Ned Connor Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


TWAS night and where a watery soundA
Came moaning up the FlatB
Six rude and bearded stockmen roundA
Their blazing hut fire satB
And laughed as on some starting houndA
The cracking fuel spatB
And merrier still the log fire cracksC
As night the darker fallsD
While not a noisy tongue there lacksC
To tell of drunken brawlsD
But most of battle with the BlacksC
Some bloody tale appalsC
Amongst them then Ned Connor spokeE
And up his form he drewF
What is there in an open strokeE
To boast of You but slewF
Those who d have done each hell black oneG
The same or worse to youF
But lost among the hills one dayH
Which then was well nigh shutI
I met a Black upon my wayH
And thus the matter putJ
Unto him See this knife s for theeK
Come guide me to my hutI
His savage eyes grew huge with joyL
As on the prize they bentM
And leading even like a boyL
He capered as he wentM
But think you men to give the toyL
Ned Connor ever meantM
An hour had brought us many a mileN
And then as closed the dayH
The savage pointed with a smileN
To where my Station layH
There give to me the knife said heK
And let me go my wayH
I never meant that he should touchO
The thing as I have saidP
And when he stretched his hand to clutchO
A thought came in my headP
I raised my gun as though in funG
I fired and he was deadP
The ruffian laughed in his pitiless moodQ
When ended thus his taleR
But all the rest though men of bloodS
With horror seemed to quailR
And saw though he stood boastfullyR
That Connor too was paleR
For through the moaning of the treesC
He seemed to hear the soundA
Of his own laughter in the breezeC
Keep roaming out till drownedA
In wild and bitter mockeriesC
Up answering from the groundA
Now what to hear had made them fearT
Had also made them dryU
But strange the water pail that lateV
Brimm d in the corner nighU
Was empty In amazement greatV
There s not a drop they cryU
Their thirst grew bitter and they saidP
Come this will never doF
It is your turn for water NedP
Then why not go He drewF
Full hard his breath and from his headP
There dripped a sudden dewF
But shaming to be taxed with fearT
He seized the pail and saidP
What care I Though the night be drearT
Who ever saw the deadP
And if I fail to fill this pailR
The devil shall insteadP
He sallied forth A sudden blastW
Went sobbing by the doorT
Through which they heard his footsteps fastW
Recede and when no moreT
They heard them round the fire aghastW
They gathered as beforeT
I would not go alone to nightX
The way that he is goneY
Said one for all the gold my sightX
Hath ever fallen uponZ
To slay that creature was not rightX
I d say t were he my sonG
And now impatient all and wildA2
They wondered at his stayH
Till one outspake A weanling childA2
Could not make more delayH
If longer slack in coming backB2
He ll bring with him the dayH
But while they thus were wondering harkC2
They hear a frantic shriekD2
Then nearing footsteps through the darkC2
Come waywardly and weakD2
And as the dogs did howl and barkC2
They stared but feared to speakD2
Against the door that to had swungE2
One rushed then and twas splitF2
Twas Connor who amid them sprungE2
And fell into a fitF2
And long that night in ghastly plightX
He struggled there in itF2
And when his sense returned againG2
The sun was rising brightX
But shuddering as in mental painH2
He turned him from the lightX
And pointing said To bed to bedP
For Death is in my sightX
They bore him to his bed straightwayH
Those horror stricken menG2
And questioned him as there he layH
Of what had met his kenG2
Within himself he seemed to prayH
And thus bespake them thenG2
I went you heard with impious boastI2
For water to the brookJ2
But when the threshold I had crostI2
All strength my heart forsookJ2
Each forward step seemed fate but mostI2
I feared behind to lookJ2
Long murky clouds were hurrying fastI2
Across the starless skyU
Strange sounds came drowning up the blastI2
That piped by fits so highU
A winding gleam and lo the streamK2
Went wildly moaning byU
I knew not why but it struck mine eyeU
With a dull damp sense of aweH
And bankward densely crawling byU
Crude Shapes methought I sawC
But I must not back I said alackU
But down at once and drawC
Now standing at the water s edgeL2
Mine eyes thereon I threwT
And lo distinctly through the sedgeL2
What is it there I viewT
Not mine own shadow from the ledgeL2
But him the Black I slewT
Twas no delusion There he stoodI2
Within the gleaming brookU
The same as when I shed his bloodI2
His stature and his lookU
Even to the dread accusing shadeI2
His dying aspect tookU
With backward bound I started roundI2
And up the bank did fleeR
But ah as swiftly in my trackU
Bare footfalls seemed to beR
Step step for mine close at my backU
I heard but nought could seeR
It was a horrible thing to hearT
Behind me still the soundI2
I could not bear to have it thereT
And desperate faced me roundI2
When through the dark a sudden sparkU
Shot upward from the groundI2
Staggered as with a stunning strokeU
I could not turn againG2
But saw whence came the spark a smokeU
Arise I saw it plainH2
And from it an earthy odour brokeU
That bit me to the brainH2
At first I saw it bloating outI2
In size not o er a spanM2
Then as it slowly wreathed aboutI2
To heighten it beganM2
Until it took in bulk and lookU
The stature of a manM2
No stir was near I might but hearT
The beating of my bloodI2
And there within my reach almostI2
The horrid Phantom stoodI2
I stared till fear in fear was lostI2
So awful was my moodI2
I spoke I know not what and loR
The diabolic birthN2
Gan wildly writhing to and froR
As if in ghostly mirthN2
And then against me rushing soR
It dashed me to the earthN2
Mine eyes flashed out with sputtering flameO2
The ground kept swimming fastI2
And roaming round about there cameO2
Wild laughter in the blastI2
A moment and then all was tameO2
Forgotten painless pastI2
At length my brain began to swimP2
As consciousness regrewR
But when with eyeballs strained and dimP2
I looked again I knewT
A form stood o er me it was himP2
The savage that I slewT
I shrieked and bounding to my feetI2
I fled but as beforeR
Bare footsteps tracked me beat for beatI2
With mine even to the doorR
What then befel I cannot tellR
I know of nothing moreR
He ceased and turning in his bedI2
Aloud for mercy criedI2
And for three days and nights tis saidI2
He uttered nought besideI2
When raving out with sudden dreadI2
The haunted Murderer diedI2
The fearful men around him thenG2
Each one of them did sayH
It was a damn ed wrong in NedI2
The savage so to slayH
And where he said he saw the deadI2
They buried him next dayH

Charles Harpur


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