The Condemned

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It is not for the friendly, the walk to the gallows.
It is not for the clean, the walk to the gallows.
It is not for any but sinners and scum, the walk to the gallows.


This the Hangman knew and felt and spoke.


They were in sight, through the gloom, those which brought justice. Looking to his right the hangman saw the Condemned, the shackled Insignificant and Evil-Minded. Not for the gallows was this one meant, but torture eternal each and every minute.


This the Hangman knew and felt and spoke.

A good scourging the Condemned could use and every heat and all abuse. The Condemned was soiled, muck covered his face-this was always the case with the condemned.

This the Hangman knew and felt and spoke.

It was never an inconvenience to free the earth of such a one condemned. Putting to death one so deserving was more privilege than duty.

This the Hangman knew and felt and spoke.

They were in reach, through the pelting rain, those which brought justice. The Hangman pulled the lever, heard the crack, went to watch the Condemned man’s end, an end sure to be full of pain, of struggle.

Yet, the end was not as it should have been.

The Condemned did not struggle. The Condemned did not fight.
The Condemned did not curse and spit, but waited for the night.

Into this scene, blinking the pouring rain out of his eyes, the Hangman started. The Hangman saw a Boy. The Condemned was gone, the Boy in his place. In the unmoving eyes the Hangman newly beheld the sorrow, the guilt, the plead for redemption, and the yearning for forgiveness that was caught and fixed, to be forever in the Hangman and the Condemned’s eyes.

This the Hangman knew and felt but never spoke.





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