Sunday, July 18, 2010

"The Stab," by Will Wallace Harney

On the road, the lonely road,
Under the cold white moon,
Under the ragged trees he strode;
He whistled and shifted his weary load--
Whistled a foolish tune.

There was a step timed with his own,
A figure that stooped and bowed--
A cold, white blade that gleamed and shone,
Like a splinter of daylight downward thrown--
And the moon went behind a cloud.

But the moon came out so broad and good,
The barn-fowl woke and crowed;
He roughed his feathers in drowsy mood,
And the brown owl called to his mate in the wood,
That a dead man lay on the road.

(This poem, published in the Louisville Courier in 1858, is the earliest example of Harney's writing that yours truly has been able to find in preparation for Pine Castle Pioneer Days. Can any of ye socks find one earlier?!)

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