From The Detroit Times, November 12, 1913. By Berton Braley.
It once was weapon of the strong,
The daring and the bold,
Who left the dull and toiling throng
To seek the land of gold;
It made all men of equal height
In realms beyond the law;
It spoke in many a fair-fought fight
Where life is rough and raw.
It rendered justice as was mete
‘Twixt Ghibbeline or Guelph,
Where each man stood upon his feet
And made his law himself;
It had some glory at its best,
Some glamor of romance
Amid those winners of the West
Who dared to take a chance.
It once was weapon of the brave,
But in this later time
The coward and the slinking knave
Have made it black with crime;
It is the weapon of the pack
That stalks, by night, its prey,
Then shoots the victim in the back
And loots—and runs away!
It is the comrade and the mate
Of those who beat and slug,
Of murderers degenerate,
The gangster and the thug!