Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BEGGAR, by WILLIAM ELLERY LEONARD



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

Rhyming Dictionary Search
THE BEGGAR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When the ships blow up and the towers fall down
Last Line: Where the roof-signs flare on cornice and mast.
Subject(s): Begging & Beggars


When the ships blow up and the towers fall down,
There dogs mankind, through lane and town,
A querulous Beggar in a Syrian dress,
Telling the story of his wan distress:
He dogs the market-place, he dogs church-door,
The wagons and the wharves from shore to shore;
"A penny, a penny," he crieth his lack
Down a million miles of the railroad track;
The cottages of all the lands make one row;
And the gatemen at the shops daren't bid him go;
And the bank-grills open as his steps advance,
And he walks right up through the roses and the dance. ...
And I saw him one morning in Trafalgar Square,
And when I loafed at Lemnos, he was there!

Though he is not blind, nor has a wooden leg,
Yet the people all would shudder were he not to beg ...
And he lifts you his palm and his one song old:
"My children ... are hungry ... my children ... are cold!"
When the great Dam bursts and the Red River runs,
And the earthquake smites, and the Forests are asmoke,
And a hundred leagues of Cannon char earth to a coke,
Hear the wailing of the Beggar in the Galilæan cloak—
For the wailing of the Beggar is louder than the guns. ...
As he lifts you his palm and his one song old:
"My children ... are hungry ... my children ... are cold!"

It was on Broadway that I saw him last,
Where the roof-signs flare on cornice and mast.





Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net