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Thread: Read it, know it.

  1. #1
    Founder's Club Member ixtow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Suwannee County, FL

    Read it, know it.

    Quote Originally Posted by maurice ogden
    by Maurice Ogden
    Into our town the Hangman came,
    Smelling of gold and blood and flame.
    And he paced our bricks with a diffident air,
    And built his frame in the courthouse square.

    The scaffold stood by the courthouse side,
    Only as wide as the door was wide;
    A frame as tall, or little more,
    Than the capping sill of the courthouse door.

    And we wondered, whenever we had the time,
    Who the criminal, what the crime
    That the Hangman judged with the yellow twist
    of knotted hemp in his busy fist.

    And innocent though we were, with dread,
    We passed those eyes of buckshot lead --
    Till one cried: "Hangman, who is he
    For whom you raised the gallows-tree?"

    Then a twinkle grew in the buckshot eye,
    And he gave us a riddle instead of reply:
    "He who serves me best," said he,
    "Shall earn the rope of the gallows-tree."

    And he stepped down, and laid his hand
    On a man who came from another land.
    And we breathed again, for another's grief
    At the Hangman's hand was our relief

    And the gallows-frame on the courthouse lawn
    By tomorrow's sun would be struck and gone.
    So we gave him way, and no one spoke,
    Out of respect for his Hangman's cloak.

    The next day's sun looked mildly down
    On roof and street in our quiet town,
    And stark and black in the morning air
    Was the gallows-tree in the courthouse square.

    And the Hangman stood at his usual stand
    With the yellow hemp in his busy hand;
    With his buckshot eye and his jaw like a pike
    And his air so knowing and business-like.

    And we cried, "Hangman, have you not done
    Yesterday, with the foreign one?"
    Then we fell silent, and stood amazed,
    "Oh, not for him was the gallows raised."

    He laughed a laugh as he looked at us:
    "Did you think I'd gone to all this fuss
    To hang one man? That's a thing I do
    To stretch a rope when the rope is new."

    Then one cried "Murder!" and one cried "Shame!"
    And into our midst the Hangman came
    To that man's place. "Do you hold," said he,
    "with him that was meant for the gallows-tree?"

    And he laid his hand on that one's arm.
    And we shrank back in quick alarm!
    And we gave him way, and no one spoke
    Out of fear of his Hangman's cloak.

    That night we saw with dread surprise
    The Hangman's scaffold had grown in size.
    Fed by the blood beneath the chute,
    The gallows-tree had taken root;

    Now as wide, or a little more,
    Than the steps that led to the courthouse door,
    As tall as the writing, or nearly as tall,
    Halfway up on the courthouse wall.

    The third he took -- we had all heard tell --
    Was a usurer, and an infidel.
    "What," said the Hangman "have you to do
    With the gallows-bound, and he a Jew?"

    And we cried out, "Is this one he
    Who has served you well and faithfully?"
    The Hangman smiled: "It's a clever scheme
    to try the strength of the gallows-beam."

    The fourth man's dark, accusing song
    Had scratched our comfort hard and long;
    "And what concern," he gave us back.
    "Have you for the doomed -- the doomed and Black?"

    The fifth. The sixth. And we cried again,
    "Hangman, Hangman, is this the man?"
    "It's a trick," he said. "that we hangmen know
    For easing the trap when the trap springs slow."

    And so we ceased, and asked no more,
    As the Hangman tallied his bloody score.
    And sun by sun, and night by night,
    The gallows grew to monstrous height.

    The wings of the scaffold opened wide
    Till they covered the square from side to side;
    And the monster cross-beam, looking down,
    Cast its shadow across the town.

    Then through the town the Hangman came,
    Through the empty streets, and called my name --
    And I looked at the gallows soaring tall,
    And thought, "There is no one left at all

    For hanging, and so he calls to me
    To help pull down the gallows-tree."
    So I went out with right good hope
    To the Hangman's tree and the Hangman's rope.

    He smiled at me as I came down
    To the courthouse square through the silent town.
    And supple and stretched in his busy hand
    Was the yellow twist of the hempen strand.

    And he whistled his tune as he tried the trap,
    And it sprang down with a ready snap --
    And then with a smile of awful command
    He laid his hand upon my hand.

    "You tricked me. Hangman!," I shouted then,
    "That your scaffold was built for other men...
    And I no henchman of yours," I cried,
    "You lied to me, Hangman. Foully lied!"

    Then a twinkle grew in the buckshot eye,
    "Lied to you? Tricked you?" he said. "Not I.
    For I answered straight and I told you true --
    The scaffold was raised for none but you.

    For who has served me more faithfully
    Then you with your coward's hope?" said he,
    "And where are the others who might have stood
    Side by your side in the common good?"

    "Dead," I whispered. And amiably
    "Murdered," the Hangman corrected me:
    "First the foreigner, then the Jew...
    I did no more than you let me do."

    Beneath the beam that blocked the sky
    None had stood so alone as I.
    The Hangman noosed me, and no voice there
    Cried "Stop!" for me in the empty square.
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmond Burke
    When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
    Can you tell the difference anymore? Which one are you?
    "The fourth man's dark, accusing song had scratched our comfort hard and long..."

    "Be not intimidated ... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your Liberties by any pretense of Politeness, Delicacy, or Decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for Hypocrisy, Chicanery, and Cowardice." - John Adams

    Tyranny with Manners is still Tyranny.

  2. #2


    i am totally confused here that what do you want to ask but afterward read it i didn't find any difference which i can tell you.


  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Renton, Washington, USA
    It means if we do not speak up when someone else is wronged or their rights violated, there will be no one to speak up for ours. Reminds me of the prose or poem that starts with First they came for the Jews, but since I wasn't a Jew, I said nothing. Other races, religions were mentioned, I am not trying to pick anyone out in particular. We stand together, or we are (or our rights are) destroyed, one by one.
    Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; it's the only thing that ever does.- Margaret Mead

    Those who will not fight for justice today will fight for their lives in the future,

    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote. Benjamin Franklin

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