Verse > Anthologies > Louis Untermeyer, ed. > Modern British Poetry
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Louis Untermeyer, ed. (1885–1977). Modern British Poetry.  1920.
 
James Stephens. 1882–
 
125. To the Four Courts, Please
 
THE driver rubbed at his nettly chin 
With a huge, loose forefinger, crooked and black, 
And his wobbly, violet lips sucked in, 
And puffed out again and hung down slack: 
One fang shone through his lop-sided smile,         5
In his little pouched eye flickered years of guile. 
  
And the horse, poor beast, it was ribbed and forked, 
And its ears hung down, and its eyes were old, 
And its knees were knuckly, and as we talked 
It swung the stiff neck that could scarcely hold  10
Its big, skinny head up—then I stepped in, 
And the driver climbed to his seat with a grin. 
  
God help the horse and the driver too, 
And the people and beasts who have never a friend, 
For the driver easily might have been you,  15
And the horse be me by a different end. 
And nobody knows how their days will cease, 
And the poor, when they're old, have little of peace. 
 
 
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