The Blood Vote

The Blood Vote

"Why is your face so white, Mother?
  Why do you choke for breath?"
"O, I have dreamt in the night, my son,
  That I doomed a man to death."

"Why do you hide your hand, Mother?
  And crouch above it in dread?"
"It beareth a dreadful brand, my son;
  With the dead man's blood 'tis red,

"I hear his widow cry in the night,
  I hear his children weep;
And always within my sight, 0 God!
  The dead man's blood doth leap.

"They put the dagger into my grasp,
  It seemed but a pencil then;
I did not know it was a fiend a-gasp
  For the priceless blood of men

"They gave me the ballot paper,
  The grim death-warrant of doom,
And I smugly sentenced the man to death
  In that dreadful little room.

"I put it inside the Box of Blood
  Nor thought of the man I'd slain.
Till at midnight came like a 'whelming flood
  God's word-and the Brand of Cain.

"0 little son! 0 my little son!
  Pray God for your Mother's soul,
That the scarlet stain may be white again
  In God's great Judgment Roll."

William Robert Winspear

The Australian Dictionary of Biography claims that this poem was actually written by E. J. Dempsey.