Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CLEVER TOM CLINCH GOING TO BE HANGED, by JONATHAN SWIFT

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

CLEVER TOM CLINCH GOING TO BE HANGED, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: As clever tom clinch, while the rabble was bawling
Last Line: Who hung like a hero, and never would flinch.
Subject(s): Capital Punishment; Hanging; Executions; Death Penalty

As clever Tom Clinch, while the rabble was bawling,
Rode stately through Holborn, to die in his calling;
He stopt at the George for a bottle of sack,
And promis'd to pay for it when he'd come back.
His waistcoat and stockings, and breeches were white,
His cap had a new cherry ribbon to tie't.
The maids to the doors and the balconies ran,
And said, lack-a-day! he's a proper young man.
But, as from the windows the ladies he spied,
Like a beau in the box, he bow'd low on each side;
And when his last speech the loud hawkers did cry,
He swore from his cart, it was all a damn'd lie.
The hangman for pardon fell down on his knee;
Tom gave him a kick in the guts for his fee.
Then said, I must speak to the people a little,
But I'll see you all damn'd before I will whittle.
My honest friend Wild, may he long hold his place,
He lengthen'd my life with a whole year of grace.
Take courage, dear comrades, and be not afraid,
Nor slip this occasion to follow your trade.
My conscience is clear, and my spirits are calm,
And thus I go off without Pray'r-Book or Psalm.
Then follow the practice of clever Tom Clinch,
Who hung like a hero, and never would flinch.

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