by: William Ernest Henley
- HE beach
was crowded. Pausing now and then,
- He groped and fiddled doggedly along,
- His worn face glaring on the thoughtless throng
- The stony peevishness of sightless men.
- He seemed scarce older than his clothes. Again,
- Grotesquing thinly many an old sweet song,
- So cracked his fiddle, his hand so frail and wrong,
- You hardly could distinguish one in ten.
- He stopped at last, and sat him on the sand,
- And, grasping wearily his bread-winner,
- Staring dim towards the blue immensity,
- Then leaned his head upon his poor old hand.
- He may have slept: he did not speak nor stir:
- His gesture spoke a vast despondency.
MORE POEMS BY WILLIAM ERNEST HENLEY
"Croquis" is reprinted
from Poems. William Ernest Henley. London: Macmillan and