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He saw the victim's tortured brow,
     The sweat of anguish starting there,
The record of a nameless woe
     In the dim eye's imploring stare,
Seen hideous through the long, damp hair,—
     Fingers of ghastly skin and bone
Working and writhing on the stone!
     And heard, by mortal terror wrung
From heaving breast and stiffened tongue,
     The choking sob and low hoarse prayer;
As o'er his half-crazed fancy came
     A vision of the eternal flame,
Its smoking cloud of agonies,
     Its demon-worm that never dies,
The everlasting rise and fall
     Of fire-waves round the infernal wall;
While high above that dark red flood,
     Black, giant-like, the gallows stood;
Two busy fiends attending there:
     One with cold mocking rite and prayer,
The other with impatient grasp,
     Tightening the death-rope's strangling clasp.

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