From The Detroit Times, January 29, 1914. By Berton Braley.
The Bandit ravaged through the land
And left his mark on every hand,
For desolation lined the path
Which he had made in greed and wrath;
He looted, pillaged, far and wide,
The sweet and smiling country side;
He spoiled and wasted like a flame
And people trembled at his name;
His glutton cravings to allay
He did not hesitate to slay.
Not bravely, in fair open fight,
But meanly, foully in the night!
At last the people rose in ire
And trailed him on through muck and mire,
By stream and copse, by hill and dale,
They followed grimly on his trail
Until that final moment when
They had him cornered in his den.
They brought him forth with choking smoke
Yet, as he stumbled out, he spoke
And said, “By all the rules, I swear
This sort of treatment isn’t fair;
You show no just respect for me
Nor for this cave, my property;
You are not acting as you should”—
But some one shot him where he stood.
“He may be right,” the men agreed;
“Perhaps we did not give due heed
To all the rules and all the laws—
But he’d no right to howl, because
He plundered on a ruthless plan
And broke each law of God and man;
His hands with blood and gore were red;
We reckon he is better dead.”
(I wonder if the trusts and such
Which have us strongly in their clutch
Might, by some distant chance, be able
To see the moral of this fable.)