The Monster Diamond Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


'I LL have it I tell you Curse you there '-
The long knife glittered was sheathed and was bareB
The sawyer staggered and tripped and fellC
And falling he uttered a frightened yellC
His face to the sky he shuddered and gaspedD
And tried to put from him the man he had graspedD
A moment before in the terrible strifeE
'I'll have it I tell you or have your lifeE
Where is it ' The sawyer grew weak but stillF
His brown face gleamed with a desperate willF
'Where is it ' he heard and the red knife's dripG
In his slayer's hand fell down on his lipG
'Will you give it ' 'Never ' A curse the knifeE
Was raised and buriedH
Thus closed the lifeE
Of Samuel Jones known as 'Number Ten'I
On his Ticket of Leave and of all the menI
In the Western Colony bond or freeJ
None had manlier heart or hand than heJ
In digging a sawpit while all aloneI
For his mate was sleeping Sam struck a stoneI
With the edge of the spade and it gleamed like fireK
And looked at Sam from its bed in the mireL
Till he dropped the spade and stooped and raisedM
The wonderful stone that glittered and blazedM
As if it were mad at the spade's rude blowN
But its blaze set the sawyer's heart aglowN
As he looked and trembled then turned him roundO
And crept from the pit and lay on the groundO
Looking over the mold heap at the campP
Where his mate still slept Then down to the swampQ
He ran with the stone and washed it brightR
And felt like a drunken man at the sightR
Of a diamond pure as spring water and sunI
And larger than ever man's eyes looked onI
Then down sat Sam with the stone on his kneesS
And fancies came to him like swarms of beesS
To a sugar creamed hive and he dreamed awakeT
Of the carriage and four in which he'd takeT
His pals from the Dials to Drury LaneI
The silks and the satins for Susan JaneI
The countless bottles of brandy and beerU
He'd call for and pay for and every yearU
The dinner he'd give to the Brummagem ladsV
He'd be king among cracksmen and chief among padsV
And he'd sport aA
Over him stooped his mateW
A pick in his hand and his face all hateW
Sam saw the shadow and guessed the pickX
And closed his dream with a spring so quickX
The purpose was baffled of Aaron MaceY
And the sawyer mates stood face to faceY
Sam folded his arms across his chestZ
Having thrust the stone in his loose shirt breastZ
While he tried to think where he dropped the spadeA2
But Aaron Mace wore a long keen bladeA2
In his belt he drew it sprang on his manI
What happened you read when the tale beganI
Then he looked the murderer Aaron MaceY
At the gray blue lines in the dead man's faceY
And he turned away for he feared its frownI
More in death than life Then he knelt him downI
Not to pray but he shrank from the staring eyesB2
And felt in the breast for the fatal prizeB2
And this was the man and this was the wayC2
That he took the stone on its natal dayC2
And for this he was cursed for evermoreD2
By the West Australian Koh i norD2
In the half dug pit the corpse was thrownI
And the murderer stood in the camp aloneI
Alone No no never more was heJ
To part from the terrible companyJ
Of that gray blue face and the bleeding breastZ
And the staring eyes in their awful restZ
The evening closed on the homicideE2
And the blood of the buried sawyer criedE2
Through the night to God and the shadows darkF2
That crossed the camp had the stiff and starkF2
And horrible look of a murdered manI
Then he piled the fire and crept withinI
The ring of its light that closed him inI
Like tender mercy and drove awayC2
For a time the specters that stood at bayC2
And waited to clutch him as demons waitW
Shut out from the sinner by Faith's bright gateW
But the fire burnt low and the slayer sleptG2
And the key of his sleep was always keptG2
By the leaden hand of him he had slainI
That oped the door but to drench the brainI
With agony cruel The night wind creptG2
Like a snake on the shuddering form that sleptG2
And dreamt and woke and shrieked for thereB
With its gray blue lines and its ghastly stareB
Cutting into the vitals of Aaron MaceY
In the flickering light was the sawyer's faceY
Evermore 'twas with him that dismal sightR
The white face set in the frame of nightR
He wandered away from the spot but foundO
No inch of the West Australian groundO
Where he could hide from the bleeding breastZ
Or sink his head in a dreamless restZ
And always with him he bore the prizeB2
In a pouch of leather the staring eyesB2
Might burn his soul but the diamond's gleamH2
Was solace and joy for the haunted dreamH2
So the years rolled on while the murderer's mindI2
Was bent on a futile quest to findI2
A way of escape from the blood stained soilJ2
And the terrible wear of the penal toilJ2
But this was a part of the diamond's curseK2
The toil that was heavy before grew worseK2
Till the panting wretch in his fierce unrestZ
Would clutch the pouch as it lay on his breastZ
And waking cower with sob and moanI
Or shriek wild curses against the stoneI
That was only a stone for he could not sellC
And he dare not break and he feared to tellC
Of his wealth so he bore it through hopes and fearsL2
His God and his devil for years and yearsL2
And thus did he draw near the end of his raceY
With a form bent double and horror lined faceY
And a piteous look as if asking for graceY
Or for kindness from some one but no kind wordM2
Was flung to his misery shunned abhorredN2
E'en by wretches themselves till his life was a curseK2
And he thought that e'en death could bring nothing worseK2
Than the phantoms that stirred at the diamond's weightW
His own life's ghost and the ghost of his mateW
So he turned one day from the haunts of menI
And their friendless faces an old man thenI
In a convict's garb with white flowing hairB
And a brow deep seared with the word 'Despair '-
He gazed not back as his way he tookO2
To the untrod forest and oh the lookO2
The piteous look in his sunken eyesB2
Told that life was the bitterest sacrificeP2
But little was heard of his later daysQ2
'Twas deemed in the West that in change of waysQ2
He tried with his tears to wash out the sinI
'Twas told by some natives who once came inI
From the Kojunnp Hills that lonely thereB
They had seen a figure with long white hairB
They encamped close by where his hut was madeA2
And were scared at night when they saw he prayedA2
To the white man's God and on one wild nightR
They had heard his voice till the morning lightR
Years passed and a sandal wood cutter stoodR2
At a ruined hut in a Kojunup woodR2
The rank weeds covered the desolate floorD2
And an ant hill stood on the fallen doorD2
The cupboard within to the snakes was lootS2
And the hearth was the home of the bandicootS2
But neither at hut nor snake nor ratT2
Was the woodcutter staring intent but atT2
A human skeleton clad in grayC2
The hands clasped over the breast as theyC2
Had fallen in peace when he ceased to prayC2
As the bushman looked on the form he sawU2
In the breast a paper he stooped to drawU2
What might tell him the story but at his touchV2
From under the hands rolled a leathern pouchW2
And he raised it too on the paper's faceY
He read 'Ticket of Leave of Aaron Mace '-
Then he opened the pouch and in dazed surpriseB2
At its contents strange he unblessed his eyesB2
'Twas a lump of quartz a pound weight in fullX2
And it fell from his hand on the skeleton's skullY2

John Boyle O'reilly


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