Collected Poems of Thomas Hardy (London: Macmillan and Co., 1932): 699-700. PR 4741 F32 Robarts Library.
1 A Load of brushes and baskets and cradles and chairs
2 Labours along the street in the rain:
3With it a man, a woman, a pony with whiteybrown hairs. --
4 The man foots in front of the horse with a shambling sway
5 At a slower tread than a funeral train,
6 While to a dirge-like tune he chants his wares,
8 When the bandsmen march and play).
9A yard from the back of the man is the whiteybrown pony's nose:
10He mirrors his master in every item of pace and pose:
11 He stops when the man stops, without being told,
12 And seems to be eased by a pause; too plainly he's old,
13 Indeed, not strength enough shows
14 To steer the disjointed waggon straight,
15 Which wriggles left and right in a rambling line,
17 And pushing the pony with it in each incline.
18 The woman walks on the pavement verge,
19 Parallel to the man:
20 She wears an apron white and wide in span,
21And carries a like Turk's-head, but more in nursing-wise:
22 Now and then she joins in his dirge,
23 But as if her thoughts were on distant things,
24 The rain clams her apron till it clings. --
25So, step by step, they move with their merchandize,
26 And nobody buys.
Publication Start Year
Human Shows Far Phantasies Songs and Trifles (London: Macmillan, 1925): 81-82. PR 4750 H7 1925A
RPO poem Editors