Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Death-Doomed.



They're taking me to the gallows, mother--they mean to hang me high;
They're going to gather round me there, and watch me till I die;
All earthly joy has vanished now, and gone each mortal hope,--
They'll draw a cap across my eyes, and round my neck a rope;
The crazy mob will shout and groan--the priest will read a prayer,
The drop will fall beneath my feet and leave me in the air.
They think I murdered Allen Bayne; for so the Judge has said,
And they'll hang me to the gallows, mother--hang me till I'm dead!

The grass that grows in yonder meadow, the lambs that skip and play,
The pebbled brook behind the orchard, that laughs upon its way,
The flowers that bloom in the dear old garden, the birds that sing and fly,
Are clear and pure of human blood, and, mother, so am I!
By father's grave on yonder hill--his name without a stain--
I ne'er had malice in my heart, or murdered Allen Bayne!
But twelve good men have found me guilty, for so the Judge has said,
And they'll hang me to the gallows, mother--hang me till I'm dead!

The air is fresh and bracing, mother; the sun shines bright and high;
It is a pleasant day to live--a gloomy one to die!
It is a bright and glorious day the joys of earth to grasp--
It is a sad and wretched one to strangle, choke, and gasp!
But let them damp my lofty spirit, or cow me if they can!
They send me like a rogue to death--I'll meet it like a man;
For I never murdered Allen Bayne! but so the Judge has said,
And they'll hang me to the gallows, mother--hang me till I'm dead!

Poor little sister 'Bell will weep, and kiss me as I lie;
But kiss her twice and thrice for me, and tell her not to cry;
Tell her to weave a bright, gay garland, and crown me as of yore,
Then plant a lily upon my grave, and think of me no more.
And tell that maiden whose love I sought, that I was faithful yet;
But I must lie in a felon's grave, and she had best forget.
My memory is stained forever; for so the Judge has said,
And they'll hang me to the gallows, mother--hang me till I'm dead!

Lay me not down by my father's side; for once, I mind, he said
No child that stained his spotless name should share his mortal bed.
Old friends would look beyond his grave, to my dishonored one,
And hide the virtues of the sire behind the recreant son.
And I can fancy, if there my corse its fettered limbs should lay,
His frowning skull and crumbling bones would shrink from me away;
But I swear to God I'm innocent, and never blood have shed!
And they'll hang me to the gallows, mother--hang me till I'm dead!

Lay me in my coffin, mother, as you've sometimes seen me rest:
One of my arms beneath my head, the other on my breast.
Place my Bible upon my heart--nay, mother, do not weep--
And kiss me as in happier days you kissed me when asleep.
And for the rest--for form or rite--but little do I reck;
But cover up that cursed stain--the black mark on my neck!
And pray to God for his great mercy on my devoted head;
For they'll hang me to the gallows, mother--hang me till I'm dead!

But hark! I hear a mighty murmur among the jostling crowd!
A cry!--a shout!--a roar of voices!--it echoes long and loud!
There dashes a horseman with foaming steed and tightly-gathered rein!
He sits erect!--he waves his hand!--good Heaven! 'tis Allen Bayne!
The lost is found, the dead alive, my safety is achieved!
For he waves his hand again, and shouts, "The prisoner is reprieved!"
Now, mother, praise the God you love, and raise your drooping head;
For the murderous gallows, black and grim, is cheated of its dead!
Font size:
 

Submitted on August 03, 2020

3:32 min read
3 Views

Will Carleton

William McKendree Carleton (October 21, 1845 – December 18, 1912) was an American poet from Michigan. more…

All Will Carleton poems | Will Carleton Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Will Carleton poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Death-Doomed." Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 3 Dec. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/56972/death-doomed.>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    Who wrote the epic poem "Os Lusíadas" in 1572?
    • A. Miguel Cervantes
    • B. Luís de Camões
    • C. Cesário Verde
    • D. Fernando Pessoa

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets

    »