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Low on his dungeon floor he knelt,
     And smote his breast, and on his chain,
Whose iron clasp he always felt,
     His hot tears fell like rain;
And near him, with the cold, calm look
     And tone of one whose formal part,
Unwarmed, unsoftened of the heart,
     Is measured out by rule and book,
With placid lip and tranquil blood,
     The hangman's ghostly ally stood,
Blessing with solemn text and word
     The gallows-drop and strangling cord;
Lending the sacred Gospel's awe
     And sanction to the crime of Law.

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