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James Williams 1869 (Taigwynion, near Tal-y-bont, Cardiganshire) – 1954 (United Kingdom)
We sat in the jury-box, twelve were we all,
And the clock was just pointing to ten in the hall,
His Lordship he bowed to the jury, and we
Bowed back to his Lordship as gravely as he.
The case of De Weller v. Jones was the first,
And we all settled down and prepared for the worst
When old Smithers, Q.C., began slowly to preach
Of a promise of marriage and action for breach.
A barmaid the plaintiff was, wondrous the skill
Wherewith she was wont her tall tankards to fill,
The defendant, a publican, sought for his bride
Such a paragon, urged by professional pride.
But the course of true love ran no smoother for her
Than the Pas de Calais or the bark of a fir,
The defendant discovered a widow with gold
In the bank and the plaintiff was left in the cold.
An hour Smithers spoke, and he said that the heart
Of the plaintiff at Jones's fell touch flew apart,
But a cheque for a thousand might help to repair
The destruction effected by love and despair.
Miss de Weller was called, and in ladylike tones
She described all the injury suffered from Jones,
How he called her at first "Angelina," and this
Soon cooled to "Miss Weller," and lastly to "Miss."
But the jury were shaken a little when Gore
Cross-examined about her engagements before,
For Jones was the sixth of the strings to her bow
And with five other verdicts she solaced her woe.
Re-examined by Smithers, she won us again,
For the tears of a maid are a terror to men,
Then his Lordship awoke from his nap and explained
How love that is frequent is love that is feigned.
Miss de Weller looked daggers, and under the paint
Of her cheeks she grew pale and fell down in a faint,
She played her trump-card in the late afternoon,
For damages satisfy girls who can swoon.
Till she fainted most thought that a farthing would do,
Though I was in favour of pounds--one or two;
But after the faint--and she was so well dressed--
At a hundred the void in her heart was assessed.
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"How We Found Our Verdict" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 5 Feb. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/55747/how-we-found-our-verdict>.