Treasure Island

Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

No Neck-Tie Party


A prisoner speaks:

Majority of twenty-three,
I face the Judge with joy and glee;
For am I not a lucky chap -
No more hanging, no more cap;
A "lifer," yes, but well I know
In fifteen years they'll let me go;
For I'll be pious in my prison,
Sing with gusto: Christ Is Risen;
Serve the hymn-books out on Sunday,
Sweep the chapel clean on Monday:
Such a model lag I'll be
In fifteen years they'll set me free.

Majority of twenty three,
You've helped me cheat the gallows tree.
I'm twenty now, at thirty-five
How I will laugh to be alive!
To leap into the world again
And bless the fools miscalled "humane,"
Who say the gibbet's wrong and so
At thirty-five they let me go,
Tat I may sail the across the sea
A killer unsuspect and free,
To change my name, to darkly thrive
By hook or crook at thirty-five.

O silent dark and beastly wood
Where with my bloodied hands I stood!
O piteous child I raped and slew!
Had she been yours, would you and you
Have pardoned me and set me free,
Majority of twenty-three?
Yet by your solemn vote you willed
I shall not die though I have killed;
Although I did no mercy show,
In mercy you will let me go. . . .
That he who kills and does not pay
May live to kill another day.

*By a majority of twenty-three the House of Commons
voted the abolition of the death penalty.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: change, house, tree, child, joy, sea, dark, death, world, rape, rose, children

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (No Neck-Tie Party by Robert William Service )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. Invictus
    William Ernest Henley

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Report Again, Margaret Alice Second
  2. ...as mine, Marites C. Cayetano
  3. The Old Men Do Not Fear, Bulat Okudzhava
  4. The Old Soldiers' Song, Bulat Okudzhava
  5. The Poets Were Hunted, Bulat Okudzhava
  6. Sister Of Mine, Bulat Okudzhava
  7. There's The Special Music, Bulat Okudzhava
  8. They Killed My Father, Bulat Okudzhava
  9. Why Are You So Sad, Bulat Okudzhava
  10. Rivals, Pradip Chattopadhyay

Poem of the Day

poet Henry David Thoreau

My books I'd fain cast off, I cannot read,
'Twixt every page my thoughts go stray at large
Down in the meadow, where is richer feed,
And will not mind to hit their proper targe.
...... Read complete »

   
[Hata Bildir]