The Street Player

A poem by Fay Inchfawn

The shopping had been tedious, and the rain
Came pelting down as she turned home again.

The motor-bus swirled past with rush and whirr,
Nought but its fumes of petrol left for her.

The bloaters in her basket, and the cheese
Malodorously mixed themselves with these.

And all seemed wrong. The world was drab and grey
As the slow minutes wept themselves away.

And then, athwart the noises of the street,
A violin flung out an Irish air.

"I'll take you home again, Kathleen." Ah, sweet,
How tender-sweet those lilting phrases were!

They soothed away the weariness, and brought
Such peace to one worn woman, over- wrought,

That she forgot the things which vexed her so:
The too outrageous price of calico,

The shop-girl's look of pitying insolence
Because she paused to count the dwindling pence.

The player stopped. But the rapt vision stayed.
That woman faced life's worries unafraid.

The sugar shortage now had ceased to be
An insurmountable calamity.

Her kingdom was not bacon, no, nor butter,
But things more costly still, too rare to utter.

And, over chimney-pots, so bare and tall,
The sun set gloriously, after all.

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