The Sailor's Stone, Hindhead, Surrey, England.
There wasn't a living Soul could fix
nor even hope to allay
the atrocity of seventeen-eighty-six
on that grey and misty day,
when with the soil his blood did mix
as his life force ebbed away.
He did not die a natural death,
the unknown sailor, that night.
It was footpads who stole his final breath
as he traversed the lonely height
of Hindhead's sandy heather-bound heath
with the Devil's Punchbowl in sight.
In his own defence he struck no blows
for his assailants came from behind
to batter him where the thick gorse grows -
a place they considered no one likely to find
his corpse when they left it to decompose
beneath weeds and ferns entwined.
They ran off with his few possessions:
his clothes and a guinea or two,
without a thought of how such transgressions
might affect his relatives, who
would be condemned to deep depressions
because of the greed of these two.
Well, they believed they'd got away with it -
and they surely would have done too,
if it hadn't been for the Guardian Spirit
of this poor sailor in the guise of a yew,
who had witnessed it all and by means of wit
made sure the authorities knew.
So these two were hanged on Gibbet Hill
on a cold and frosty morn.
Although protesting their innocence still,
guilt-ridden they died forlorn.