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Somebody Told It

First, somebody told it,
Then the room couldn’t hold it,
So the busy tongues rolled it
Till they got it outside.

Then the crowd came across it,
And never once lost it,
But tossed it and tossed it,
Till it grew long and wide.

This lie brought forth others,
Dark sisters and brothers,
And fathers and mothers—
A terrible crew.

And while headlong they hurried,
The people they flurried,
And troubled and worried,
As lies always do.

And so evil-bodied,
This monster lay goaded,
Till at last it exploded
In smoke and in shame.

Then from mud and from mire
The pieces flew higher,
And hit the sad victim
And killed a good name.

Source unknown