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S. Donovan Mullaney

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Ballad of a Haunted Oak
by S. Donovan Mullaney
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Not rated by the Author.
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(Adapted from Paul Laurence Dunbar)

So bare, so bare, is the old oak tree;
so bare, is the old oak tree.
It's dried and dead; itís burned with dread.
where a guiltless man swung free.
And when I go through the shade it throws,
a shudder runs over me.

They charged him with the old, old crime.
They set him fast in their jail.
How the dogs howl all night long,
and how the night wind wails.

The judge wore a mask of black;
the doctor wore one of white.
The minister brought his oldest son
to witness justice that night.

They ride, they ride, over a moonlit road;
they're hauliní a shameful load.
Their rope is long; their minds are wrong,
and the lies they tell are bold.
Laughter low in lying throats,
and their hearts are moonlight cold.

He prayed his prayer, he swore his oath
he raised his hand to the sky.
Before that night took its last breath
a guiltless man did fly.

They left only the tree to hear his last sigh,
to shake with his gurgling moan,
to tremble as they rode on by
and left him a-swinginí alone.

So bare, so bare is the old oak tree;
so bare is the old oak tree.
It's dried and dead; itís burned with dread
where a guiltless man swung free.
And when I go through the shade it throws,
a shudder runs over me.

The rope runs against the moonlit trunk;
it creaks under the strain.
In the final throe of an innocent's woe
the tree feels its own last pain.

Dead man, free man, I promise you now
that after little a little space,
time will come when these men shall dread
the mem'ry of your face.

So bare, so bare is the old oak tree;
so bare is the old oak tree.
It's dried and dead; itís burned with dread
where a guiltless man swung free
from the bough of a haunted tree.
And when I go through the shade it throws,
a shudder runs over me.

Paul Laurence Dunbar's Original Poem, The Haunted Oak
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Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 4/5/2007
This is AMAZING poetry, rich with imagery and emotion; excellent pen!

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.

Came to your site at Sage's recommendation: glad I did.
Reviewed by Kimmy Van Kooten 2/5/2007
Wow! I cannot imagine such horrid thoughts that guiltless people hung for...Your write is a Keeper and well deserving to...
Amen to your pen...This Ballad will live, for all those innocent souls! God will see to it for the rest...
Love and Peace~
Kimmy~
Reviewed by Sage Sweetwater 2/1/2007
Trademark poetry from the renowned S. Donovan Mullaney. BALLAD OF A HAUNTED OAK is a mighty rendition of Dunbar's work. When a man is downed, in any century, he is more than a statistic. A man in trouble needs help fast. Why should thirty men and women risk their lives to save one guiltless? Mullaney hangs this one off the tree branch and lands it with the "hemp halter" endurance to the limits if man is to survive with his highest peer, Nature...(Sage Sweetwater)
Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader) 2/1/2007
Enjoyed very much
Reviewed by Lisa Hilbers 2/1/2007
This is a gem! Enjoyed reading this.

Lisa
Reviewed by Larry Lounsbury 2/1/2007
That was excellent.Look forward to the next one.
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