The Dying Fugitive
Slowly o'er his darkened features,
Stole the warning shades of death;
And we knew the shadowing angel
Waited for his parting breath.
He had started for his freedom;
And his heart beat firm and high--
But before he won the guerdon,
Came the message--he must die.
He must die, when just before him,
Lay the long'd for, precious prize--
And the hopes that lit him onward,
Faded out before his eyes.
For a while a fearful madness,
Rested on his weary brain;
And he thought the hateful tyrant,
Had rebound his galling chain.
Then he raved in bitter anguish--
"Take me where that good man dwells!"
To a name to freedom precious;--
Lingered mid life's shattered cells.
But as sunshine gently stealing,
O'er the storm-cloud's gloomy track--
Through the tempests of his bosom,
Cam the light of reason back.
And without a sigh or murmur
For the home he'd left behind;
Calmly yielded he his spirit,
To the Father of mankind.
Thankful that so near to freedom,
He with eager steps had trod--
E'er his ransomed spirit rested,
On the bosom of his God.