No Buyers

Original Text: 
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.


7] Turk's-head brush: round, long-handled brush. Back to Line
16] warp: twist. Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
Publication Notes: 
Human Shows Far Phantasies Songs and Trifles (London: Macmillan, 1925): 81-82. PR 4750 H7 1925A
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.