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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Stab

By William Wallace Harney (1831–1912)

ON the road, the lonely road,

Under the cold white moon,

Under the ragged trees he strode;

He whistled and shifted his weary load—

Whistled a foolish tune.

There was a step timed with his own,

A figure that stooped and bowed—

A cold, white blade that gleamed and shone,

Like a splinter of daylight downward thrown—

And the moon went behind a cloud.

But the moon came out so broad and good,

The barn-fowl woke and crowed;

Then roughed his feathers in drowsy mood,

And the brown owl called to his mate in the wood,

That a dead man lay on the road.