The Mormon Bishop's Lament, I will tell you what I know
I am a Mormon bishop and I will tell you what I know.
I joined the confraternity some forty years ago.
I then had youth upon my brow and eloquence my tongue,
But I had the sad misfortune then to meet with Brigham Young.
He said, "Young man, come join our band and bid hard work farewell,
You are too smart to waste your time in toil by hill and dell;
There is a ripening harvest and our hooks shall find the fool
And in the distant nations we shall train them in our school."
I listened to his preaching and I learned all the role,
And the truth of Mormon doctrines burned deep within my soul.
I married sixteen women and I spread my new belief,
I was sent to preach the gospel to the pauper and the thief.
'Twas in the glorious days when Brigham was our only Lord and King,
And his wild cry of defiance from the Wasatch tops did ring,
'Twas when that bold Bill Hickman and that Porter Rockwell led,
And in the blood atonements the pits received the dead.
They took in Dr. Robertson and left him in his gore,
And the Aiken brothers sleep in peace on Nephi's distant shore.
We marched to Mountain Meadows and on that glorious field
With rifle and with hatchet we made man and woman yield.
'Twas there we were victorious with our legions fierce and brave.
We left the butchered victims on the ground without a grave.
We slew the load of emigrants on Sublet's lonely road
And plundered many a trader of his then most precious load.
Alas for all the powers that were in the by-gone time.
What we did as deeds of glory are condemned as bloody crime.
No more the blood atonements keep the doubting one in fear,
While the faithful were rewarded with a wedding once a year.
As the nation's chieftain president says our days of rule are o'er
And his marshals with their warrants are on watch at every door,
Old John he now goes skulking on the by-roads of our land,
Or unknown he keeps in hiding with the faithful of our band.
Old Brigham now is stretched beneath the cold and silent clay,
And the chieftains now are fallen that were mighty in their day;
Of the six and twenty women that I wedded long ago
There are two now left to cheer me in these awful hours of woe.
The rest are scattered where the Gentile's flag's unfurled
And two score of my daughters are now numbered with the world.
Oh, my poor old bones are aching and my head is turning gray;
Oh, the scenes were black and awful that I've witnessed in my day.
Let my spirit seek the mansion where old Brigham's gone to dwell,
For there's no place for Mormons but the lowest pits of hell.