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     But lacks the mean of mind and heart,
Though eager for the gains of crime,
     Or, at his chosen place and time,
The strength to bear his evil part;
     And, shielded by his very Vice,
Escapes from Crime by Cowardice.

Ruth starts erect,—with bloodshot eye,
     And lips drawn tight across her teeth,
Showing their locked embrace beneath,
     In the red firelight: “Mogg must die!
Give me the knife!” The outlaw turns,
     Shuddering in heart and limb away,—
But, fitfully there, the hearth-fire burns,
     And he sees on the wall strange shadows play.
A lifted arm, a tremulous blade,
     Are dimly pictured in light and shade,
Plunging down in the darkness. Hark, that cry
     Again—and again—he sees it fall,
That shadowy arm down the lighted wall!
     He hears quick footsteps—a shape flits by—
The door on its rusted hinges creaks:--
     “Ruth—daughter Ruth!” the outlaw shrieks.
But no sound comes back,—he is standing alone
     By the mangled corse of Mogg Megone!

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Ruth (2)
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