20. the traitor's vision.
And the midnight lamp burned dim,
And he thought of the reins of despotic power,
That none could hold but him ;
But his brain was fevered and weary with thought,
And his body was racked with pain, J
While his heart beat fast when his memory sought
To bring back old times again.
He figured his profits — a good round sum
They seemed to his fevered mind;
But a spectre grim there seemed to come, I
When a balance he sought to find;
He saw on the wall, and in clear relief,
A ghostly group of mechanics appear,
And they built a gallows, and talked of a thief,
Who, dreading his death, was standing near;
And straightway from out of the midst of them all,
A man walked forth with a face like the dead,
While these words appeared above on the wall:
“He betrayed the country that gave him bread!”
And he that lay on his couch that night,
Gazed trembling forward into the space,
While his heart stood still with a sudden fright,
As the criminal turned--he saw his own face!