Page:Life of John Boyle O'Reilly.djvu/700

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Where is it?" The sawyer grew weak, but still
His brown face gleamed with a desperate will.
"Where is it?" he heard, and the red knife's drip
In his slayer's hand fell down on his lip.
"Will you give it?" "Never!" A curse, the knife
Was raised and buried.

Thus closed the life
Of Samuel Jones, known as "Number Ten"
On his Ticket-of-Leave; and of all the men
In the Western Colony, bond or free,
None had manlier heart or hand than he.

In digging a sawpit, while all alone,—
For his mate was sleeping,—Sam struck a stone
With the edge of the spade, and it gleamed like fire,
And looked at Sam from its bed in the mire.
Till he dropped the spade and stooped and raised
The wonderful stone that glittered and blazed
As if it were mad at the spade's rude blow;
But its blaze set the sawyer's heart aglow
As he looked and trembled, then turned him round,
And crept from the pit, and lay on the ground,
Looking over the mold-heap at the camp
Where his mate still slept. Then down to the swamp
He ran with the stone, and washed it bright,
And felt like a drunken man at the sight
Of a diamond pure as spring-water and sun.
And larger than ever man's eyes looked on!

Then down sat Sam with the stone on his knees,
And fancies came to him, like swarms of bees
To a sugar-creamed hive; and he dreamed awake
Of the carriage and four in which he'd take
His pals from the Dials to Drury Lane,
The silks and the satins for Susan Jane,
The countless bottles of brandy and beer
He'd call for and pay for, and every year