Farewell, Dick!

Farewell, Dick!

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

 

He bowed and he doffed his tricorn hat
As the wagon both lurched and swayed,
It rattled on over the cobblestones,
And the mud in the alleyways,
The crowd had cheered when he passed them by
As he stood, so debonair,
In a new frock coat and a pair of pumps
With a ribbon tied up in his hair.
 
They rumbled along the Tyburn road
From York, as the people stared,
Then came to a halt at Knavesmire
Approaching the 'Three Legged Mare',
He mounted the ladder boldly,
Stamped his foot to allay his fear,
Then spoke to the executioner
In a voice both calm and clear.
 
The rope was knotted around his neck,
He spoke to the crowd at last,
He bid farewell to his countrymen
And the darker deeds of his past,
Undaunted then, he stepped off the rung
And fell, to swing in the air,
While the crowd was hushed, and the wagon pushed
To receive his body there!
 
But up on the hill was a phantom horse,
As black as a lump of coal,
Its eyes were gleaming, its coat a-shine,
Its breath, pale mist in the cold,
She started, reared, as her master hung
Then galloped right through the press,
As his soul dropped out of his body there,
She was waiting for him, Black Bess!
 
He leapt unthinking astride her back,
Cast one swift glance behind,
His body hung from the rope, he saw,
But he somehow didn't mind!
He doffed his hat to the sightless crowd
Then wheeled away on his horse,
And galloped away to where phantoms play
When their lives have run their course!
 
But a tiny child in the press had seen,
Was blessed with second sight,
She watched him wave to the mourning crowd
And disappear in the night;
She laughed and waved in the mother's arms
Who had cried 'til she was sick,
But the child then wiped her tears away
And called out - 'Farewell, Dick!'
 
David Lewis Paget

© 2012 David Lewis Paget



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Ach, brilliant! This catches my mood perfectly. I have a glass of wine at the end of a two week holiday and Dylan's cracking Ballad of the Hurricane is on the ray-de-ooo -- the lyrics are cracking. I saw everything you described here from the first line to the last. Reality is often deadly dull and we need such dreams as the one you spin here to keep us from being sane all the time, as to be sane is to be what? a tax inspector? I was in for this ride from the first line bowed/doffed are just great words.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

I haven't read many poems where they are placed at a certain time in history. I really loved the ending, it adds a bit of a eerie tough to the story.

Posted 8 Years Ago


I'm amazed at how you were able to write such a worthy composition with so few words. This narrative is much shorter than your standard fair; yet, it lacked nothing. What can I say? You are the master!

Love,

Linda Marie

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Ach, brilliant! This catches my mood perfectly. I have a glass of wine at the end of a two week holiday and Dylan's cracking Ballad of the Hurricane is on the ray-de-ooo -- the lyrics are cracking. I saw everything you described here from the first line to the last. Reality is often deadly dull and we need such dreams as the one you spin here to keep us from being sane all the time, as to be sane is to be what? a tax inspector? I was in for this ride from the first line bowed/doffed are just great words.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

The flow and artistry was superb. You took a tough subject and gave it dignity with a splash of hope. A confident man who lived and loved life but accepted fate. The innocence of a child able to see beyond to pain to the other plane of life. Nicely done as usual.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

David, how witty...this one was really holding my attention right until the end..I loved the ending. How you come up with these masterful tales I guess I will never know..You beat them all Mate..love to Lyn and God bless you both..Kathie

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Thank you for the historical clarification. It helps in the understanding of his piece. However, even without the history, I really enjoyed this piece. It was a chilling yet endearing depiction of the devotion of the horse to his rider as they met once again and rode off into the after world, the only witness a young child who believed. Great writing as always!

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Is this another, as was "Barton Leas", in a series of historical events made verse from your capable pen? (odd, how we persist in saying "pen", though pretty much everything these days is composed on "keyboard", wot?) Whether yea or nay, it is an eerie depiction or a grisly event. I might've liked a spot of explanation as to why the child alone was able to see the horse and its rider--purity of heart? May I therefore inferr that he was innocent as well? What if any was the historical antecedent to this story? In a previous piece, you had written of a Lobor uprising, where the leader was executed by the Governor-general's office--might this be a different rendition of that? Or am I over-corporealizing...again?

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

For the sake of our American and other readers not familiar with English history, this piece concerns the end of the infamous Highwayman, Dick Turpin, with his horse, Black Bess, which had predeceased him. He was hanged on the 7th April, 1739, the 'York Courant' for that day stating - 'With undaunted courage looked about him, and after speaking a few words to the topsman, he threw himself off the ladder and expired in about five minutes.'

Posted 8 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Another chilling tale from the master.
This poem not only touches our hearts but also tingles our spines.
You are a master at building suspense and holding the reader spellbound.
You have a unique way of pulling our emotions in the direction of the villian and
finding compassion for him in our hearts. Which is what this piece did.
Serious writer's might do well to study your technique.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow, this kind of caught me off guard but once I read it a second time I did realize how great it was. Good job and keep writing great pieces such as this, even though some may seem different at first sight.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 2 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 18, 2009
Last Updated on June 27, 2012

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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