Songs From The Yard: Sing Sing’s Lost Poet

PrintPrintEmailEmail to wake no more, The unmourned convict dead.… Then mourn the dead, the convict dead By Hudson’s placid tide— To Mother Earth again they’re wed, In peace let them abide— Nor lightly talk, nor censure them, There’s One who reigns o’erhead To justly praise or to condemn The unmourned convict dead The toiling engines passing by With whistles loud and shrill Shriek mournful blasts unto the Sky For those upon the Hill. Then, careless mortal, pass not by But breathe a prayer instead, The transient tribute of a sigh For Sing Sing’s Convict Dead. No More At present I’m acquainted with society’s unsainted, Being just a little tainted (that is morally) myself; Which for a slight transgression in the burglaring profession— That I hate to give expression—I am lying on the shelf. Since my incarceration in this penal habitation It’s been my determination to improve my mind and time; But while I’ve been pursuing lore, it has been my undoing; For the Muse I went a-wooing, And subsided into rhyme. I’ve talked me with the highest, the dumbest and the “fly-est” The wittiest and dry est of the Crooks I met by chance, I’ve had conversazione with the learned “lags”and tony, And also with the “Boney”—Yes, the “Boney” of Finance. I know the “Con-man” stately, who has left rich pastures lately, Where he grazed with success greatly to his credit and his pride; But, falling from his station, he has now an occupation In this penal reservation by the Hudson’s flowing tide. I have known great “koniackers,” and greater still “Crib Crackers” Border gangs and whyo whackers who have marched here in a line, And the clever genteel mobby whose great and only hobby Was dipping in your fobby—were acquaintances of mine. And I’ve a recollection when all of my affection Was wasted in connection with Crooks of high degree, And the height of my ambition was to have a top position Mongst Crooks of high condition—But I am just what you see! Well, now my stay is ending, my morals I am mending, I’ve no idea of spending time as I have done of yore, So with this idea before me, I want you to ignore me Throw Oblivion’s mantle o’er me. For I’ll know you all NO More.