The Case Of Ho Ling by Thomas Burke

Truly the ways of mandarins are inscrutable.
My estimable and upright friend, Ho Ling,
Long had desired to return to his own country.
He bore himself in Limehouse without reproach,
A reputable stranger, mild of manner and gentle of address.
Against him none could bring a charge or speak a word of upbraiding.
He conformed in all ways to the laws of correct conduct.

Yet when he sought assistance to return to his own country,
Being without means,
And hung at the ear of notable men who could help him,
They refused to hear him,
And would in no way help him to go where his heart was set.
Even the charitable ones regretted
That his case was not for them.

Wherefore my friend forsook his quiet and regular ways,
And went about as one possessed by thunder and fire,
Stormily; doing many things of a reprehensible character,
Committing grave misdemeanours in the public streets,
And following evil ways in a manner to attract attention.

The lords of this country placed him upon a boat,
And commanded that he should be carried, at their own cost,
To his own country, whither he most desired to go.

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