From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia
- in Songs of the Road (16 march 1911, Smith, Elder & Co. [UK])
- in Songs of the Road (october 1911, Doubleday, Page & Co. [US])
- in Songs of the Road (27 january 1920, John Murray [UK])
- in Songs of the Road (february 1920, John Murray [UK])
- in The Poems of Arthur Conan Doyle (21 september 1922, John Murray [UK])
- in The Poems of Arthur Conan Doyle (14 september 1928, John Murray's Fiction Library [UK])
When, ere the tangled web is reft,
The kid-gloved villain scowls and sneers,
And hapless innocence is left
With no assets save sighs and tears,
'Tis then, just then, that in there stalks
The hero, watchful of her needs;
He talks, Great heavens how he talks!
But we forgive him, for his deeds.
Life is the drama here to-day
And Death the villain of the plot.
It is a realistic play.
Shall it end well or shall it not?
The hero? Oh, the hero's part
Is vacant — to be played by you.
Then act it well! An orphan's heart
May beat the lighter if you do.