Posted by: Oklahoma Sun | January 31, 2010

The Vigilantes.

The Vigilantes.


Margaret Ashmun. The Pacific Monthly, August, 1907.

 

We are the whirlwinds that winnow the West—
We scatter the wicked like straw!
We are the Nemeses, never at rest—
We are Justice, and Right, and the Law!

MOON on the snow and a blood-chilling blast,
Sharp-throbbing hoofs like the heart-beat of fear,
A halt, a swift parley, a pause—then at last
A stiff, swinging figure cut darkly and sheer
Against the blue steel of the sky; ghastly white
Every on-looking face. Men, our duty was clear;
Yet ah! what a soul to send forth to the night!

Ours is a service brute-hateful and grim;
Little we love the wild task that we seek;
Are they dainty to deal with—the fear-rigid limb,
The curse and the struggle, the blasphemous shriek?
Nay, but men must endure while their bodies have breath;
God made us strong to avenge Him the weak—
To dispense his sure wages of sin—which is death.

We stand for our duty: while wrong works its will,
Our search shall be stern and our course shall be wide;
Retribution shall prove that the just liveth still,
And its horrors and dangers our hearts can abide,
That safety and honor may tread in our path;
The vengeance of Heaven shall speed at our side,
As we follow unwearied our mission of wrath.

We are the whirlwinds that winnow the West—
We scatter the wicked like straw!
We are the Nemeses, never at rest—
We are Justice, and Right, and the Law!

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