Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MEN AND MONKEYS, by AGNES MARY F. ROBINSON

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MEN AND MONKEYS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The hawthorn lane was full of flower
Last Line: Until they passed over the brow of the hill.
Alternate Author Name(s): Duclaux, Madame Emile; Darmesteter, Mary; Robinson, A. Mary F.
Subject(s): Organ-grinders; Hurdy-gurdy Men

THE hawthorn lane was full of flower;
Across the hedge, the apple-trees
Sent down with every gust of breeze
A light, loose-petalled blossom-shower.

The wide green edges of the lane
Were filmed with kedlock-flowers, and white
Archangels tall, the bees' delight,
Sprang lustier for the morning's rain.

The scent of May was heavy-sweet;
The noon poured down upon the land.
The nightingales on either hand
Called, and were silent in the heat.

The herds, the flowers, the nightingales
All drowsed; and I upon the edge
Of grass beneath the flowering hedge
Lay dreaming of its shoots and trails.

When, starting at the sound of feet,
I saw the Italian vagrants pass;
The monkey, man, and peasant-lass,
Who figure on our village street --

At race-time in the spring; nor song,
Caper, nor hurdy-gurdy tune
Seemed left in them this blazing noon
As wearily they trudged along.

They did not pause to look upon
The apple-blossom and the may;
They saw the road that reached away
Thro' leagues of dust, aye on and on.

They did not even stop to hear
The rare sweet call of the nightingale;
The hurdy-gurdy's squeak and yell
Was too accustomed in their ear.

I watched them plod their stolid way
Straight on; till suddenly I heard
The monkey mimic the singing-bird,
And snatch a trail of the flowering may.

And down the road I saw him still
Catching and clutching the blossom white,
Waving his long, black arms in delight,
Until they passed over the brow of the hill.

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