By Maurice Ogden

               Into our town the hangman came,
               smelling of gold and blood and flame.
               He paced our bricks with a different air,
               and built his frame on the courthouse square.

               The scaffold stood by the courthouse side,
               only as wide as the door was wide
               with a frame as tall, or a little more,
               than the capping sill of the courthouse door.

               And we wondered whenever we had the time,
               Who the criminal? What the crime?
               The hangman judged with the yellow twist
               of knotted hemp in his busy fist.

               And innocent though we were with dread,
               we passed those eyes of buckshot lead.
               Till one cried, “Hangman, who is he,
               for whom you raised the gallows-tree?”

               Then a twinkle grew in his buckshot eye
               and he gave a riddle instead of reply.
               “He who serves me best,” said he
               “Shall earn the rope on the gallows-tree.”

               And he stepped down and laid his hand
               on a man who came from another land.
               And we breathed again, for anothers grief
               at the hangmans hand, was our relief.

               And the gallows frame on the courthouse lawn
               by tomorrow’s sun would be struck and gone.
               So we gave him way and no one spoke
               out of respect for his hangmans cloak.

               The next day’s sun looked mildly down
               on roof and street in our quiet town;
               and stark and black in the morning air
               the gallows-tree on the courthouse square.

               And the hangman stood at his usual stand
               with the yellow hemp in his busy hand.
               With his buckshot eye and his jaw like a pike,
               and his air so knowing and business-like.

               And we cried, “Hangman, have you not done,
               yesterday with the alien one?”
               Then we fell silent and stood amazed.
               “Oh, not for him was the gallows raised.”

               He laughed a laugh as he looked at us,
               “Do you think I’ve gone to all this fuss,
               To hang one man? That’s the thing I do.
               To stretch the rope when the rope is new.”

               Above our silence a voice cried “Shame!”
               and into our midst the hangman came;
               to that mans place, “Do you hold,” said he,
               “With him that was meat for the gallows-tree?”

               He laid his hand on that one’s arm
               and we shrank back in quick alarm.
               We gave him way, and no one spoke,
               out of fear of the hangmans cloak.

               That night we saw with dread surprise
               the hangmans scaffold had grown in size.
               Fed by the blood beneath the chute,
               the gallows-tree had taken root.

               Now as wide, or a little more
               than the steps that led to the courthouse door.
               As tall as the writing, or nearly as tall,
               half way up on the courthouse wall.

               The third he took, we had all heard tell,
               was a usurer…, an infidel.
               And “What” said the hangman, “Have you to do
               with the gallows-bound…, and he a Jew?”

               And we cried out, “Is this one he
               who has served you well and faithfully?”
               The hangman smiled, “It’s a clever scheme
               to try the strength of the gallows beam.”

               The fourth man’s dark accusing song
               had scratched our comfort hard and long.
               “And what concern,” he gave us back,
               “Have you … for  the doomed and black?”

               The fifth, the sixth, and we cried again,
               “Hangman, hangman, is this the man?”
               “It’s a trick”, said he, “that we hangman know
               for easing the trap when the trap springs slow.”

               And so we ceased and asked now more
               as the hangman tallied his bloody score.
               And sun by sun, and night by night
               the gallows grew to monstrous height.

               The wings of the scaffold opened wide
               until they covered the square from side to side.
               And the monster cross beam looking down,
               cast its shadow across the town.

               Then through the town the hangman came
               and called through the empy streets…my name.
               I looked at the gallows soaring tall
               and thought … there’s no one left at all

               for hanging …  and so he called to me
               to help take down the gallows-tree.
               And I went out with right good hope
               to the hangmans tree and the hangmans rope.

               He smiled at me as I came down
               to the courthouse square…through the silent town.
               Supple and stretched in his busy hand,
               was the yellow twist of hempen strand.

               He whistled his tune as he tried the trap
               and it sprang down with a ready snap.
               Then with a smile of awful command,
               He laid his hand upon my hand.

               “You tricked me Hangman.” I shouted then,
               “That your scaffold was built for other men,
               and I’m no henchman of yours.” I cried.
               “You lied to me Hangman, foully lied.”

               Then a twinkle grew in his buckshot eye,
               “Lied to you…tricked you?” He said “Not I…
               for I answered straight and told you true.
               The scaffold was raised for none but you.”

               “For who has served more faithfully?
               With your coward’s hope.” said He,
               “And where are the others that might have stood
               side by your side, in the common good?”

               “Dead!” I answered, and amiably
               “Murdered,” the Hangman corrected me.
               “First the alien …  then the Jew.
               I did no more than you let me do.”

               Beneath the beam that blocked the sky
               none before stood so alone as I.
               The Hangman then strapped me…with no voice there
               to cry “Stay!” … for me in the empty square.

THE BOTTOM LINE: “…I did no more than you let me do.”

20 thoughts on “I DID NO MORE THAN YOU LET ME DO”

  1. Damn! I knew you were going to post that. It’s the most depressing poem ever written and very “sheeple-like”..

    But I personally do not think there is a single thing we CAN do to turn things around.. It’s a deepening 4th Turning and the shit’s going to hit the fan before we get out the other side.



  2. I found some figures from 2011 on deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq due to war. Astoundingly, it looks like there is a rough ration of nine children killed for every coalition member killed. That is appalling…

  3. Wow great poem, I have never heard it before.

    Here’s an original I just wrote.
    Link if you want to hear the song version of it.


    I call it “Monopolies and Manipulated stats” (it sounds really good with the beat behind it, at least I think it does)

    Wall Street’s gambling with our 401ks,
    Guided by a greed that they’ll never satiate,
    The Fed’s manipulating markets by fixing interest rates,
    Making money worthless with a mandate to inflate,
    So many see the problem, but I think that it’s too late,
    Inevitable ending, we don’t have long to wait.

    Politicians promise that things are gonna change,
    Unfortunately they are, mentally deranged.
    The lessor of two evils is all were left to choose,
    As they divide and conquer those falling for their ruse,
    No leader wants to fix our culture of corruption,
    Inevitable ending – societal eruption

    Where were you when the world went mad?
    Were you armed up on the rooftops protecting all you had?
    Where were you when the lights went out?
    When your full faith in the system quickly turned to doubt?
    Where were you when you finally saw the chains,
    Placed on you by a system that cannot be sustained.

    Big banks are busted but their too big to fail,
    They’ll gladly pay their fines so that no one goes to jail,
    Financial Armageddon if we don’t bail them out,
    Extortion of the people is what’s it’s all about,
    It’s easy to make money when the Federal Reserve,
    Lends you tons of money and let’s you set the curve.

    A new world order is changing all the rules,
    Their central banking system plays us all for fools,
    They create the problems then offer up solutions,
    To get the sheep to follow their dastardly delusions,
    They say you shouldn’t worry if you’ve done nothing wrong,
    Until they put you in a prison for just sharing this song.

    Admin if you want to post as a separate thread it would be appreciated.


  4. Micro-Be: Maybe sub-consciously you meant ration… It certainly puts another perspective to the killing going on in Afghanistan. The ration of civilians getting killed against our own forces to carry out the war. The Afghans are used to this. They have been fighting intruders for years. This is their ration they are willing to sacrifice to beat us and end their occupation. Are we willing to sacrifice our ration to keep up the occupation?

  5. Its disturbing to watch the news and hear everyone almost crying beacause of future cuts in our military.
    Its a sick world when the money to be made killing people is more important than life.

  6. This cannot be posted enough. Unfortunately I am closer to Muck’s camp after seeing what has gone on here in Boston we are way past a civil way out of the destruction of the Constitution as it was originally intended to be interpreted. The “beloved” police chief of Boston, Eddie “Two Chins” Davis wants London style surveillance cameras throughout Boston as well as drones around the borders. If the Boston Police, State Police, County Sheriffs, Transit Police, FBI, DHS, CIA and every other alphabet soup jack booted Brown Shirt wannabe cannot do the job that they are so well paid for why should I continue to have my Constitutional rights high jacked back a bunch of backbiting under performing imbeciles whose main job appears to be clean up after the damage has already been done.

  7. I’m with you Muck.

    The response to Boston, from friends, family and acquaintances, cuts me as deeply as the response to Osama, the response to 911, the response to nearly anything that happens.

    They praise the jackboots, rally to decry the “enemy” and are smiling as our Constitution becomes nothing but some vague memory of days gone by.

    My heart hurts this week. I’m tired of hearing, “it was for their safety,” “it had to be done,” “he was going to kill more people,” “he terrorized the streets.”

    Pussies. Life is not a spectator sport. Life is dirty. Life is messy. Life is precious. But the one thing life sure as hell will never be is safe and secure.

    My soul is sad, sad, sad. I only wish I had a way off this ship of fools.


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