Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE JACOBITE ON TOWER HILL, by GEORGE WALTER THORNBURY



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THE JACOBITE ON TOWER HILL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: He tripped up the steps with a bow and a smile
Last Line: With the life of the bravest of any that bled.
Subject(s): Great Britain - History; Jacobites; Patriotism; English History


HE tripped up the steps with a bow and a smile,
Offering snuff to the chaplain the while,
A rose at his button-hole that afternoon --
'T was the tenth of the month, and the month it
was June.

Then shrugging his shoulders, he looked at the
man
With the mask and the axe, and a murmuring ran
Through the crowd, who below, were all pushing
to see
The gaoler kneel down, and receiving his fee.

He looked at the mob, as they roared, with a stare,
And took snuff again with a cynical air.
"I'm happy to give but a moment's delight
To the flower of my country agog for a sight."
Then he looked at the block, and with scented
cravat
Dusted room for his neck, gayly doffing his hat,
Kissed his hand to a lady, bent low to the crowd,
Then smiling, turned round to the headsman and
bowed.

"God save King James!" he cried bravely and
shrill
And the cry reached the houses at foot of the hill,
"My friend with the axe, a votre service," he said;
And ran his white thumb 'long the edge of the
blade.

When the multitude hissed he stood firm as a rock;
Then kneeling, laid down his gay head on the
block;
He kissed a white rose, -- in a moment 't was red
With the life of the bravest of any that bled.




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