The Highwayman, a poem written by Noah Smith at

The Highwayman

The Highwayman

written by: Noah Smith


There is a man who leaps and bounds
Along a narrow wall;
He shakes and starts at all the sounds
That are known and loved by all.

His home is in the forest
No living man knows his name
He carries a dagger to his chest
And pistol there, the same.

At night he sleeps in shadow
His knife lies by his side
His thoughts lie on the morrow
Upon his dressed bear’s hide.

The morning finds him up and gone
His cave or hiding clean
When through the forest walks a fawn
No trace of him is seen.

The evening sees him back to rest
Awake to watch the stars.
And there he lies, a Bible on his chest
To heal his wounds and scars.

Sometimes I hear upon the cold north wind
The strains of his violin.
It is his prayer- “O gods, be kind!”
“Look on me- forgive me of my sin!”

Next day I see him out to prowl
His pleas and prayers forgotten.
One day he saw me, with a scowl;
That night returned, with rain besotten.

The moon is cloaked in darkness
And cold winds blowing now
Announce through depths of blackness
A wolf’s deep, mournful howl.

But hear! His cry is answered!
It rings out loud and clear.
The man within the forest
Knows that his doom is near.

Each day he walks with head held high
Although his heart is cold.
He hears the bloodhound’s nearing cry
And curses depths untold.

He lives alone, forgotten;
The living are not his friends.
For here there’s much that’s to be gotten
That leads unto his ends.

His clothes are dark, his hair is light
And quiet, sad to me;
No living thing escapes his sight
The Highwayman is he.

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