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Crime & punishment

Lines on Thomas Hartley Montgomery

(32) Lines on Thomas Hartley Montgomery

                              LINES ON



Dark and dismal was the skies,
And thunder storms prevail,
These lines I write for my last night,
I live in Omagh jail.
Lonely here in silent prayer,
In my dungeon cell.
Dear wife to you I bid adieu,
And all my friends farewell.

I feel the rod to face my God,
As from life to death I pass,
With grief I own the widow's son,
Murdered William Glass.
Curse gold the root of evil,
Has proved my destiny,
This day I die in Omagh jail,
Upon a gallows tree.

My hours roll on now morning comes,
With dreadful thunder peals.
Angry floods and lightning flash,
This day o'er Omagh jail.
All's in fear, to light appears,
Throngh the atmosphere of gloom,
The day Thomas Hartley Montgomery
Goes to his silent tomb.

Satan tempted me night and day,
I no peace or rest could find.
On my bed used to lay down,
These thoughts disturbed my mind,
To rob the bank was my design,
And take his life away,
For which I must give an account,
Upon the judgment day.

The widow's tear and curse I hear,
And that youth of little guile,
Him I've slain I see quite plain,
As in my face he smiled.
But he not suspecting me,
As he turned round,
With my murderous weapon,
I slew him to the ground.

At seven o'clock I heard a knock,
Outside my dungeon cell,
My hears it throbbed, I cried to God,
When I heard my warning bell.
The sheriffs say without delay,
No hope there is for me,
For I must die on the gallows high,
Thomas Hartley Montgomery.

As my death bell did chime a knell,
And for my last moments toll'd,
The clergy joined in solemn prayer,
Saving, have mercy on my soul.
Oh God above, bestow thy love
We do thy mercy crave,
For this unhappy young man,
Now going to a felon's grave.

Guilt being on my soul as the bell
My heart again it throbb'd,
The executioner there he said prepare
This day to face your God.
The procession stopped at the fatal
My time being up at last,
You must die on this gallows high,
For the murder of young Glass.

With guilt and shame upon my name,
I now must yield up life,
It grieves my heart with them to part,
My infant son and wife.
While yet I live I do forgive,
My prosecutors all,
Oh God, have mercy on my soul,
I can't my crimes recall.

Now to conclude my tragedy,
Young men of each degree,
When you read these painful lines,
A warning take by me ;
Be not ambitious for this world,
It's God who gives and takes,
Remember Thos. Hartley Montgomery
And his untimely fate.

London Printed at the " Catnach Press," by W. FORTEY, Monmouth Court, Seven Dials. The
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Reproduced with permission from materials on loan to the National Library of Scotland from the Balcarres Heritage Trust. Text in the original material is out of copyright. All images and other text © National Library of Scotland: see full NLS copyright statement.