Tough as NailsMature

Hopefully this will be a collection of poems around the title's theme

The Ballad of John Stone

Well the dust swirled up,
Around John Stone's boot.
He approached the dirty gallows,
Like a man whose life was moot.

“I've got a writ here John,”
Said the man in death's black hood.
“You're to hang by the neck today,
As all evil men should.”

The hangman whispered,
As the noose went over John's head.
“Have you any final words?”
And this is what John said.

“I'm a ramblin' man,
So you better get comfortable.
This is a long one
And a right gripping tale.

I was travellin' North,
From the sea up to New Orleans.
I was runnin' from the law,
For all my awful deeds.

Well I'd been on the road,
Thinking hard 'bout what I'd done.
I looked up and saw,
A sky like hell's crimson.

Standing 'fore me was a man.
As tall as Babel he was.
He had eyes like hungry wolves,
And breath that smelled of rust.

'The people call me Fear,' he said,
'And to me you're just a speck.
Now get to cowerin', you slime,
For my brother's name is Death.'

I looked Fear in those Hellish eyes,
And said he knew not what he'd sown.
'Your brother's no match for me,' I said.
'Goddammit, I'm John Stone!'

Well Fear and Death went running,
At the sound of my roar.
And I swore I'd hunt them down,
'till my feet were blistered sore.

So I've been lookin' far and wide
For some men to send me to their door.
And I think you're just the folks,
To help me settle Fear's score.

So give me the Hellish drop,
I'm going out with a bang!
Come on you cowards!
Goddammit let me hang!”

Well the crowd was all too pleased,
To grant John his morbid wish.
He dropped through the wooden floor,
And went to kickin' like a fish.

And the people say there's a man,
Who chills Death down to his bleached bones.
He chases him 'round the graves at night,
And goes by John Damn Stone.


The End

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