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The Bandit

 Upon his way to rob a Bank
 He paused to watch a fire;
Though crowds were pressing rank on rank
 He pushed a passage nigher;
Then sudden heard, piercing and wild,
 The screaming of a child.
A Public Enemy was he, A hater of the law; He looked around for bravery But only fear he saw; Then to the craven crowds amaze He plunged into the blaze.
How anguished was the waiting spell Of horror and of pain! Then--then from out that fiery hell He staggered forth again: The babe was safe, in blankets wrapt, The man flame lapt.
His record was an evil one, Of violence and sin.
No good on earth he'd ever done, Yet--may he Heaven win! A gangster he .
Is it not odd? --With guts of God.

by Robert William Service
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