poor cried and the sick perished he failed to weep.
Mercy should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Cruz says he was lawfully ambitious;
And Cruz is an honorable man.
You all did plainly see on the Capitol Mall
A president incite a seditious mob
Which thrice-over roared its intent to follow.
Was this lawful ambition?
So says Graham that he was lawfully ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honorable man.
I speak not to disprove what Graham and the others have spoken,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did falsely love him once, not without political cause:
What cause withholds you then, to condemn him now?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason.
Bear with me;
Our country’s soul is on the gallows
And we must not flinch till it comes back to us.
Gordon Shepherd, Conway, Arkansas, was born and raised in Salt Lake City, educated in Salt Lake City public schools and is a retired professor of sociology at the University of Central Arkansas.