The Idiot

A poem by John Frederick Freeman

He stands on the kerb
Watching the street.
He's always watching there,
Listening to the beat
Of time in the street,
Listening to the thronging feet,
Laughing at the world that goes
Scowling or laughing by.

He sees Time go by,
An old lonely man,
Crooked and furtive and slow.
He laughs as he sees
Time shambling by
While he stands at his ease,
Until Time smiles wanly back
At his laughing eye.

Greed's great paunch,
Lean Envy's ill looks,
Fond forgetful Love,
He reads them like books:
Whatever their tongue
He reads them like children's books,
Stands staring and laughing there
As all they go by.

O, he laughs as he sees
The fat and the thin,
The simple, the solemn and wise
Nod-nodding by.
He stares in their eyes,
Till they're angry and murmur, Poor fool!
And he hears and he laughs again
From the depth of his folly.

Even when with heavy
Plume and pall
The sleeky coaches roll by,
Coffin, flowers and all,
He laughs, for he sees
Crouched on the coffin a small
Yellowy shape go by--
Death, uneasy and melancholy.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Idiot' by John Frederick Freeman

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy