**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Poem.

Enjoy this? Share it!


The Last Man
by [?]


So I haul’d him off to the gallows’ foot.
And blinded him in his bags;
‘Twas a weary job to heave him up,
For a doom’d man always lags;
But by ten of the clock he was off his legs
In the wind and airing his rags!


So there he hung, and there I stood
The LAST MAN left alive,
To have my own will of all the earth:
Quoth I, now I shall thrive!
But when was ever honey made
With one bee in a hive!


My conscience began to gnaw my heart
Before the day was done,
For other men’s lives had all gone out,
Like candles in the sun!–
But it seem’d as if I had broke, at last,
A thousand necks in one!


So I went and cut his body down
To bury it decentlie;–
God send there were any good soul alive
To do the like by me!
But the wild dogs came with terrible speed,
And bay’d me up the tree!


My sight was like a drunkard’s sight,
And my head began to swim,
To see their jaws all white with foam,
Like the ravenous ocean-brim;–
But when the wild dogs trotted away
Their jaws were bloody and grim!


Their jaws were bloody and grim, good Lord!
But the beggar man, where was he?–
There was nought of him but some ribbons of rags
Below the gallows’ tree!–
I know the Devil, when I am dead,
Will send his hounds for me!–


I’ve buried my babies one by one,
And dug the deep hole for Joan,
And cover’d the faces of kith and kin,
And felt the old churchyard stone
Go cold to my heart, full many a time,
But I never felt so lone!


For the lion and Adam were company,
And the tiger him beguil’d;
But the simple kine are foes to my life,
And the household brutes are wild.
If the veriest cur would lick my hand,
I could love it like a child!


And the beggar man’s ghost besets my dreams,
At night to make me madder,–
And my wretched conscience, within my breast,
Is like a stinging adder;–
I sigh when I pass the gallows’ foot,
And look at the rope and ladder!–


For hanging looks sweet,–but, alas! in vain,
My desperate fancy begs,–
I must turn my cup of sorrows quite up,
And drink it to the dregs,–
For there is not another man alive,
In the world, to pull my legs!