Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE ORGAN GRINDER, by RONALD WALKER BARR

Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE ORGAN GRINDER, by            
First Line: Well, pierrot, mon bon ami, we
Last Line: "in italy, to cure his cough!"
Subject(s): Organ-grinders; Hurdy-gurdy Men

"Well, Pierrot, mon bon ami, we
Must don our chapeaux and be off!
The sous dropped by the bourgeoisie
Mean Italy to cure this cough.

"In Italy they say the skies
Are always cloudless, and the hills
Are green; and nothing ever dies
Except lost echoes from the rills.

"And when for us life brighter grows,
And you and I the past forget,
And money through our fingers flows,
We'll come to Paris for Monette.

"Monette! Ah, Pierrot, hurry! I
Am sure she waits us at the docks . . .
It would be sweet, I think, to die
If one's shroud were her raven locks . . ."

And thus he dreamed and thus he talked
The while he played for each poor sou.
When winter came he lamely walked,
His face was pinched, his lips were blue.

And poor Monette grew wan with grief
To see Pierre grow thin and white;
And Pierrot trembled like a leaf
As both starved through each killing night.

They fished a body from the Seine,
A frozen, bloated, staring boy;
And dangling on a knotted chain,
A monkey floundered like a toy.

"Where is Pierre?" I asked. And he
Who stripped the ragged clothing off
Laughed as he said, "In Italy --
In Italy, to cure his cough!"

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