Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LITTLE WHITE HEARSE, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE LITTLE WHITE HEARSE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: As the little white hearse went glimmering
Last Line: As the little white hearse went glimmering by.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Children; Death; Hearses; Childhood; Dead, The


AS the little white hearse went glimmering by --
The man on the coal-cart jerked his lines,
And smutted the lid of either eye,
And turned and stared at the business signs;
And the street-car driver stopped and beat
His hands on his shoulders, and gazed up-street
Till his eye on the long track reached the sky --
As the little white hearse went glimmering by.

As the little white hearse went glimmering by --
A stranger petted a ragged child
In the crowded walks, and she knew not why,
But he gave her a coin for the way she smiled;
And a boot-black thrilled with a pleasure strange
As a customer put back his change
With a kindly hand and a grateful sigh,
As the little white hearse went glimmering by.

As the little white hearse went glimmering by --
A man looked out of a window dim,
And his cheeks were wet and his heart was dry,
For a dead child even was dear to him!
And he thought of his empty life, and said: --
"Loveless alive, and loveless dead --
Nor wife nor child in earth or sky!"
As the little white hearse went glimmering by.





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