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Black Moran



The mule-skinner was Bill Jerome, the passengers were three;
Two tinhorns from the dives of Nome, and Father Tim McGee.
And as for sunny Southland bound, through weary woods they sped,
The solitude that ringed them round was silent as the dead.

Then when the trail crooked crazily, the frost-rimed horses reared,
And from behind a fallen tree a grim galoot appeared;
He wore a parki white as snow, a mask as black as soot,
And carelesslike weaved to and fro a gun as if to shoot.

"Stick up yer mitts an' freeze 'em there!" his raucous voice outrang,
And shaving them by just a hair a blazing rod went bang.
The sleigh jerked to a sharp stand-still: "Okay," drawled Bill Jerome,
"Could be, this guy who aims to kill is Black Moran from Nome."

"You lousy crooks," the bandit cried; "You're slickly heeled I know;
Come, make it snappy, dump outside your booty in the snow."
The gambling pair went putty pale; they crimped as if with cold.
And heaved upon the icy trail two hefty pokes of gold.

Then softly stepping from the sleigh came Father Tim McGee,
And speaking in his gentle way: :Accept my Cross," said he.
"For other treasures have I none, their guilty gold to swell . . .
Please take this crucifix, my son, and may it serve you well."

The bandit whispered in his ear: "Jeez-crize, you got me wrong.
I wouldn't rob you Father dear - to your Church I belong."
Then swiftly striding to the sleigh he dumped the gold back in,
And hollered: "On your knees and pray, you lousy sons of sin!"

"Praise God," said Father Tim McGee, "he made you restitution,
And if he ever kneels to me I'll give him absolution."
"I'll have you guys to understand," said Driver Bill Jerome,
"The squarest gunman in the land is Black Moran form Nome."

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Robert William Service

Robert William Service was a poet and writer sometimes referred to as the Bard of the Yukon He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North including the poems The Shooting of Dan McGrew The Law of the Yukon and The Cremation of Sam McGee His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was Robert William Service was born 16 January 1874 in Preston England but also lived in Scotland before emigrating to Canada in 1894 Service went to the Yukon Territory in 1904 as a bank clerk and became famous for his poems about this region which are mostly in his first two books of poetry He wrote quite a bit of prose as well and worked as a reporter for some time but those writings are not nearly as well known as his poems He travelled around the world quite a bit and narrowly escaped from France at the beginning of the Second World War during which time he lived in Hollywood California He died 11 September 1958 in France Incidentally he played himself in a movie called The Spoilers starring John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich more…

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    "Black Moran" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Nov. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32022/black-moran>.

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