NO BUYERS - Francis Burdett Money-Coutts Poems


Poems » francis burdett money coutts » no buyers


    A Load of brushes and baskets and cradles and chairs
        Labours along the street in the rain:
With it a man, a woman, a pony with whiteybrown hairs. --
    The man foots in front of the horse with a shambling sway
        At a slower tread than a funeral train,
    While to a dirge-like tune he chants his wares,
Swinging a Turk's-head brush (in a drum-major's way
            When the bandsmen march and play).

A yard from the back of the man is the whiteybrown pony's nose:
He mirrors his master in every item of pace and pose:
        He stops when the man stops, without being told,
    And seems to be eased by a pause; too plainly he's old,
            Indeed, not strength enough shows
        To steer the disjointed waggon straight,
    Which wriggles left and right in a rambling line,
    Deflected thus by its own warp and weight,
    And pushing the pony with it in each incline.

        The woman walks on the pavement verge,
            Parallel to the man:
    She wears an apron white and wide in span,
And carries a like Turk's-head, but more in nursing-wise:
    Now and then she joins in his dirge,
    But as if her thoughts were on distant things,
    The rain clams her apron till it clings. --
So, step by step, they move with their merchandize,
            And nobody buys.