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"The Curse of the Competent" by Henry J. Finn

The following is the complete text of Henry J. Finn's "The Curse of the Competent." The various books, short stories and poems we offer are presented free of charge with absolutely no advertising as a public service from Internet Accuracy Project.

To see all available titles by other authors, drop by our index of free books alphabetized by author or arranged alphabetically by title.

Potential uses for the free books, stories and prose we offer
* Rediscovering an old favorite book, poem or story.
* Bibliophiles expanding their collection of public domain eBooks at no cost.
* Teachers trying to locate a free online copy of a classic poem or short story for use in the classroom.

NOTE: We try to present these classic literary works as they originally appeared in print. As such, they sometimes contain adult themes, offensive language, typographical errors, and often utilize unconventional, older, obsolete or intentionally incorrect spelling and/or punctuation conventions.

"The Curse of the Competent" by Henry J. Finn



My spirit hath been seared, as though the lightning's scathe had rent,
In the swiftness of its wrath, through the midnight firmament,
The darkly deepening clouds; and the shadows dim and murky
Of destiny are on me, for my dinner's naught but--turkey.

The chords upon my silent lute no soft vibrations know,
Save where the moanings of despair--out-breathings of my woe--
Tell of the cold and selfish world. In melancholy mood,
The soul of genius chills with only--fourteen cords of wood.

The dreams of the deserted float around my curtained hours,
And young imaginings are as the thorns bereft of flowers;
A wretched outcast from mankind, my strength of heart has sank
Beneath the evils of--ten thousand dollars in the bank.

This life to me a desert is, and kindness, as the stream
That singly drops upon the waste where burning breezes teem;
A banished, blasted plant, I droop, to which no freshness lends
Its healing balm, for Heaven knows, I've but--a dozen friends.

And Sorrow round my brow has wreathed its coronal of thorns;
No dewy pearl of Pleasure my sad sunken eyes adorns;
Calamity has clothed my thoughts, I feel a bliss no more,--
Alas! my wardrobe now would only--stock a clothing store.

The joyousness of Memory from me for aye hath fled;
It dwells within the dreary habitation of the dead;
I breathe my midnight melodies in languor and by stealth,
For Fate inflicts upon my frame--the luxury of health.

Envy, Neglect, and Scorn have been my hard inheritance;
And a baneful curse clings to me, like the stain on innocence;
My moments are as faded leaves, or roses in their blight--
I'm asked but once a day to dine--to parties every night.

Would that I were a silver ray upon the moonlit air,
Or but one gleam that's glorified by each Peruvian's prayer!
My tortured spirit turns from earth, to ease its bitter loathing;
My hatred is on all things here, because--I want for nothing.

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