The Lay of the Vigilantes

Not a bark was heard, not a warning note,
As we o'er to the calaboose hurried;
Not a Thomas cat cleared his melodious throat
Where our hero in slumber lay buried.

We entered his cell at the dead of night,
The bolt with the jail keys turning,
The moon's pale crescent had sank out of sight,
And never a lamp was burning.

No useless stogas encased his feet;
And we saw, as we carefully bound him,
That he stood like a coward, dreading to meet
The shades of the victims around him.

Few and short were the prayers he said —
He did not have time to say long ones —
But he steadfastly gazed at the frame o'er his head
And grieved that the posts were such strong ones.

We thought, as we hoisted him up from the ground
And made the rope fast to a corner,
That the cool morning zephyrs would whisper around
A corpse without ever a mourner.

Lightly they'll talk of the deed that is done,
And wonder, " Who was it that hung him? "
Though little they'll grieve to see him hang on
The beam where the " vigilance " swung him.

As soon as our cheerful task was done,
Ere the light of the morning was firing
The peaks that glow in the rays of the sun,
We prudently spoke of retiring.

Sternly and glady we looked on him there
As we thought of his deeds dark and evil;
We heaved not a sigh and breathed not a prayer,
But we left him alone with the Devil.
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