Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE OLD HAND-ORGAN, by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

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THE OLD HAND-ORGAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Harsh-voiced it was, and shrill
Last Line: By shamefaced pennies as he played.
Alternate Author Name(s): Johnson Of Boone, Benj. F.
Subject(s): Music & Musicians; Organs (Musical Instruments)

HARSH-VOICED it was, and shrill and high,
With hesitating stops and stutters,
As though the vagrant melody,
Playing so long about the gutters,
Had been infected with some low
Malignant type of vertigo.

A stark-eyed man that stared the sun
Square in the face, and without winking;
His soldier cap pushed back, and one
Scarred hand that grasped the crank, unshrinking --
But from the jingling discord made
By shamefaced pennies as he played.

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