Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works


          I HATE that Andrew Jones; he'll breed
          His children up to waste and pillage.
          I wish the press-gang or the drum
          With its tantara sound would come,
          And sweep him from the village!

          I said not this, because he loves
          Through the long day to swear and tipple;
          But for the poor dear sake of one
          To whom a foul deed he had done,
          A friendless man, a travelling cripple!                     10

          For this poor crawling helpless wretch,
          Some horseman who was passing by,
          A penny on the ground had thrown;
          But the poor cripple was alone
          And could not stoop--no help was nigh.

          Inch-thick the dust lay on the ground
          For it had long been droughty weather;
          So with his staff the cripple wrought
          Among the dust till he had brought
          The half-pennies together.                                  20

          It chanced that Andrew passed that way
          Just at the time; and there he found
          The cripple in the mid-day heat
          Standing alone, and at his feet
          He saw the penny on the ground.

          He stopped and took the penny up:
          And when the cripple nearer drew,
          Quoth Andrew, "Under half-a-crown,
          What a man finds is all his own,
          And so, my Friend, good-day to you."                        30

          And 'hence' I said, that Andrew's boys
          Will all be trained to waste and pillage;
          And wished the press-gang, or the drum
          With its tantara sound, would come
          And sweep him from the village.



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