Hands Up

The carriage rumbles over ground;
The teacher takes his flintlocks out;
Puzzled, fearful looks all round;
The highwayman, without a doubt,
Invites the pupils to reveal
The contents of their pockets, while
The teacher, masked, makes one appeal
And cows the travellers with a smile.

Each hat and trigger cocked, they look
For mute assistance, and at speed:
The robber does things by the book,
The teacher acts with stealth and greed.
“Your money or your life”. The class
Remarks his cloak, and feels its purse.
The highwayman regards their farce.
“Hands up,” call both. Their lips are terse.

Demanding an end to useless blether,
Teacher and Turpin hang together.

From the book Rime Present