His station is there; and he works on the crowd,
He sways them with harmony merry and loud;
He fills with his power all their hearts to the brim–
Was aught ever heard like his fiddle and him?
As the Moon brightens round her the clouds of the night,
So He, where he stands, is a centre of light;
It gleams on the face, there, of dusky-browed Jack,
And the pale-visaged Baker’s, with basket on back.
That errand-bound ‘Prentice was passing in haste–
What matter! he’s caught–and his time runs to waste;
The Newsman is stopped, though he stops on the fret;
And the half-breathless Lamplighter–he’s in the net!
The Porter sits down on the weight which he bore;
The Lass with her barrow wheels hither her store;–
If a thief could be here he might pilfer at ease;
She sees the Musician, ’tis all that she sees!
He stands, backed by the wall;–he abates not his din
His hat gives him vigour, with boons dropping in,
From the old and the young, from the poorest; and there!
The one-pennied Boy has his penny to spare.
O blest are the hearers, and proud be the hand
Of the pleasure it spreads through so thankful a band;
I am glad for him, blind as he is!–all the while
If they speak ’tis to praise, and they praise with a smile.
Mark that Cripple who leans on his crutch; like a tower
That long has leaned forward, leans hour after hour!–
That Mother, whose spirit in fetters is bound,
While she dandles the Babe in her arms to the sound.
Now, coaches and chariots! roar on like a stream;
Here are twenty souls happy as souls in a dream:
They are deaf to your murmurs–they care not for you,
Nor what ye are flying, nor what ye pursue!