A Little Lie

A little lie was born one morn,
A feeble fib so white and small,
It seemed too weak a thing to live,
Too innocent to count at all.

But ev'ry minute gave it strength --
By noon it had begun to talk;
By nightfall it was on its feet
And crookedly began to walk.

Another morn it was full-grown
And making many friends, forsooth;
Another night, and it was wed --
For reputation -- to a truth.

And from this union soon were born
Half truths that nevermore would die;
For nothing is so hard to kill
As half a truth and half a lie.

So thus, one feeble little lie
That someone told without a qualm
Lives on and on and multiplies,
An endless wrong, to endless harm!

W. D. Vincent


Excerpt from "Gossiping" by Daniel Ridgeway Knight


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Photo and graphic by Mary Stephens
CA, updated 2019