Part 4 of The Ballad of Reading Gaol

  • Created by: nittyniz
  • Created on: 11-04-21 10:24

Part 4 of The Ballad of Reading Gaol

"There is no chapel on the day On which they hang a man: The Chaplain's heart is far too sick..."
"Silently we went round and round, The slippery asphalte yard; Silently we went round and round And no man spoke a word."
"And Horror stalked before each man, And Terror crept behind."
"And they wore their Sunday suits, But we knew the work they had been at, By the quicklime on their boots." - chemical used to bury the dead
"He lies, with fetters on each foot, Wrapt in a sheet of flame!" - "fetters" - shackled in death
"And all the while the burning lime Eats flesh and bone away, It eats the brittle bone by night, And the soft flesh by the day..."
"For three long years they will not sow Or root or seedling there..."
"And the red rose would but blow more red, The white rose whiter blow." - all roses red until Virgin Mary put cloth over them - purity, rose is a holy flower in many cultures
"To tell the men who tramp the yard That God's Son died for all." - Christianity is the way to redemption but the men cannot learn it in the prison walls
"They hanged him as a beast is hanged: They did not even toll A requiem..."
"They mocked the swollen purple throat..." - botched execution of Wooldridge 
"Nor mark it with that blessed Cross That Christ for sinners gave..."

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