William Ernest Henley, Poems (London: Macmillan and Co., 1920): 71. PR 4783 A36 1921 Robarts Library
1The beach was crowded. Pausing now and then,
2He groped and fiddled doggedly along,
3His worn face glaring on the thoughtless throng
4The stony peevishness of sightless men.
5He seemed scarce older than his clothes. Again,
6Grotesquing thinly many an old sweet song,
7So cracked his fiddle, his hand so frail and wrong,
8You hardly could distinguish one in ten.
9He stopped at last, and sat him on the sand,
10And, grasping wearily his bread-winner,
11Staring dim towards the blue immensity,
12Then leaned his head upon his poor old hand.
13He may have slept: he did not speak nor stir:
14His gesture spoke a vast despondency.
RPO poem Editors