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Piccadilly Post by :newbizhelp Category :Poems Author :John Presland Date :November 2011 Read :1821

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Above, the quiet stars and the night wind;
Below, the lamp-lit streets, and up and down
The tired, stealthy steps of those who walk
When the just sleep, at night, in London town.

Poor garish ghosts that haunt the yellow glare,
Wan spectres, lurking in the alleys dark
Among the tainted night-smells, while the wind
Is whispering to the trees across the Park;

For it is summer, may be, and the scent
Of new-mown hay is sweet across the fields,
But neither summer, nor the gleaming spring
One breath of healing to this dark life yields;

No morning sunshine greets these sidelong eyes
With blessings, daughters as they are of gloom,
Ghosts only, such as seem to have a shape
At night in some old evil, haunted room.

Would that they were indeed to be dissolved
At every sunrise!--they are living souls
Dragging mortality about foul streets
While overhead the star-lit heaven rolls.

Living souls are they, and they have their share
In seed and harvest, and the round world's boon
Of changing seasons, and the miracle
Of each month's waxing and waning of the moon.

Living souls are they, prisoned in a net
Of stealthy streets--age after age they've gone
Bearing the burden of a city's sin,
In London, and old Rome, and Babylon.

(The end)
John Presland's poem: Piccadilly

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A tired, working woman, draggle-tailed, Came in, harsh-featured in the yellow glare Of electricity; an urchin trailed Clumsily after her, with towsled hair, And sharp, pale features, and a vacant stare, And in her arms she bore another child. A sick child, doubtless all three looked sick; The poor legs hanging limply, lean and blue, Dangled grotesquely, for the boots, too thick For such frail bones a touch could snap in two, Like clock-weights seemed to swing, as staggered through The burdened mother, till she found a seat.

Street Music Street Music

Street Music
I There comes an old man to our street, Dragging his knobby, lame old feet, Once a week he comes and stands, A concertina in his hands, There in the gutter stops and plays, No matter fine or rainy days --Very humble and very old-- Pavement's for them who make so bold! Prim, starched nurses, and ladies fair With taffeta dresses and shining hair, And gay little children, who break and run To give him a penny--he seems to feel (Out-at-elbows and out-at-heel) That they've a right