- Historic Sites
Songs From The Yard: Sing Sing’s Lost Poet
October/November 1979 | Volume 30, Issue 6
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.