THE CONVICT'S RETURN
written by
Lilian Waldron
&
performed by
Bransby Williams
Billy Bennett
A wild night-a night of wind and rain 
And lurid light'ning playing in the east,
A night that strikes chill terror to the heart
Of man and beast.

Yet to the man who hastens ever on
The wind sounds not, nor feels the rain that falls, 
His heart knows but one fear-will he escape
Those prison walls?

And then above the noise of hurricane
There comes a sound that tells the chase begun, 
With terror-sweat he hears the dreaded boom,
The prison gun.

"Another mile or two at most " he pants,
And then they surely shall not take me back 
For Dora will enable me I know
To hide my track."

And as he swiftly runs with gasping breath, 
His thoughts fly quicker than the clouds above 
To dearest Dora in her cottage near,
His own true love.

For two long years behind a prison wall, 
His soul has hungered for one little sight 
Of her he loves-and now he'll be with her
This very night.

For months he has been planning his escape, 
And so suspicion on her be not cast, 
He sent no word-but now for home
And love at last.

How she will hold him close within her arms, 
And then in sudden fear recall his dress, 
To bid him run into her room and change,
For time will press.

And then together... he in some disguise, 
They'll get away and start another life
In some far country where no one will know,
With her for wife.

See there the twinkling lights are getting near, 
Though still he hears the warning prison gun, 
But what cares he?... his glorious race for life
Is nearly done.

Ah! Dora's cottage gate is reached at last,
The little homestead that she took so near 
Those grey grim walls that shelters the one man
She holds so dear.

Once in the garden, suddenly he stops, 
She may not be alone... yes, he must hide 
Until he can be sure that all is safe
For him inside.

Then 'neath some shelt'ring bushes crouching down, 
He waits there shivering in that dreadful night, 
Until from out the window facing him,
There shines a light.

And then on hands and knees across ground 
Up to the little latticed pane he creeps,
And cautiously he straightens his gaunt form,
And in it peeps.

There in the room beside a cosy fire,
Sits Dora in her chair with work and book, 
And lifting up her eyes anon to note the time,
With wistful look.

And longing much to see but happiness 
Within their starry depths... he lifts his hand 
In readiness to tap-then grips the sill,
To help him stand.

For just within the room a man has stepped, 
And Dora's face has lit with sudden bliss, 
Then running to him upholds her lips,
For him to kiss.

And such a lover's picture as they make, 
Standing within the ruddy firelight's glare, 
The man without, arrayed in convict garb,
Can only stare.

He stands there dripping wet and icy cold, 
But molten fire seems seething in his head, 
And on his face the fixed and marble look
Of someone dead.

Then to his frozen senses comes the sound
Of horses and of voices drawing near
And though he knows his freedom soon will end
He feels no fear.

But passing through the gate with weary step 
Forlorn, dejected, in the road he stands 
And as his keepers near, for his chains
Holds forth his hands.
The end