The Highwayman's Wallet


"A fun poke at the expense—or not—of Alfred Noyes."

-- Fr. Jonathan Atchley


The dusky sky ablaze with red and hints of darkling green,

Again ‘twas time for the man of substantial means--

For churlish, burlish, rude,

Selfish, greedy and crude--

This “highwayman” took from others…to pay for his designer jeans.


His forehead bore a little curl, (little for he hadn’t much hair)

And a belt around his hefty waste boasting a biker’s scare—

Of crossbones, daggers and blood--

For Evil was his livelihood--

Causing others to shudder when he passed by unawares.


Down the alleys he’d drive his Mercedes,

Bullying traffic (for such was his way, yes, even with ladies),

Caring not for the elderly, dogs or cats—

To him all obstacles were but rats—

If he had his way, everyone would go to Hades!


But God won’t be trifled with or mocked,

And soon the highwayman was shocked,

To find he’d caught H.D.D.—

Or perhaps if caught up with he—

And he couldn’t recall if his wallet went into his pocket.


With no ID, the police brought him in wearing manacled cuffs;

None wanted to take a chance with a highwayman so rough.

They threw him in a cell--

Where he was kept not so very well--

While rats scurried in and out his pant legs’ cuffs.


All his money meant not, for that wasn’t what bought his freedom

From prison, oh no! The highwayman, shrieking curses on the Kingdom,

Blabbed like a babe,

The crimes he’d made,

And repented, from a deathly fear that rodents would eat him .


And so ends another criminal’s tale,

Who changed his tune (from a holler to a wail).

Reformed and conditioned--

Converted and contritioned--

The highwayman left his wallet to pay his crimes—for he had found God in jail.


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